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US must enact measures to support the role of IMGs in US health-care delivery, says ACP
Date:9/15/2008

To this end the College released as part of their paper seven recommendations to improve conditions for physicians seeking to train and practice in the U.S. The College:
  • opposes measures that would prevent qualified IMGs from emigrating to the U.S.;
  • supports streamlining the process for IMGs to obtain J-1 and H-1B visas;
  • supports a permanent expansion of J-1 visa waiver programs to help alleviate physician shortages in underserved areas;
  • supports exempting physicians trained in specialties facing a shortage from the annual H-1B visa cap;
  • supports classifying physicians trained in internal medicine and other specialties facing a shortage as Schedule A under the Department of Labor, indicating there is an insufficient number of U.S. workers for that occupation;
  • encourage collaborations between the U.S. and less-developed countries to improve medical education and training in those countries; and,
  • supports the development of a Global Health Corps to provide opportunities for U.S. physicians and providers to serve in less-developed countries.

While ACP strongly advocates for policies to support the role of IMGs in meeting the U.S. health care needs, the College also advocates for policies that would increase the number of U.S. trained physicians in primary care. The College also cautions that IMGs should not be viewed as the solution to physician workforce shortages.

"As noted in our paper, with an increasingly diverse population in the U.S., the physician population must also increase in diversity in order to provide culturally competent care," concluded Dr. Harris. "This is only one piece of the vital role IMGs play in providing care to our underserved populations."


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Contact: David Kinsman
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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