Program Aims To Help Foreign-Born Doctors Obtain U.S. License
A UCLA program aims to address the state's primary care physician shortage by helping immigrant doctors become licensed to practice in the U.S., Kaiser Health News reports.
About one-fourth of physicians practicing in the U.S. were born in another country.
However, many immigrants who were trained as physicians in foreign countries are not licensed to practice in the U.S., a process that can be both costly and time consuming.
Details of UCLA Program
The UCLA International Medical Graduate Program -- founded by physicians Patrick Dowling and Michelle Bholat -- offers foreign-born physicians a stipend along with board preparation classes, mentorship and references to help them find a residency in primary care medicine.
Program enrollees must agree to work in an underserved area of the state for two or three years after they receive their license.
The program specializes in helping LatinoÂ immigrantsÂ or individuals fromÂ other Spanish-speaking countriesÂ who are seekingÂ a medical license. Although about 40% of California residents are Hispanic or Latino, only 5% of licensed doctors in the state are Hispanic or Latino, according to Kaiser Health News.
The program so farÂ has placed 54 Hispanic physicians into family medicine training programs.
DowlingÂ said that potentially thousands of immigrant doctors from Latin America could be practicing medicine in the stateÂ but instead are working other jobs, making them a wasted resource (Gold, Kaiser Health News, 4/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.