This country has a physician shortage. It’s no mystery - the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that we will fall short nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032 as demand for doctors continues to grow faster than supply. And yet we rank toward the bottom of developed countries in terms of the number of physicians we produce for our population.
About a quarter of practicing physicians in the United States today are foreign medical graduates, and in geriatric fields, that number is much higher: nearly half. International medical grads are not just essential to filling the huge gaps in the American healthcare system, they are a vital part of making it better. One doctor wrote,
“As a physician who graduated from a domestic medical school, I’ve often heard others disparaging doctors who went to medical school outside the country as if they were inferior. Those complaints are not supported by data. A study from Health Affairs in 2010 found that patients with congestive heart failure or myocardial infarction had lower mortality rates when treated by doctors who were foreign medical graduates. Another from earlier this year in the BMJ found that older patients who were treated by foreign medical graduates had lower mortality as well, even though they seemed to be sicker in general.” (New York Times)
Despite the fact that international medical grads fill a critical shortfall in the US healthcare system, and the fact that they generally outperform US-educated physicians, there are still huge barriers to these doctors practicing in the United States. Strict policies around medical licensing mean jumping through a variety of hoops.
International medical grads have to:
Obtain a visa (which can be difficult in the first place);
Pass the first two steps of the US Medical-Licensing Exam (USMLE);
Get certified by the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG);
Match into a US or Canadian residency program; and finally,
Pass step three of the USMLE.
Any one of these steps could delay a physician by years, and many don’t see tremendous value in repeating residencies they may have already completed as part of their previous medical training.
In fact, some groups estimate that there are as many as 65,000 unlicensed foreign-trained doctors across the US, many of whom practiced for years in their home countries, but can’t practice in the US because of the restrictive system. Added to that reality is the fact that US residency programs are very competitive, and that additional spots have not been added since funding was capped twenty years ago.
Some doctors try for a decade or more to break into practice in the US, and many are ultimately defeated, ending up in healthcare-adjacent fields, menial work, or anything that can provide a paycheck.
That’s why Skilled Wound Care wants to hire international medical grads. We are actively seeking, recruiting, and hiring physicians from across the globe to work in our mobile surgical practice. If you think that you might be a good fit, please contact us - we want to hear from you!
Skilled Wound Care is a mobile surgical practice committed to transforming the chronic wound care model in nursing facilities. Wound care experts make weekly bedside visits to patients in long-term care facilities, avoiding transfers to hospitals or clinics. Our expert physicians give patients the most up-to-date and effective wound treatments, and educate facility staff on how to help patients continue to heal quickly and effectively between visits. This model of collaborative care allows SWC’s physicians to improve patients’ lives and health outcomes, to empower nursing staff, and to raise public awareness. Skilled Wound Care, along with its nurse and nursing home partners, is working every day to positively transform traditional nursing home wound care.