February 27, 2018

Why the U.S. Needs More Doctors Trained Abroad

Jeffrey S. Flier

Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

In the U.S. today, 23% of practicing physicians, or about 240,000, are graduates of international medical schools, and these “IMGs” make up a similar percentage of those in graduate medical training programs. We need more of them.

Even with those practitioners added to graduates of U.S. schools, we have an insufficient medical workforce today to address the nations’ needs—a shortage predicted to grow as the population ages. Easing the barriers to attract more internationally trained physicians is essential to keep our health-care system staffed with the right kind of doctors. There are three key arguments for bringing more internationally trained doctors to the U.S.

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