Should Foreign-Trained Doctors Have The Same Opportunities?

April 10, 2013

What do you think is the appropriate approach to foreign-trained doctors who hope to practice in the United States and why?

The debate over whether foreign-trained doctors should have the same opportunities to practice in the U.S. as U.S-trained physicians have is heating up. Many physicians have strong opinions on the subject, and reasons for those opinions vary.

Some physicians believe all up-and-coming physicians should have the same opportunities (regardless of their country of training); others feel foreign-trained doctors take up residency spots that belong to U.S. trained doctors; others worry that foreign-trained doctors don’t have the same skills to treat patients; and still others believe foreign-trained physicians should treat patients in the country they were trained (especially if physicians are limited there)

The debate over foreign-trained doctors cropped up in comments to a recent Physicians Practice blog post in which we asked readers about the appropriate scope of practice of nonphysician providers.

• When commenting about scope of practice, one reader also commented that “undergraduate prep” is sometimes “nonexistent” for foreign-trained doctors.
• Another replied: “I don't ... agree with the assessment given of foreign medical grads: They have to take a lot steps and time to prove themselves before they are allowed to even enter a U.S. residency.”
• A third reader commented: Physicians “are tired of foreign medical school graduates coming to the USA taking residency spots they believe should be given to United States medical school graduates. They are tired of them taking opportunity and money from them and there is a strong movement against allowing that to continue.”

What do you think? What is the appropriate approach to foreign-trained doctors who hope to practice in the United States?  Share your thoughts in the comments box below.