Fewer international doctors seeking U.S. jobs – potentially due to ongoing immigration shakeup

By ASN Staff

“In the middle of the ongoing debate over immigration, worries continue about the impact on the healthcare industry, which depends on foreign doctors and medical students.

Now there's new evidence that fewer international doctors are seeking work in the U.S., although it's not clear whether the Trump administration's less welcoming immigration polices are to blame.

National healthcare recruiting company The Medicus Firm said it placed the lowest percentage of internationally trained physicians in 2017 in at least seven years. The percentage of internationally trained physicians placed by Medicus dropped to 24%, down seven points from nearly 32% in 2016, according to the report.

The report also found that 6.3% of providers placed in 2017 were on either a J1 or H1-B visa, which is how most foreign-born medical graduates and medical students come to the U.S. Those visitors’ visas were subject to a travel ban imposed by President Donald Trump last year.

The 2017 drop was the largest since 2014, when placements of internationally trained physicians dropped from 39% to 31%, according to Medicus. Despite the fluctuation, even at the lower 2017 rate, the overall percentage of internationally trained doctors is still relatively in line with the proportion of internationally trained physicians in the workforce, the report said.

The report also showed a decline prior to the controversy over immigration policies. In 2012 more than 42% of placements were made up of international medical graduates, which dropped to 39% in 2013, 31% in 2014 and almost 29% in 2015, before increasing to almost 32% in 2016 and then taking the dip in 2017.

Internationally trained physicians make up about 25% of the physician workforce, according to trade groups, including The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). That figure includes all physicians who graduated from a medical school outside of the U.S., whether they are American-born or foreign-born.

‘International medical graduates are a vital component of the physician workforce in the U.S., particularly in light of projected physician shortages through 2025,’ the report stated.”

DACA

There is only one recruiting company reporting these findings so far; however, the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) also reported for the 2018 match that the percentage of International Medical Graduate (IMG) residents choosing the nephrology specialty declined 16% in AY 2018 after rebounding in AY 2017. Though not conclusive, these combined may point to a decrease in international participation in U.S. healthcare.

“The AAMC called Congress’ failure to act to protect the so-called ‘Dreamers’ disheartening and called on Congress and the administration to come together in bipartisan action to provide stability to those with DACA status.

‘As college students look toward medical school, and medical students prepare for their residency training, unless Congress acts, those with DACA status could be prevented from completing the necessary requirements to fulfill their lifelong goal of pursuing medicine or science,’ AAMC’s president and CEO Darrell G. Kirch said in an announcement.

‘At the same time, patients in underserved communities could be denied the care they deserve since Dreamers are more likely to practice in those areas,’ he added.”

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“In the middle of the ongoing debate over immigration, worries continue about the impact on the healthcare industry, which depends on foreign doctors and medical students.

Now there's new evidence that fewer international doctors are seeking work in the U.S., although it's not clear whether the Trump administration's less welcoming immigration polices are to blame.

National healthcare recruiting company The Medicus Firm said it placed the lowest percentage of internationally trained physicians in 2017 in at least seven years. The percentage of internationally trained physicians placed by Medicus dropped to 24%, down seven points from nearly 32% in 2016, according to the report.

The report also found that 6.3% of providers placed in 2017 were on either a J1 or H1-B visa, which is how most foreign-born medical graduates and medical students come to the U.S. Those visitors’ visas were subject to a travel ban imposed by President Donald Trump last year.

The 2017 drop was the largest since 2014, when placements of internationally trained physicians dropped from 39% to 31%, according to Medicus. Despite the fluctuation, even at the lower 2017 rate, the overall percentage of internationally trained doctors is still relatively in line with the proportion of internationally trained physicians in the workforce, the report said.

The report also showed a decline prior to the controversy over immigration policies. In 2012 more than 42% of placements were made up of international medical graduates, which dropped to 39% in 2013, 31% in 2014 and almost 29% in 2015, before increasing to almost 32% in 2016 and then taking the dip in 2017.

Internationally trained physicians make up about 25% of the physician workforce, according to trade groups, including The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). That figure includes all physicians who graduated from a medical school outside of the U.S., whether they are American-born or foreign-born.

‘International medical graduates are a vital component of the physician workforce in the U.S., particularly in light of projected physician shortages through 2025,’ the report stated.”

DACA

There is only one recruiting company reporting these findings so far; however, the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) also reported for the 2018 match that the percentage of International Medical Graduate (IMG) residents choosing the nephrology specialty declined 16% in AY 2018 after rebounding in AY 2017. Though not conclusive, these combined may point to a decrease in international participation in U.S. healthcare.

“The AAMC called Congress’ failure to act to protect the so-called ‘Dreamers’ disheartening and called on Congress and the administration to come together in bipartisan action to provide stability to those with DACA status.

‘As college students look toward medical school, and medical students prepare for their residency training, unless Congress acts, those with DACA status could be prevented from completing the necessary requirements to fulfill their lifelong goal of pursuing medicine or science,’ AAMC’s president and CEO Darrell G. Kirch said in an announcement.

‘At the same time, patients in underserved communities could be denied the care they deserve since Dreamers are more likely to practice in those areas,’ he added.”

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018