ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Home Page


Immigration Daily

Archives

Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board

Resources

Blogs

Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation

Attorney2Attorney

CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network

EB-5

移民日报

About ILW.COM

Connect to us

Make us Homepage

Questions/Comments


SUBSCRIBE

Immigration Daily


Chinese Immig. Daily




The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of
free information!
Copyright
1995-
ILW.COM,
American
Immigration LLC.

View RSS Feed

Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

TERRORIST PHYSICIANS?

Rate this Entry

Over the years, one of the areas in which my practice has grown the most involves physician immigration. I've written a book on the subject (LexisNexis'

J-1 Visa Guidebook) and chair the FMG Taskforce, the national coalition of physician immigration lawyers. And I count many of my physician clients as close friends.



So the word out of London this week that a number of physicians have been arrested in connection with attempted terrorist acts in the UK has been very distressing. I'm in no position to discuss the truth of the allegations against the doctors, but it is certainly my opinion that foreign medical graduates in the United States are the good guys, not our enemies.



It might help to know some basic data:



Number of physicians in the US: 794,893
Number of foreign graduate physicians in the US: 185,234 (from 127 countries)
Percentage of foreign physicians in US training programs: 24%




This is not a new phenomenon. Foreign physicians have made up this
percentage of the US physician population for decades.



A sizable portion of foreign physicians coming to the US work in
medically underserved communities and are providing services to
patients who otherwise would have no physician in their towns. Perhaps
you have heard about the wider physician shortage in the US? It is
expected to grow to as much as 150,000 by 2020, a pretty large number
when you compare it to the total number of doctors now in practice.




Many of these doctors are engaged in cutting edge medical research at
some of the leading laboratories in the country. Chances are that the
treatment you'll receive the next time your seriously ill will have
been developed in part through the work of one of these physicians.



I tell you these facts because the knee jerk reaction on talk radio has been that we should take drastic measures to prevent the entry of physicians. This would be a disaster for the American health care system and it would also would not make us safer. The country needs these doctors and the number of people who will be harmed if we stop physician immigration would be truly dramatic. We need to think about INCREASING physician immigration at the same time we INCREASE the supply of US medical school graduates if we're going to get a handle on the physician shortage. Otherwise, we're all facing a future rationing of health care.



I think its also worth mentioning that one of the reasons we probably have not heard about any links of US physicians to terrorism is because of the extensive background and security testing all skilled workers, including doctors, undergo before being admitted to the US. I understand that in the UK, security clearances for skilled workers was not as extensive. This could be another example of where the US has done a decent job and we're not hearing about it. We hear about terror attacks that are successful as well as plots that are thwarted. We probably never hear about people who never get to this country after they've been prevented due to ties to terrorist activities.



I'm sure there are grandstanders in Congress who will seek to make hay of the news from the UK and score political points by going after our doctors. But hopefully, cooler heads will prevail and not do anything that will jeopardize our health care system.



By the way, the data I cited above comes from a report

on foreign physicians put out by the American Medical Association. It can be found here: Download AMA-IMGworkforce2006.pdf


 

Submit "TERRORIST PHYSICIANS?" to Facebook Submit "TERRORIST PHYSICIANS?" to Twitter Submit "TERRORIST PHYSICIANS?" to Google Submit "TERRORIST PHYSICIANS?" to StumbleUpon Submit "TERRORIST PHYSICIANS?" to Reddit Submit "TERRORIST PHYSICIANS?" to Digg Submit "TERRORIST PHYSICIANS?" to del.icio.us

Tags: None Add / Edit Tags

Comments

  1. K Scarlett, M.D.'s Avatar
    I am an Americn physician in the US. The Medical education system in the US practices professional birth control to maintain an inadequate supply of US physicians. This has been done for a very long time. It keeps American doctors at a premium and guarantees that the US will not have an excess of doctors. This is a tactic of choice not of necessity, the US could easily train enough doctors fill all its needs. Foreign doctors offer a flexible supply,this works well, because doctors will not come here if they can't get jobs.
Put Free Immigration Law Headlines On Your Website

Immigration Daily: the news source for legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers Enter your email address here: