In April of 2022, the American Medical Association addressed the concerning issue of physician shortages in the United States. The country faces a projected shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians within the next twelve years. These projections include both primary care and specialty physicians. A deficit of such size stands to have dire implications for the health of the US’s citizens.
One source of the physician shortage could be attributed to the lack of residency slots available to medical students who attended international schools. Given the number of doctors retiring each year, medical schools in the US are not churning out enough qualified doctors to keep pace. Despite the need for more doctors, the availability of residency slots has remained stagnant.
Dr. Adedayo Akande, President of the University of Health Sciences of Antigua, sees a real opportunity for international medical graduates to step in and help remedy the physician shortage in the US when given the chance.
“There is a great shortage of physicians in the US, which continues to get worse. The country’s schools are not able to satisfy this need themselves,” says Dr. Akande. “As a result, international medical schools are vital to healthcare.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has concurred that more residency slots are needed to keep up with the influx of medical students and to solve the US’s issue of physician shortages. Allowing International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to fill some of these new slots will only prove positive for the US healthcare system as a whole.
The curriculum and approach of international medical schools may be miscategorized as not being as thorough, advanced, or well-funded as US medical schools. However, students of these schools must pass the same licensure examinations and complete the same processes as medical students in the United States.
“In the past, there was the misconception that…