Foreign-Trained Doctors Find Red Tape Is No Band-Aid for MD Shortage in USA

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on

While some projections show a shortage of 100,000 doctors in the U.S. by 2030, more than 65,000 doctors trained and licensed in foreign countries but living here cannot practice.

Frequently working at menial jobs while trying to get U.S. certification, many qualified doctors cannot meet the requirements to get into residency programs – a must before obtaining U.S. licensure.

Programs in Los Angeles and Minnesota accept foreign-born doctors in exchange for their service in underserved communities, but they are extremely selective. UCLA’s IMG program selects about twelve people from 100-150 applicants to participate, and Minnesota’s International Medical Graduate program has funded four residencies for foreign-born doctors.


Joey Peters, “Highly Trained and Educated, Some Foreign-Born Doctors Still Can’t Practice Medicine in the US,” The World (PRI), March 28, 2019,

Max Blau, Andy Miller, and Katja Ridderbusch, “Republicans’ Drive to Tighten Immigration Overlooks Need for Doctors,” Kaiser Health News, October 30, 2018,

Student Researchers: Miranda Meade & Madyson Griswold (Drew University)

Faculty Evaluator: Lisa Lynch (Drew University)