With the U.S. facing the prospect of a serious physician shortage over the next decade, two factors seem poised to assist in stemming the deficit: the appeal of locum tenens work to physicians and the availability of international medical graduates (IMGs) in providing patient care.
International medical graduates are a particularly germane issue in the current political climate, with the legality of President Trump’s travel ban scheduled to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. About 7,000 doctors practicing in the U.S. are from the six banned countries, and over time, goodwill toward the U.S. could be affected, influencing physicians from unbanned countries, such as India and Pakistan, in considering whether to practice here.
It would be a setback for the U.S. medical industry if this were to happen, particularly for the locum tenens industry, which has been seeing progress in reducing stigmas attached to IMGs and the difficulty of employing them as locum doctors. IMGs now account for almost a third of physicians in the U.S. and have become pivotal to the medical field because of their positive contributions.
Rigorous vetting process. IMGs are subject to additional vetting in an already rigorous medical licensure process. They are required to obtain a certificate from the Educational Council of Foreign Medical Graduates that validates their knowledge as being equal to that of U.S. and Canadian medical graduates.
Best of the best. The reputation of IMGs has grown over time, in part because of the positive track records of graduates practicing in the U.S. The general perception seems to be that these physicians are the best their countries have to offer.
To discuss the benefits of international medical graduates taking on locum tenens assignments, call Medicus Healthcare Solutions at 855-301-0563 to talk with one of our experienced recruiters.