A Wasted Opportunity During a Pandemic: The Foreign Medical Graduates in the USA

Kamalika Roy, Natalia Solenkova, Parth Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In this brief note from the field, we address an essential issue of non-inclusion of Foreign Medical Graduates (FMG) practicing in the US into the healthcare disaster response in the current pandemic. Because FMGs represent a significant share of the entire country’s physician workforce, it seems not prudent to ignore the need to address the current immigration barriers affecting the crucial healthcare needs during this pandemic. Being subjects of the ongoing complex bureaucracy complicated by recent anti-immigrant steps, FMGs that practice for years on temporary (H1B) visas cannot fully join COVID-19 forces. In addition, these physicians face multiple challenges related to their health protection, protection of their immediate family, job security, and the potential risk of being deported. We believe that physicians’ immigration status should no longer be disregarded outside of academic interest. It carries the same importance as other public health issues, especially in severe healthcare crises like this pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1364-1368
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • H1-B visa
  • Healthcare legislation
  • Immigrant physicians
  • Pandemic
  • Physician shortage
  • Primary care
  • USA
  • Underserved

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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