Foreign doctors and practicing medicine in the U.S.

Among the professionals from other countries that sometimes come to the U.S. to practice their profession are doctors. Immigrant physicians can be a real asset to medical care here in the United States. A recent study suggests that such physicians might even have slightly lower patient mortality levels than their U.S.-schooled counterparts.

The study looked at the outcomes of over a million U.S. hospital patients. The patients in question were all Medicare beneficiaries. The study compared the outcomes of the patients who got medical care from an internist who got their education at a U.S. medical school and those who were treated by an internist who was educated at a medical school from another country.

Among the aspects of outcome that were compared was 30-day mortality. The study found that the patients who were cared for by doctors from foreign medical schools showed slightly lower mortality levels than the patients treated by doctors from U.S. schools.

Why did the internists from foreign medical schools do better than the internists from U.S. medical schools in this measure? One thing some point to as possibly contributing to this are the special requirements doctors from foreign medical schools have to meet to be eligible to practice here in the United States. Included among these requirements are having to do a residency training here in the U.S., having to pass a clinical skills assessment and having to pass two special exams.

Now, the requirements to practice in the U.S. are not the only hurdles to clear that can come up for a foreign physician who desires to work in medicine here in America. Another type are immigration hurdles. All kinds of different issues can come up for doctors from other countries when it comes to efforts to get permission to live and work in the United States. Skilled immigration attorneys can help foreign doctors and foreign nationals in other professions with navigating the issues and matters related to their efforts to achieve their U.S. immigration goals.

Source: Medscape, “US Patient Mortality Lower With Non-US-Trained Physicians,” Ricki Lewis, Feb. 2, 2017