Doctor Open to Serving in Rural America

It is unethical to have citizens from other countries replace American doctors. American physicians who want to be trained in residency programs in the U.S. are sitting on the sidelines. There are simply not enough residency training slots and no alternate pathway or jobs to compensate for a growing population of doctors.

There should be some backup plan to licensing. The U.S. needs more doctors than are being trained. So apprenticeships, more slots or alternate pathways need to be created or developed. Talent is being squandered. Doctors are being prevented from achieving their goals and have the additional burden of medical school loans.

While preparing for my USMLE exams, I attended a one-month pharmacovigilance training program offered by an Indian recruiting company (globalpharmatek.com). They were training Indian citizens with H-1B visas. After the training, only H-1B visa holders were recruited for jobs with pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson, while I and other Indian Americans who were Caribbean medical school grads were denied jobs. I later learned that these visa holders had to sign contracts committing half of their hourly wages to the recruiting company. American citizens were not tied to such a contract, because it is illegal.

It’s my understanding that residency programs run by foreign program directors offer a majority of residency spots to J-1 visa holders from their home countries, while Americans are sidelined. This has to stop. We need American medical grads and American international medical graduates to be prioritized in the residency matching system.

There are many private practice physicians who are open to training medical school graduates, who want to expand residency programs to private practice. The current residency programs, especially for family practice, often focus on hospital-based medicine, which is not primary care.

I am one of the unmatched ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) certified graduates with more than $170,000 in medical school loans, which went into collections. I have completed all of my clinical training in Atlanta in all the required and elective specialties. I am willing to go to any underserved area of the United States for my residency training in primary care or family medicine. I am well versed in the American health care system and have excellent physician-patient and communication skills. I cannot see myself practicing medicine in any country other than this country that I call home.