This week, Oct. 21-27, 2019, marks the first annual International Medical Graduate (IMG) Recognition Week. Founded by the AMA to celebrate a group of hardworking healthcare practitioners that, as of 2013, makes up 24% of the workforce, this week is also a call to action. IMG Recognition week serves as a platform to share the importance of this population and work towards both equality and non-discrimination.
AMO fully supports AMA’s mission for IMG Recognition Week. We support these individuals by providing international medical students and graduates the opportunity to expand their medical knowledge in a new setting with hopes that, in the future, they might return to the U.S.
AMA Advocates for IMGs
In addition to creating IMG Recognition Week and being a champion in the fight for increasing education and license equality for IMGs, the AMA offers ECMFG certified IMGs the chance to be included in their important work by becoming a member of the AMA. This membership benefits IMGs, specifically those applying for residency in the U.S., as it provides access to resources and advice on trends and how to increase the chance of matching. A membership can also provide access to medical journals, insurance discounts, and other opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere. If you are ready to sign up for an AMA membership click here. If you need more information on the perks of becoming a member of the AMA click here.
For more information AMA’s on IMG Recognition Week click here.
Continue reading below for more information on how IMGs are contributing to good health in the U.S.
Currently about 23 percent of practicing physicians in the U.S. are foreign trained. That means that a little under a quarter of physicians might speak different languages, have different skills, and be able to connect on a different, possibly higher level, with patients who share a similar identity. These individuals are an important part of our country as the population is already, and continues to become, increasingly diverse.
Serving the Under-served
These individuals are working in locations with great needs and few resources. Many IMGs currently practicing in the U.S. are doing so in rural and impoverished area. Rural America is home to between 15 and 20 percent of the countries citizens, who, without IMGs being introduced to their areas, have to travel great distances to receive medical attention, or forfeit it all together.
Interested in learning more about the gaps IMGs fill in rural medicine? Read our post, ‘Rural Primary Care: A Call To Action for IMGs.’
Caring for the Elderly
In specialties that relate closely to mortality, international medical graduates have high numbers. According to research from 2015, 50.7 percent of physicians specializing in geriatrics are international medical students. IMG representation in this specialty will become even more valuable in the coming decades as the age distribution of the U.S. population will shift with the elderly having strong numbers.
For more information on this check out our post, ‘Foreign Medical Graduates Treat Patients with Vast Needs.’
While the overall number of IMGs applying to the National Residency Match declined this past year, the rate of IMGs that Match into a residency position (58%) increased showing, perhaps, that universities and institutions are recognizing the value of their education and what they can bring to the U.S. healthcare system.
For more information on results from the 2019 Match read our post, “Data from the 2019 National Residency Match Is Out: Here are the Takeaways for IMGs.’