Sunday, August 11, 2019

U. S. International Medical Students And Young Physician Program

By Christine Thomas

The current shortage of doctors working as primary care physicians and general practitioners in the United States is a growing problem. In fact, the United States will most likely need to add over 120,000 doctors in the future. While this is the case, it is hoped that the international medical students and young physician program will be of assistance in achieving this goal.

It is hoped that a number of international medical graduates may actually be able to play an integral role in alleviating the crisis. Recent reports show that students attending International schools of medicine are more likely to go into primary care, especially in rural areas where the need is greatest than those whom graduate in the United States. While there is a shortage of doctors, the problem is more the distribution of medical staff to various geographic areas.

Other reasons for the nationwide shortage is that there are a limited number of positions available at hospitals with residency training programs. In addition, the amount of time it takes to train professionals is often not in line with health care utilization. For, there are currently more people obtaining health insurance than ever before in history, while baby boomers are now becoming enrolled in Medicare.

With a forecast suggesting that the 65 and over population will increase by 50% over the next twelve years, the shortage is a long way from over. Considering the fact that older individuals often seek out medical attention more often than young people, and the onset of baby boomers obtaining Medicare, this demand will most likely only increase in the future.

The crisis appears to be greatest in underserved urban and rural areas. In fact, many towns such as Arcata, California have a hard time keeping doctors beyond a residency. For, the area is so rural and limited, that many whom come to study or work in the area often leave after a few years, including those in residency programs.

Medical students who are adverse to working with a general practice in a clinic setting, only add to the issue. For, as pediatrics, family and internal medicine are now all considered a part of primary care, many of these areas are also experiencing shortages. Whereas, there are also a number of areas which are experiencing shortages in the OB/GYN area.

As most residents are trained at huge hospital complexes and university hospitals, most are enrolled in specialized fields. Whereas, if more focus were put on working in more generalized areas, doctors in the United States could begin to overcome the crisis. After which, it will be much easier to determine which areas need the most assistance from those enrolled in the international program.

In an effort to assist with the shortage, one of the most renown medical schools in the world, St. George's now supplies a number of primary care physicians to the United States. For, the school believes that by exposing students to more outpatient environments and community health centers, the students and the United States will benefit by overcoming what appears to be one of the biggest shortages of primary care and general practitioners in history.

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