NBC10 Philadelphia on Monday aired a story on the importance of international medical graduates (IMGs) to the U.S. health care system featuring ECFMG President and CEO William W. Pinsky, M.D. You can see the story at https://bit.ly/2ClGCH0. NBC10 correspondent Matt DeLucia also interviewed Dr. Arturo Rios-Diaz, an ECFMG-certified physician currently under ECFMG J-1 visa sponsorship as a third-year general surgery resident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.
ECFMG serves as the sole sponsor for nearly 11,000 foreign national physicians participating in the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor (J-1 Visa) Program to train in U.S. programs of graduate medical education. During their time in the United States, exchange visitor physicians engage in medical specialty and subspecialty training at institutions accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and have opportunities to both share their cultures and learn about the people and places of the United States.
ECFMG has developed Journeys in Medicine as a forum for these current and alumni exchange visitor physicians to share their experiences in their own words. In addition, Journeys in Medicine will highlight training programs that host exchange visitor physicians. By sharing these stories, ECFMG hopes that readers will gain insight into the important impact exchange visitor physicians have on health care both in the United States and in their home countries.
We encourage you to explore the stories now available on Journeys in Medicine at www.ecfmg.org/journeysinmedicine/. Follow @ECFMG_J1 on Twitter to find out when new stories publish and about upcoming content. Please share this information with your friends and colleagues who are interested in graduate medical education.
International medical graduates (IMGs) are essential to the U.S. health care system. In the September 10 issue of Modern Healthcare, ECFMG President and CEO, William W. Pinsky, MD, shares ECFMG’s perspective that restrictions on immigration for physicians could have unintended negative consequences on the delivery of quality health care in the United States.
“Immigration is directly connected to the physician shortage because meeting the health care needs of our population would be impossible without the continued contributions of doctors educated abroad,” he writes.
Read the full article.
ECFMG President and CEO, William W. Pinsky, MD, recently wrote an opinion piece for STAT News on the U.S. health care ramifications of the Trump administration’s travel restrictions. “Millions of Americans, particularly those in underserved communities, depend on foreign doctors, thousands of whom hail from countries affected by the restrictions,” he says. Read the full article here.
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its decision to uphold the visa restrictions in the Presidential Proclamation issued in September of last year. While the Court’s decision does not change the visa restrictions currently in force, it does represent the latest in a series of immigration developments that are shaping the environment in the United States, the environment that many from around the world, including talented health care professionals, aspire to join.
The Court’s decision comes just days before the traditional start of the academic year for U.S. programs of graduate medical education—those medical specialty and subspecialty training programs that transform medical school graduates into practicing physicians. Each year, thousands of foreign national physicians are selected for such training programs, and their qualifications are vetted thoroughly by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. These physicians provide much-needed health care services, enrich the clinical learning environment with their international perspectives, and add diversity to the U.S. physician workforce.
In the United States, where one-quarter of our physicians have received their medical degree outside the United States and Canada, the ability to provide accessible, high-quality health care depends on our ability to continue to attract highly qualified physicians from around the world. Anything that disrupts the flow of these talented and qualified professionals into the United States will have a negative and potentially long-term impact on patient care.
We urge immigration policymakers to consider the many contributions that foreign national physicians make to our health care system and our economy, and to ensure that United States remains an attractive option for the best and brightest minds from around the world.
ECFMG is pleased to be a part of the Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, a new initiative of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) that includes more than 130 health care organizations around the globe. By joining the collaborative, ECFMG and the other member organizations are making a formal commitment to take actions that improve clinician well-being and reduce clinician burnout.
Every year, ECFMG sponsors more than 10,000 foreign national physicians in J-1 visa status to participate in U.S. clinical training programs. These residents and fellows face a number of challenges, including the stresses of living and working in a foreign country, in addition to the significant demands of their training programs. ECFMG and its Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP) are refining a number of initiatives to support these physicians and meet their unique needs.
To learn more, read ECFMG’s Commitment to Physician Well-Being and Resilience statement on the NAM website.
On September 24, 2017, President Trump signed a proclamation that limits the entry of certain foreign nationals to the United States. This new proclamation effectively replaces Executive Order 13780, which expired on that same day.
At this time, ECFMG is reviewing the proclamation in consultation with immigration counsel and other organizations in the U.S. medical education community. As we determine what impacts the proclamation might have on international medical students and graduates, we will communicate directly with individuals that we believe may be affected. We also will provide updates to officials of U.S. graduate medical education programs.
Additional information is available on the Resources on Presidential Proclamation web page. Updates will be posted to this web page as they become available.
[posted September 26, 2017; updated October 5, 2017]
ECFMG is excited to announce the launch of its latest social media platform, a new Twitter account at https://twitter.com/ECFMG_IMG. If you are an international medical student or graduate (IMG) interested in ECFMG Certification and graduate medical education (GME) in the United States, please follow us @ECFMG_IMG to learn more about ECFMG programs, the residency application process, important deadlines, resources from ECFMG and other organizations, and much more.
IMGs comprise approximately 25% of physicians in training in the United States. ECFMG is pleased to offer Twitter to the many talented medical students and graduates who pursue ECFMG Certification and U.S. GME. We hope that you find it helpful.
For the 15th consecutive year, the number of first-year (PGY-1) residency positions offered through the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) Main Residency Match® increased. A total of 28,849 first-year positions were offered in the 2017 Match. This represents an increase of 989 positions compared to last year and an increase of more than 8,200 positions since 2002.
Compared to 2016, the number of international medical graduates (IMGs) who participated in the Match decreased by 435. While the number of IMGs who matched to first-year positions decreased by 47, the percentage of IMGs who matched increased. Of the 12,355 IMGs who participated in the 2017 Match, 6,591 (53.3%) matched. In the 2016 Match, 6,638 (51.9%) IMGs were matched to first-year positions. (The preceding data include a very small number of Fifth Pathway applicants who participated in the 2016 and 2017 Matches. For 2017, these data include two Fifth Pathway participants who are not represented in the data below.)
Of the 7,284 IMG participants who were not U.S. citizens, 3,814 (52.4%) obtained first-year positions. The number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs who obtained positions increased in 2017 for the sixth year in a row, this year by 45.
Of the 5,069 U.S. citizen IMG participants, 2,777 (54.8%) were matched to first-year positions, a decrease of 92 from last year. The number of U.S. citizen IMGs matching to first-year positions has increased in 12 of the last 14 Matches.
About the Match
The annual NRMP Match is the system by which applicants are matched with available residency positions in U.S. graduate medical education (GME) programs. Participants submit to the NRMP a list of residency programs, in order of preference. Ranked lists of preferred residency candidates are likewise submitted by U.S. GME programs with available positions. The matching of applicants to available positions is performed by computer algorithm. The Match results announced in March of each year are for GME programs that typically begin the following July.
Additional Resources on the Match and Match Results
The preceding Match data are based on the Advance Data Tables: 2017 Main Residency Match® compiled by NRMP. These tables provide detailed information on the positions offered and filled by the Match in 2017 and prior years. To access these tables, or to obtain further information on NRMP, visit www.nrmp.org.
In December of each year, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association traditionally publishes an in-depth analysis of graduate medical education in the United States. This analysis includes the number of IMGs entering and continuing in U.S. GME programs and a breakdown of IMG resident physicians by specialty and subspecialty. Visit your medical school’s library or http://jama.jamanetwork.com/journal.aspx.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) today released a final set of revisions to the professional standards that all accredited U.S. residency and fellowship programs follow. The new requirements, which take effect July 1, 2017, reinforce a culture of patient safety and physician well-being in residency training programs by strengthening the focus on patient-centered, team-based care.
While the total number of hours per week that first-year residents work will not change, the revised requirements return first-year residents to the same schedule as other residents and fellows, re-establishing the commitment to team-based care and seamless continuity of care while also ensuring professionalism, empathy, and the commitment of first-year residents to their patients. The limit on continuous work for first-year residents will return to 24 hours, a limit that has been in place nationwide for all other residents and fellows, plus up to four hours to manage necessary care transitions.
For more on the revised requirements, please read: