Foreign Medical Graduates: Providing Critical, and Quality, Care

For many, the term “talent gap” conjures up an image of rows of empty seats in IT, engineering, and manufacturing. But the talent gap is also felt in healthcare. With the high cost of medical school, and the attractive salaries of physicians that specialize, the U.S. is simply not producing enough physicians to meet demand, especially in primary care.

This shortfall is expected to rise. The Association of American Medical Colleges found that the demand for doctors will continue to outpace supply, leading to a projected shortfall of between 46,100 and 90,400 doctors by 2025, many in primary care. These shortages are compounded by the fact that large numbers of physician ‘baby boomers’ will be retiring in the next few years.

Foreign Medical Graduates (FMG’s) are filling this crucial gap. Today, they comprise nearly 30 percent of all primary care doctors in the United States and provide quality medical care that equals or exceeds that of doctors who graduated from medical schools in the U.S.

Several leading hospitals are embracing the diversity of their medical staff while ensuring seamless communication between FMG’s and their patients. Knowing that pronunciation proficiency is an essential part of communication, these hospitals are providing English pronunciation training for their providers. The results have been transformational: better patient-centered communication due to greater understandability of their physicians, increased physician confidence and engagement, and higher Press Ganey HCAHP patient survey scores.

With a fully empowered physician workforce, these hospitals are filling the talent gap while delivering excellent medical care and the quality experiences their patients demand.