IMG performance study in Health Affairs

Patients treated by foreign-born doctors who trained in other countries fare just as well as people treated by doctors educated in the United States, a new study has found.</p>

<p>But the results are not as good when the doctor is an American who went to medical school overseas and then returns to practice, the researchers determined. In that situation, patients with heart disease have longer hospital stays and slightly higher death rates. </p>

<p>Graduates of foreign medical schools now make up a quarter of all the practicing doctors in the United States. In order to qualify here, they have to pass a series of rigorous exams and complete residency training. About one-fifth of the foreign-trained doctors in the United States are Americans who studied abroad, often at medical schools in the Caribbean. Most foreign-born doctors in the United States come from India or Pakistan and initially studied medicine in those countries.</p>

<p>The study is being published Tuesday in the August issue of the journal Health Affairs.


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