Study Finds International Medical Graduates Underemployed in U.S.

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Apr 09, 2024 | 0 Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a number of flaws in the United States healthcare industry over the past few years. Many facilities were not prepared for the sudden influx of ill patients, finding that there was a lack of space, a lack of beds, and even a lack of medical professionals themselves. As such, doctors have been in hot demand across the country. It would stand to reason that in these trying times, healthcare facilities would grasp at any option to bring qualified physicians into the workforce — including those who were trained internationally. However, a new study has found that a majority of foreign-trained doctors are finding the country's licensing process to be so tricky to navigate that they end up settling for lower-paying jobs for which they are overqualified

If you are an immigrant or refugee doctor having a tough time getting your physician's license in America, the Lento Law Firm is here to help. Our Professional License Defense Team assists clients across the country as they fight to gain and retain their professional licenses. Chat with us today by calling 888-535-3686 or leave your information via our contact form

The Recent Study 

According to a January study conducted by Upwardly Global, a non-profit focusing on professional career services for immigrants and refugees, international medical graduates (IMGs) are having a very difficult time getting their physician's license after immigrating to the United States. In an 18-year time period, 85 percent of IMGs found employment, but only 33 percent became medical residents or doctors. 

These are troubling numbers, and they point to a larger problem with the medical licensing process: an unwillingness to look beyond a candidate's surface-level metrics and achievements. American licensing boards see large gaps between a person's schooling and their license application and assume there is a problem with the candidate. In reality, they have been working as a physician the entire time, albeit in a location or setting the board doesn't dig deep enough to recognize. 

This is patently unfair to foreign-trained doctors who have worked hard their whole lives only to have their chosen careers ripped from their hands when they immigrate. Luckily, some states — such as Alabama, Tennessee, and Washington — have instituted new policies that allow IMGs to practice medicine more easily by waiving residency requirements or issuing temporary licenses. For more information regarding your state's specific licensing practices, see our comprehensive webpage.  

The Lento Law Firm Helps IMGs 

As an IMG attempting to secure a physician's license, having a qualified legal team is a must. Oftentimes, the IMGs that licensing boards deny are more qualified than the American-trained ones boards approve; the only difference is that the resumes of IMGs require the board to have an understanding of foreign training practices — which many, unfortunately, do not.  

The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team has years of experience dealing with state medical licensing boards. Our attorneys can lay out your qualifications in a way that will help the board better understand the strengths you bring to the profession. For a consultation, contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or by filling out our online form

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento has unparalleled experience fighting for the futures of his professional clients nationwide. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment


Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are committed to answering your questions about Physician License Defense, Nursing License Defense, Pharmacist License Defense, Psychologist and Psychiatrist License Defense, Dental License Defense, Chiropractic License Defense, Real Estate License Defense, Professional Counseling License Defense, and Other Professional Licenses law issues nationwide.
The Lento Law Firm will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.