Monday, April 21, 2014

Physician shortage and foreign-trained doctors are subject of talk

Physician shortage and foreign-trained doctors are subject of talk
La Mesa Courier
Apr 21, 2014

Challenges facing foreign-trained doctors eager to practice in California at a time when physician shortages are expected to get worse will be the topic of a forum sponsored by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, the Grossmont College-based Welcome Back Center, and UC San Diego's School of Medicine on April 22 at UCSD.

The Association of American Medical Colleges has forecast a shortage of more than 91,500 doctors by 2020 and 130,600 by 2025, a shortage that could be exacerbated by the millions of Americans securing health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

"Meanwhile, there are thousands of foreign-trained doctors that have scored well on U.S. medical exams but they cannot find residencies in the U.S., and there is little to no support for them to become doctors in this country," said Gail Patterson, program manager at the Welcome Back Center at Grossmont College, which was developed to aid internationally trained healthcare workers that have moved to California.

Speakers at the April 22 event include:

Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy, professor and division chief of Global Health at the UCSD Department of Preventative Medicine. Al-Delaimy practiced medicine in his native Iraq and then Jordan between 1991 and 1995 before finishing his Ph.D. from Otago University in New Zealand in 2000. He was a Research Fellow and Research associate at Harvard School of Public Health between 2000-2004, a scientist with the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2003, and a faculty member at UCSD since 2004.

Dr. David E.J. Bazzo, a clinical professor in family and preventative medicine who has been named a Top Doctor in family medicine by the San Diego County Medical Society and San Diego Magazine every year since 2005.

Dr. Esmatullah Hatamy, assistant clinical professor of family and preventative medicine at the Global Health Initiative who graduated from Kabul Afghanistan Medical School in 1988 and has been a member of the Afghan Medical Association Board of Directors.

Dr. Dustin Lillie, a primary care physician who is an associate clinical professor of medicine at UCSD.

The April 22 forum is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Medical Education and Telemedicine Building, Room 141, at 9500 Gilman Drive on the UC San Diego campus. Those attending can learn about what foreign-trained doctors need to do to secure residencies in the United States and discuss the general U.S. health care system's pending challenges.

UCSD Medical Center is interested in developing a program with the Welcome Back Center that would help foreign- trained doctors traverse the complex path of U.S. medical exams and residency applications that would increase their chances of getting a residency and becoming licensed to work in California.

The Welcome Back Center offers a wide range of services to immigrant healthcare workers who wish to obtain professional credentials. The Welcome Back Center is a division of the Health Workforce Initiative (HWI) program of the California Community Colleges. Ann Durham, based at Grossmont College, directs the HWI program in behalf of nine community colleges serving San Diego and Imperial counties.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Gail Patterson at (619) 644-7206 or administrative assistant Samantha Cardenas at (619) 644-7059.

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