Foreign-born doctor program is not easing Ohio's physician shortage

The Associated Press

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting Monday that Ohio’s program for foreign-born medical graduates is not easing the state’s shortage of primary care doctors.

Foreign-born doctors across the country can apply for a visa waiver if they agree to practice in an underserved community for three years. The programs have become a major source of medical service for rural and poor communities.

The paper has found that more than half of the doctors who joined Ohio’s program in the past two years are working as specialists at major hospitals, not primary care doctors.

The paper reports that foreign-born doctors prefer big cities over rural areas, where wages are often lower.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Alvin Jackson said he plans to review the program.
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