Each year there are 22 percent more residencies available "than there are American graduates to take them," McNeil writes. "Graduates of foreign medical schools now fill that gap; the largest number come from India, followed by Pakistan, China, the Philippines, Iran and Israel. Many foreign graduates have J-1 visas, which give them about three years to complete their residencies. Foreign-born graduates must return home when their visas expire, but they can get extensions if they agree to work in an area that the Department of Health and Human Services considers 'medically under-served,' which is roughly defined as having less than one primary care doctor for every 3,000 people. Those who practice in an under-served area for several years can apply for green cards."
Andrea Clement, a spokeswoman for The Medicus Firm, which recruits doctors for hard-to-fill jobs, "said that 76 percent of the foreign doctors it placed last year had gone to areas with fewer than 25,000 people or to small to medium-size cities of 25,000 to 500,000," McNeil writes. It placed the most doctors in Wisconsin, followed by California, Texas, Maryland, Oregon, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio and Arizona.
In Iowa, for example, 172 doctors are from the seven countries subject to the travel ban and 23 percent of the state’s 13,000 practicing doctors were born outside the U.S., Tony Leys reports for The Des Moines Register. Alabama, which has 600 foreign-born doctors, has a program that since 1992 has supplied 27 Syrian doctors to rural and low-income areas, Amy Yurkanin reports for Alabama Media Group.