Reconfiguring a One-Way Street: A Position Paper on Why and How to Improve Equity in Global Physician Training

James C. Hudspeth, Tracy L. Rabin, Bradley A. Dreifuss, Mylo Schaaf, Michael S. Lipnick, Christiana M. Russ, Amy Meg Autry, Michael B. Pitt, Virginia Rowthorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Large numbers of U.S. physicians and medical trainees engage in hands-on clinical global health experiences abroad, where they gain skills working across cultures with limited resources. Increasingly, these experiences are becoming bidirectional, with providers from low- and middle-income countries traveling to experience health care in the United States, yet the same hands-on experiences afforded stateside physicians are rarely available for foreign medical graduates or postgraduate trainees when they arrive. These physicians are typically limited to observership experiences where they cannot interact with patients in most U.S. institutions. In this article, the authors discuss this inequity in global medical education, highlighting the shortcomings of the observership training model and the legal and regulatory barriers prohibiting foreign physicians from engaging in short-term clinical training experiences. They provide concrete recommendations on regulatory modifications that would allow meaningful short-term clinical training experiences for foreign medical graduates, including the creation of a new visa category, the designation of a specific temporary licensure category by state medical boards, and guidance for U.S. host institutions supporting such experiences. By proposing this framework, the authors hope to improve equity in global health partnerships via improved access to meaningful and productive educational experiences, particularly for foreign medical graduates with commitment to using their new knowledge and training upon return to their home countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-489
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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