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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2008 May;19(2):493-9. doi: 10.1353/hpu.0.0015.

The contribution of international medical graduates to diversity in the U.S. physician workforce: graduate medical education.

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Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



To describe the ethnicity/race and gender distribution of the international medical graduates (IMGs) qualified to enter graduate medical education (GME) and those who are actually in GME.


The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) database and the American Medical Association's Masterfile provided ethnicity/race and gender data for the pool of IMGs qualified to enter GME (ECFMG certificants from 2000-2005) and those in GME in 2005. Data for U.S. medical graduates come from Association of American Medical Colleges' publications.


Compared with USMGs, both the pool of available IMGs and those in graduate training have a larger percentage of Asians and Hispanics, a lower percentage of Blacks and American Indian/Pacific Islanders, and a much lower percentage of Whites. The groups had comparable percentages of women.


International medical graduates provide much-needed diversity in GME. Since most IMGs remain in the U.S. after training, this diversity can lead to a richer training environment, increased access to health care, and better health care outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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