Purpose: The contribution that international medical graduates (IMGs) make to reducing the rural-urban physician maldistribution in the United States has implications for medical workforce planning. This study compared the practice location of IMGs and U.S. medical graduates (USMGs) in primary care specialties. Method: We used the 2002 American Medical Association Physician Masterfile to determine the practice location of all primary care physicians. Their locations were linked to Rural-Urban Commuting Areas and aggregated into urban, large rural, small rural, and isolated small rural areas. We determined the difference between the percentages of IMGs and USMGs in each type of geographic area for each Census Division and state. Results: One-quarter of the 205,063 primary care physicians were IMGs. They were significantly more likely than USMGs to be female; older; practicing in internal medicine, general practice, or pediatrics; and less likely to practice family medicine. IMGs appeared more likely than USMGs to practice in urban areas, and, with the exception of the East South Central and West North Central Divisions, less likely to practice in rural areas. IMGs were more likely than USMGs to practice in urban areas in 7 states, and less likely to practice in urban areas of 13 states. For rural areas combined, there were 18 states in which IMGs were more likely to practice and 16 in which they were less likely to practice than USMGs. Conclusions: The practice location of IMGs in primary care specialties appeared similar to that of USMGs. While IMGs filled gaps in rural primary care, this varied widely across states. IMGs were a core component of the primary care system, and must be considered in planning the future medical workforce.
|Thompson M, Hagopian A, Fordyce MA, Hart LG||Do international medical graduates (IMGs) "fill the gap" in rural primary care in the United States? A national study||PUBLICATION||04-01-2009||Article|
|Thompson M, Hagopian A, Fordyce MA, Hart LG||Do international medical graduates "fill the gap" in rural primary care in the United States? A national study||PUBLICATION||01-31-2006|
|Thompson M, Hagopian A, Fordyce MA, Hart LG||Do international medical graduates “fill the gap” in rural primary care in the United States? A national study||PUBLICATION||01-31-2006|