September 20, 1971

Medical Specialization and World Health Needs

Author Affiliations

From the Association of American Medical Colleges, Division of International Medical Education, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1971;217(12):1688-1690. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190120056010

According to the 1966 data, there were some 15,000 foreign medical graduates in postgraduate training programs in the United States. Of those in residencies, 22% were in the field of surgery, 17% in internal medicine, 10% in pediatrics. Three percent were in general practice-type programs and 48% in other specialties. About 80% of these doctors came from countries in receipt of direct US Foreign Aid and which may be said to be "developing" rather than "developed." Other foreign medical graduates were studying in programs in Canada, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Scandinavia, and Israel.

We should ask ourselves what the outcome of this level of activity is likely to be and what effects will come about when all these young doctors have completed their studies and if they return to their own countries. The subject is of double importance to the developing world because not only are the best medical graduates