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March 2, 1979

The Foreign Medical Graduate Issue and US HospitalsIn Regard to Public Law 94-484

Author Affiliations

From the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, Bellevue Hospital Center, New York.

JAMA. 1979;241(9):917-919. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290350037019

THE HEALTH Professions Educational Assistance Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-484) was intended to decrease the role of the foreign medical graduate (FMG) in American medicine and to increase the production and availability of American physicians. However, certain hospitals and the communities they serve have developed a dependence on FMGs. That US medical graduates, group practitioners, or middle-level health professionals can replace these FMGs does not appear real, at least in the near future.

To avoid any substantial disruption of health services during the transition period, Congress included a waiver for those purposes in Public Law 94-484. This was originally administered as a blanket waiver and now apparently will be extended on a case-by-case basis until 1980 in accordance with Public Law 95-83. Plans beyond 1980 are unclear.

According to a recent study by the American Medical Association, 23% of house staff positions surveyed were filled, as of July 1977,