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May 1971

Foreign Medical Graduates and Surgery in the US

Arch Surg. 1971;102(5):532-533. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350050098028

Fourteen percent (40,000) of the 280,000 physicians working in the United States are graduates of foreign medical schools. Three-fourths of these 40,000 entered as noncitizens; 10,000 are US citizens trained abroad. Twenty-five percent of the interns and 32% of the residents are foreign medical graduates (FMGs), the figure for surgical residents being 35%.

The trend is increasing. In 1960, 6.0% of surgeons qualified by the American Board of Surgery were FMGs; in 1969, it was 27.2%. These figures are a few examples of many that document the increasing part of our medical manpower that consists of physicians trained abroad. Surgery is involved to as great an extent as any of the specialities, and more so than some.

The Drain and the Gain.—Each year the number of FMGs admitted to the United States has been close to the number produced by the US medical schools in that year. In 1967,

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