Although anecdotal writings about foreign medical graduates (FMGs) as well as facts about numbers have been plentiful, less information has appeared about their attributes and conditions of graduate education in the United States. Perhaps part of the explanation rests with the difficulties to be expected in attempting meaningful studies. The communication by Halberstam et al1 well exemplifies some of those difficulties.
In the setting of internships at community hospitals (nonaffiliated with university hospitals), the authors proposed to study the experience of FMGs—their types of backgrounds, personality structures, medical knowledge, motivations for immigration, performance as evaluated by supervisors, attitudes toward the training experienced, reasons for satisfaction or dissatisfaction, reasons for seeking and accepting an internship in a nonaffiliated hospital, and training programs and the effect of the presence of a director of medical education (DME). Obviously, a lot of information was desired; getting it was another thing.
Initially, random selection was
Foreign Medical Graduates. JAMA. 1971;218(4):588–589. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190170066018