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June 17, 1968


JAMA. 1968;204(12):1137-1138. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140250117017

The accelerating flow of foreign medical graduates (FMGs) into the U Shas heightened interest in a number of unresolved issues, including the problem of their licensure. This State Board Number, like those of the past several years, again suggests the need to reexamine our methods for determining the professional competence of physicians who have received their medical education outside of the United States and Canada.

State medical boards of necessity maintain a close relationship with medical schools in this country and depend heavily on the accrediting processes which provide them assurance of at least minimal qualities of education. Since all medical schools currently in operation in the United States are accredited, the basic requirement of all boards for medical licensure is graduation from medical school. The low failure rate in some state examinations suggests that further examinations are almost superfluous.

Foreign medical graduates offer much less impressive qualifications, primarily because