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July 22, 1974

Naturalization of Foreign Medical Graduates

Author Affiliations

From the Department Masonic Medical Center, of Psychiatry, Illinois Chicago.

JAMA. 1974;229(4):434-435. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230420046024

STATISTICS, however objective, have the unforgiveable tendency of stirring dormant but powerful emotions in all of us. The current figures on licenses awarded in the past year will undoubtedly foment new fears and rekindle old grievances. The report disclosing foreign medical graduates to be the numerically dominant group among the new licentiates is bound to alarm segments of the medical profession concerned about the influx of these physicians into the private practice of medicine. Their entry into private practice, long impossible because of restrictive licensure laws, will provide more flexibility in the career choice of foreign medical graduates and will stimulate increased competition within the field of private practice.

On the other hand, the pointed inclusion of failure ratios of foreign physicians as compared with those of American graduates will exacerbate the resentment prevalent in this already embattled medical minority. It is quite likely that many foreign physicians will interpret