America has a physician shortage. By 2025, the shortfall is projected to total 90,000 fewer physicians than needed. This health crisis can be felt across the country, but is most acute in underserved rural areas.
While there are many partial solutions in the works, one may come from an unexpected source: immigration.
The US currently permits foreign medical students to complete their studies in the United States — only to watch them return to their home countries for two years before being allowed to return to the US. The only exception to this rule is if the graduates are willing to ply their trade in a rural area.
10,000 students complete this program each year, and this number could grow. By increasing the incentives by which we attract these students to rural hospitals, this immigration channel could bring many more doctors into the United States' most neglected medical regions.
Read full article at the Niskanen Center.