International Medical Graduates on J-1 and H-1B Visas: Understanding Trends in their Contributions to Health Care Delivery for Rural Underserved Populations

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2009
Anticipated completion date:
November 2019

Statement of the Problem: International medical graduates (IMGs) are an important source of physicians within the United States, particularly in rural and underserved areas. Essential data, however, are not available to inform federal and state policies related to IMG supply.

Goals: This study will seek to (1) identify and synthesize available information regarding the contributions to rural health care delivery of IMGs residing in the U.S. on temporary educational and employment visas (J-1 and H-1B), (2) quantify trends in IMGs' immigration and practice patterns, (3) prioritize key unanswered questions and data needs, and (4) explore feasible approaches to integrating existing data and collecting new data where necessary to address key questions.

Methods: We will establish an expert workgroup consisting of IMG research and policy stakeholders that will guide the project and facilitate the building of a coalition of interested agencies and organizations aimed at improving data availability for policy-relevant research. We will summarize and update literature related to IMGs' immigration and practice patterns and identify key overarching questions of interest. We will then provide an overview of available data sources and additional resources needed to answer key questions. Accomplishing these steps will help to determine future study directions and lay groundwork for future data integration and collection efforts.

Anticipated Publications: The project findings will be presented as a Final Report and associated Policy Brief, a manuscript to be submitted for publication, and at national research and policy meetings.