Squeezed Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi

According to Forbes Magazine, the US will face a shortage of between 46,000 and 90,000 physicians by 2025. This fact was predicted in the early 1990’s due to the aging Baby Boomer generation and the high proportion of practicing physicians among the Baby Boomers. Currently, one in four US Physicians is an International Medical Graduate (IMG), and many come from majority Muslim countries. We have written extensively about the high number of International Medical Graduates among US Physicians as it relates to terrorism and other All-Hazard Preparedness, based on the relatively high number of attacks and activities perpetrated by physicians with terrorist organizations. Important examples include Dr. Al Zawahiri, Bin Laden’s second in command and Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, the suicide bomber who blew himself up killing many at Camp Chapman post in Khost, Afghanistan, and Dr. Nidal Hassan who carried out the Ft. Hood Massacre, and the group of 45 UK-based physicians who planned a massive attack on the US, and the botched car bombing attacks that led to the arrest of 7 UK physicians.

The US Healthcare industry is struggling with many issues today, and this lack of trained personnel to meet the growing demand does not seem to be at the top of this list. We all understand the rapidly changing Immigration policies concerning H1B and J1 visas into America, what is lost on many is the huge international industry revolving around supplying the diplomas, certifications, travel and study visas, letters of recommendation and other “documentation requirements” necessary to even begin the process.

The industry is now beginning to clamor for lighter restrictions for IMGs to obtain H1B visas and practice in the US, as seen in this Fierce HealthCare article, which seems to suggest it is easy to just allow more physicians into the country. The truth is we need to balance the needs of physician supply with the opened-eyed realization that not all International Medical Graduates will necessarily our best interests in mind.