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The COVID-19 pandemic made state and federal lawmakers acutely aware of how state‐based regulation of clinicians contributes to the overall shortage of health care providers and obstructs their rapid response to public health emergencies. Governors tacitly acknowledged this when they issued executive actions temporarily suspending most of these regulations. Policymakers should learn from this. States should reform health care practitioner licensing laws to allow providers to move more quickly to areas where they are needed, which will allow patients better access to health care. State medical licensing laws block a large pool of experienced and motivated health care practitioners from other countries who are eager to come to America and provide health care.
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Becoming a doctor anywhere in the world takes a tremendous effort and years of preparation. It is one of the most demanding and competitive job fields in the U.S. As challenging as it is for native‐born Americans to practice medicine, the path to becoming a doctor as an immigrant, even for seasoned medical professionals in their home country, is far more strenuous.
- “Solve imminent physician shortage by licensing foreign doctors,” by Jeffrey A. Singer
- “Governors Send Out S.O.S. for More Doctors—Immigrant Doctors Can Heed the Call,” by Jeffrey A. Singer
- “COVID-19 and the Provisional Licensing of Qualified Medical School Graduates as Physicians,” by Paul J. Larkin Jr., The Heritage Foundation
- “Reforming American Medical Licensure,” by Kevin Dayaratna, Ph.D., Paul J. Larkin, Jr., John O’Shea, M.D.