Live Online Policy Forum

Doctors with Borders: Embracing the Potential of Immigrant Doctors

August 5, 2020 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT

Live Online

Featuring Paul J. Larkin, Jr., JD, Senior Legal Research Fellow, Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, Heritage Foundation; Maqbool Halepota, MD, FACP, CPE, (@maqhalepota), Medical Director/​Managing Partner, Palo Verde Cancer Center; Alex Nowrasteh, MS (@AlexNowrasteh), Director of Immigration Studies, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute; moderated by Jeffrey A. Singer, MD, FACS (@dr4liberty), Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.

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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.

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