Shortages in the US

The Associate Press reports on the situation of physician shortages in many rural areas in the US . Several factors were raised including working conditions and post 9-11 visa situation. No discussion on the implications on brain drain from other countries though.


"The government estimates that more than 35 million Americans live in underserved areas, and it would take 16,000 doctors to immediately fill that need, according to the American Medical Association. And the gap is expected to widen dramatically over the next several years, reaching 24,000 in 2020 by one government estimate. A 2005 study in the journal Health Affairs said it could hit an astonishing 200,000 by then, based on a rising population and an aging work force."

"J-1 visa waivers allow foreign doctors to work in underserved areas for three to five years, with a shot at eventually obtaining permanent residency. Over each of the past three years, about 1,000 practicing physicians have come to the U.S. on J-1 visa waivers. Many of them are from unstable or undeveloped countries and come here in search of better training, working conditions and pay. Yet, since 9-11, the federal government has made it more difficult to qualify for the special visas and to obtain permanent residency."