Last Updated: Jun 11, 2020
On June 9, 2020, the Pennsylvania House unanimously approved legislation that levels the playing field for international medical graduates relative to medical licensure. The bill – HB 1947, introduced by Rep. Aaron Kaufer – now moves to the Senate for consideration.
International medical graduates (IMGs) in Pennsylvania – that is, physicians who graduated from a medical school outside of the U.S. and Canada – are required to complete three years of Graduate Medical Education (GME) training in a residency program to be eligible for full licensure. By contrast, U.S. and Canadian medical graduates must complete two years of residency to become fully licensed.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) believes that the current requirements for IMG physicians create unnecessary delays for qualified physicians who wish to begin treating patients. IMG physicians are held to the same demanding educational standards as students attending medical schools in the U.S. and Canada, and the training requirements for licensure should reflect that.
PAMED's supports HB 1947. Should the legislation be enacted, it could alleviate access to care issues for patients in the commonwealth.
What Steps Has PAMED Taken to Ensure Parity for Medical Residents in Pennsylvania?
In October 2015, the Pennsylvania Medical Society's IMG Section brought the issue of medical residency requirements parity to the attention of PAMED's House of Delegates (HOD).
The physician delegates at the HOD adopted a policy supporting parity between IMGs and American and Canadian medical school graduates who wish to obtain a Pennsylvania medical license to practice as autonomous physicians. They voted for PAMED to aggressively pursue that parity, including by legislative means.
PAMED's supports Rep. Kaufer's bill. We are in contact with Senate staff and are urging legislators to advance the legislation as quickly as possible. We will be closely monitoring the bill’s progress in the Senate and will share any updates with members.