Removing Barriers for Medical Graduates in Illinois to Help Fight COVID-19

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As the current COVID-19 pandemic reaches 1.4 million cases in the United States (U.S.) and 76,000 in the state of Illinois, the growing pandemic is placing enormous strain on Illinois’ health care safety net. International Medical Graduates (IMGs), who make more than one-quarter of all resident physicians, already play a vital part in delivering healthcare across the nation and must continue to use their talents to build our strained healthcare workforce during our current pandemic. We are asking for an emergency relaxation of the medical license requirements to allow IMGs to treat patients.

The governors of New York, New Jersey, and California have already signed executive orders to allow foreign doctors to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We want the State of Illinois to consider the following actions to remove barriers, so IMGs continue to fight COVID-19 in Illinois:

  1. Ease residency requirements for foreign-trained doctors. 
  2. Allow unmatched immigrant doctors without licenses to help.
  3. The Educational Commission For Foreign Medical Graduates should enable more immigrant doctors to join the workforce.
  4. Establish a task force to study states’ licensing requirements and processes and implement solutions to remove barriers for immigrant doctors to re-enter medicine.
  5. Streamline residency requirements and simplify application processes for J-1 visa waivers.