To Whom it May Concern:
We are U.S. Citizen/Green Card holding Certified Foreign Medical Graduates. We would like to be able to bypass the Physician's Assistant school program in order to practice as Physician's Assistant in the United States.
By successfully passing all of the United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE) Step exams (including Step 3) and with 1 year of residency training, a physician is deemed "fully qualified" to practice unsupervised medicine with an unrestricted medical license as a general practitioner. By passing the USMLE Step 1, 2 CK, and 2 CS exams, we are qualified to apply for medical residency training to obtain our license to legally practice a specialty of medicine in the USA.
Residency positions are very scarce in the USA, when compared to the volume of applicants, and many of the programs have requirements for consideration. Among these requirements are research experience, U.S. clinical experience, U.S. letters of recommendations, and recent graduation from medical school. We feel that we are discriminated because we are foreign medical graduates (although we are U.S. Citizens/Green Card holders) and it is very difficult for us to compete with the United States Medical graduates who have the funding to complete their residency trainings or because we do not fulfill many of the requirements that program directors enforce.
Many times, we have to settle for less demanding jobs, such as Medical Assistants, Medical Technologists, research assistants, caregivers, or even jobs unrelated to medicine; our talents and knowledge are being wasted! When applying to healthcare-related, non-physician jobs, we are labeled overqualified or turned down because we do not have certificates, such as nursing or certified nursing assistant degrees, making it hard to find jobs that fit us.
We are more than qualified to do a Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner job. We ask acknowledgment that if a U.S. foreign medical graduate, who is ECFMG-certified, is qualified to practice medicine under direct supervision as medical residents, then they should also be qualified to work as a Physician's Assistant (who are also licensed to practice medicine under direct supervision) or in a Rural setting. Foreign Medical Graduates are qualified to work under the Federal Bureau of Prisons as Physician's Assistant without a USMLE certification. There's no difference between Physician's Assistant in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and outside of it. How is it distinguished that foreign graduates are only qualified to work as Physician's Assistant in the Federal bureau of Prisons?
We need your support to challenge the Physician's Assistant requirements/tests. It is not fair for us to redo courses such as Biology, Algebra, and Chemistry (among others) in order to qualify to apply for Physician's Assistant schooling, when we already have a recognized medical degree, experience, knowledge, and certification to do the job. This is just a waste of time, money, and resources.
There is a shortage of physicians in the United States, especially in the underserved areas and mid-level practitioners have filled these positions, but they lack the clinical and scientific knowledge and experience that a physician can offer and many times, a fully licensed physician is unavailable to tackle cases that are out of the NP and PA capabilities.
We are U.S. Citizens who want a chance to work as healthcare providers to serve our communities. We are not asking for special favors, we are simply asking for an opportunity to work in what we are trained to do, as long as we are certified to be able to do it.
Thank you for your consideration.