IMGs face an agony-filled wait when facing security-related visa delays

LETTER — Posted Sept. 5, 2005

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Regarding "Security-related delays, worries continue to plague IMGs" (Article, Aug. 8): It is sad to read of the ordeals of several international medical graduates in general, and Pakistani doctors' dilemmas in particular, regarding the hardship in terms of securing a visa to get back in the United States.

I am a huge example of this myself. I went back to Pakistan in June 2002, after finishing my residency in internal medicine. I had a waiver job waiting for me in rural Utah. I got stuck for seven months, and like the situation of Rizwan Khalid, MD, as described in your article, missed my boards. The hospital not only kept waiting for me, they even asked their senator and congressman to get me back faster. Words cannot describe the pain and agony one goes through during that blind wait. Your whole career and life's struggle seem to be going down the drain in front of you, yet you can do nothing about it.

I didn't go back to Pakistan this year, and doubt that I will go next year to attend my sister's wedding. The AMA should do much more in this regard for IMGs, specially Pakistani doctors.

Kashif Memon, MD, Vernal, Utah

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/09/05/edlt0905.htm.

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