Don't let IMG externships become a lucrative and exploitative business

LETTER — Posted April 23, 2007

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Regarding "IMG externships, career investment" (Article, March 26):

It was interesting and somewhat distressing to read about a looming business regarding externs in training. It is not appropriate to charge foreign doctors any fee for allowing them to observe patient care.

I feel international medical graduates are already shelling out a lot of money to pay for the USMLEs (not forgetting the extra burden of coming to the United States to take the clinical exam). They are already strapped for cash unless they have wealthy relatives to support them. And all this for residency positions that are not even guaranteed.

I did an externship myself, free of charge, at a local hospital, and it was excellent.

Well-established doctors in practice can provide their expertise and tips without charging, as a kind gesture. I am sure we were all helped by Good Samaritans at some time or the other, when we came here.

This should not become just another lucrative business of exploiting the already stressed-out IMGs.

And IMGs should not be under the impression that externships (paid or otherwise) are a sure way to get a residency position.

If that be the case, then the American Medical Association and hospital programs must think of ways of providing such training in more and more hospitals -- free of charge.

Hema Padmanabhan, MD, Rockville, Md.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/04/23/edlt0423.htm.

Back to top




Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn