August 19th, 2017

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International Medical Graduate Obstetrician-Gynecologists in United States Healthcare: Practice Patterns and Board Certification
Authors:  Dotun Ogunyemi, M.D., John Robin Boulet, Ph.D., and Paul Sobolewski, M.D.
  OBJECTIVE: To describe, based on current data, the practice patterns and board certification of international medical graduate (IMG) obstetrician-gynecologists (OBGYNs) who provide patient care in the U.S.

STUDY DESIGN: Physician data from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, American Medical Association, and American Board of Medical Specialties were combined. Descriptive statistics provided overview demographics and practice pro-files of U.S.-citizen IMGs (USIMGs), non-USIMGs, and U.S. medical graduate (USMG) OBGYNs.

RESULTS: IMGs comprise 15% of the practicing OBGYN workforce as compared to 24% for all physicians. US MD OBGYNs (mean age=46.0) are, on average, younger than IMG OBGYNs (mean age=52.1). 63% of all OBGYNs are office-based, with the lowest rate in non-USIMGs (56%). USIMGs have the highest percentage in residency (15%), with the lowest rate in non-USIMGs (6%). One in 3 OBGYN physicians in New York and New Jersey, and 1 in 5 in Florida, Michigan, and California, are IMGs. Board certification was attained by 81% of USMG OBGYNs, with lower rates for non-USIMGs (71%) and US-IMGs (60%).

CONCLUSION: IMG OBGYNs play an important role in the U.S. healthcare system. Given their numbers and propensity to practice in areas where USMGs do not, further efforts to monitor their practice patterns and qualities are warranted.
Keywords:  foreign medical graduates; graduate medical education; obstetrics and gynecology; physicians; practice patterns, physicians’
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