A recent Daily Bruin article highlights a unique medical program at UCLA, the International Medical Graduate Program. This retraining program recruits recent medical graduates from Spanish-speaking countries and prepares them for the U.S. medical board licensing exams. It also helps them apply to family medicine residency programs.
The program was established in 2006 as an effort to increase the number of Spanish-speaking doctors in California. 36% of California’s population is Hispanic, yet only 5% of physicians in the state are native Spanish speakers. Approximately one-third of Spanish-speaking immigrants in California are not proficient English speakers and therefore have little or no access to suitable medical care.
Graduates of the IMG program must return to California after their residencies and serve in communities that are in need of Spanish-speaking doctors.
The article discusses ways in which these doctors will not just help reach underserved communities through a common language, but through a common culture as well.
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