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The Plight of an International Medical Graduate Physician Who Is an American Citizen

Here is a compelling story of a Bulgarian trained physician who has done everything to please the US residency training programs yet she has not been offered any residency position to continue with her American dream - practicing medicine in her new home country.

 

At the same time thousands of visiting physicians on J1 and H1B visas are enrolled into residency training across America every year.

A story of Neviana Dimova, M.D., M.S.

I am a Bulgarian trained neurologist, and I represent a group of 485 foreign trained doctors, who have passed their licensing exams and certified their education through the appropriate channels, but are unable to practice because we cannot get into a U.S. residency program. We call ourselves "Residency Ready Physicians" (you can find us on Facebook). Many of our members have compelling personal stories of the struggle to enter the U.S. medical system.

According to the latest statistics, there may be as many as 6,000 U.S. citizens and permanent resident IMGs (International Medical Graduates) who have not been able to enter the required residency training. We want to work and are ready to serve where needed. We would consider it a privilege to work in a rural or inner-city area, just knowing that we have the opportunity to use our skills to help people.

Women in Medicine: How Female Doctors Have Changed the Face of Medicine

Despite the variety of challenges that women in medicine have faced, today’s female physicians continue to inspire and save lives every day

 

According to the AMA website, in 1970 fewer than eight percent of physicians in the United States were women. According to the 2011 Physician Characteristics and Distribution study, by 2009 that percentage had increased to thirty, and the number of female doctors had grown by more than six fold. Women have made and continue to make vast progress in the field of medicine, and there have been many exceptional female doctors whose accomplishments deserve to be celebrated.

In “Woman as Physician,” H.B. Elliot describes the story of Elizabeth Blackwell: as the first woman in the United States to receive a medical degree, she was one of those doctors. When Dr. Blackwell graduated from Geneva Medical College in 1849, it would still be seventy years before women would be allowed to vote and 120 before women’s admission to Yale College.  At the time, the Blackwells and other Quakers were some of the few people who believed in the equality of men and women. Indeed, when Geneva Medical College considered Dr. Blackwell’s application, the faculty asked the students to vote on her admission, with the condition that if one student objected they would not admit her. The students thought the entire issue was a joke and sent a facetious letter urging her acceptance. Even after earning her degree, Dr. Blackwell was banned from practice in most hospitals. Undeterred, in 1857 she and Dr. Marie Zakrzewska founded their own infirmary in New York. Later, during the Civil War, Dr. Blackwell trained many women to be nurses, and she eventually added a Women’s Medical College to her infirmary in order to train other female physicians.

May Edwards Chinn

May Edward Chinn did not plan on becoming a doctor

 

Originally she wanted to be a musician, but she changed from music to science after receiving encouragement from a professor at Columbia Teachers College. This fortuitous decision led to a distinguished career in medicine.

When May Chinn died in 1980, she was the recipient of honorary degrees from New York University and Columbia University. Her work in cancer research helped in the development of the Pap smear, a test for early detection of cervical cancer. She was the first African-American woman to graduate from Bellevue Hospital Medical College, one of the first female African-American physicians in New York City, and the first African-American woman to intern at Harlem Hospital.

Chinn's father escaped slavery from a Virginia plantation at the age of 11. Her mother was an indigenous American from the Chickahominy tribe who placed great value on education. She worked as a live-in housekeeper for the Tiffanys, the well-known family of artisans and jewelers, in their mansion on Long Island. She saved money from her meager wages to send May to a boarding school in New Jersey, an experience which ended when May contracted osteomyelitis of the jaw and returned to New York for surgery.

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