Visa change could affect doctors planning to serve neediest areas of Illinois

From the Tribune:

“Without (expedited) processing it could take four or five months, and they’ll just be sitting there not working and not serving the underserved communities,” Shusterman said.

The change to the visa approval process might be just one more factor that could drive away foreign doctors, who are needed to ease the nation’s doctor shortage, some say.

About 29 percent of Illinois’ licensed practicing doctors graduated from medical schools outside the U.S., and the majority of them were likely born outside the U.S., according to the Federation of State Medical Boards. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects the U.S. will have a shortage of between 46,100 and 90,400 doctors by 2025.

“There’s a concern that if the environment is not viewed as welcoming for you as an immigrant … if the feeling is ‘thanks-but-no-thanks,’ they’re going to look to other countries,” Grover said.