International medical graduates (IMGs) account for more than 23% of physicians in the United States and play a vital role in health care. Compared with U.S. medical school graduates, IMGs provide medical care to a disproportionate number of socioeconomically disadvantaged patients in underserved communities. IMGs also help to fill the gap in several medical specialties that are seeing a shortage of new physicians, including primary care.
Here are five AMA members and IMG physicians giving a voice to, and advocating for, issues that affect their patients and fellow doctors.
Tani Malhotra, MD
As a maternal-fetal medicine fellow at Case Western Reserve University’s Metrohealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Dr. Malhotra moves medicine through education and advocacy. She educates her patients about their diagnoses and measures that are preventative or curative, so she can empower them to take control of their health and lives. Dr. Malhotra also advocates for her patients and physician colleagues at the institutional, local and national level to help doctors provide the best care and work towards the combined goal of improved health outcomes.
Ricardo Correa, MD
AMA International Medical Graduates Section (IMGS) Governing Council Member-At-Large Dr. Correa—an endocrinologist who is assistant professor of medicine in the department of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University—volunteers in a free clinic and finds gratitude in a simple “thank you” from his patients. He feels nothing is more valuable for a physician than the smile and thanks from a patient.
Saby Karuppiah, MD
His mother struggled with lack of health care during her childhood, but always instilled in Dr. Karuppiah—a family physician at HCA Midwest Health in Overland Park, Kansas and member-at-large of the AMA-IMGS Governing Council—the feeling that he needed to help as many people as he could. He continues to move medicine by empowering patients and preventing physician burnout.
Subhash Chandra, MD
As immediate past chair of the AMA-IMGS Governing Council and a forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Chandra continues to educate his fellow physicians and patients of the emerging health care crisis. He also reminds patients and physicians of their right to mental, physician and spiritual well-being. One aspect of Dr. Chandra’s work that means the most to him is his patients’ contentment when their hopes are realized.
Omer Bajwa, MD
Through his desire to always want to help people, Dr. Bajwa, a prospective internal medicine resident in Silver Spring, Maryland, found that through learning the science of medicine he can improve the lives of his patients. Dr. Bajwa’s hope for medicine is that, with advancements being made every day, it can further improve the efficiency of different health care settings.