The International Medical Graduates Section (IMGS) provides these profiles as a forum for international medical graduate physicians who are AMA members to share their experiences in the United States.
If you know a physician, perhaps yourself, who is an IMG and an AMA member, and would like to be considered for a profile on this website, send an email to [email protected].
Featured physician profiles
Busharat Bush Ahmad, MD
Busharat Ahmad, MD, is one of the most well-known and respected IMGs in the United States.
How did you come to practice medicine in the U.S.? Briefly tell us your history of how and why you came to the U.S.
"I wanted to do my post graduate studies either in England or in the United States. I chose this country for its freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of religion. Also, I wanted to be where education and research is at its premium."
What advice would you give to an international medical graduate coming to the U.S. today?
"Before you decide to come to this country, be sure of your goals and plans for the future. The decision to uproot has to be combined with your total commitment to your profession. You have to abide by the laws, rules and regulations of the medical system in this country, while you make sure that you achieve your goal to succeed in the field you want to pursue. Remember: to rise above the norm and succeed, you must become part of the system. You must be an integral part of medical organizations. Work from within so that you may be able to have a say in the decision-making process. Do not isolate yourself, but assimilate into the system."
Dr. Ahmad’s experience (PDF)
Navin C. Shah, MD, MS, FACS, FICS, FACIP
As a leader on IMG issues, Dr. Shah shares his personal story and insights.
What advice would you give to an IMG coming to the U.S. today?
"The present system of pre-residency examination and obtaining a residency position is much better now than when I came to the United States in 1971. For decades there was a two-tier system of evaluating IMGs and U.S. medical graduates in the pre-residency examinations and in securing a residency position. Now the whole process is by and large equal for IMGs and U.S. medical graduates. IMGs should concentrate on the examinations by taking classes and seeking guidance on the process as the U.S. system varies from the systems in many other countries that judge medical knowledge as well as the physician’s expertise in the English language. I think IMGs should apply to as many programs as possible because the competition is tough, not only with U.S. medical graduates, but also with other IMGs as there are a limited number of openings."
"Many IMGs have also found it advantageous to work in well-known research institutions prior to applying for a residency position because that experience and interest in research is taken into consideration when applying for a residency position. The bottom line for IMGs’ successful acceptance lies in their scores in all of the examinations and fluency in the English language. In the United States, hard work, sincerity, dedication and expertise in the subject usually assures success."
Advice from Dr. Shah (PDF)
Sumir Sahgal, MD
Sahgal, who was recently recognized as “House Calls Doctor of the Year” by the American Academy of Home Care Medicine, founded EssenMED House Calls in 2005 as a means of caring for some of his frailest, elderly patients who had discontinued in-office visits.