International Medical Graduates in the United States Psychiatry Workforce

Robbert J. Duvivier*, Peter F. Buckley, Andrés Martin, John R. Boulet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: This study describes the supply, distribution, and characteristics of international medical graduate (IMG) psychiatrists who provide services in the USA. Methods: Cross-sectional study design, using descriptive statistics based on combined data from the American Medical Association (2020 Physician Masterfile) and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. Results: International medical graduates continue to make significant contributions to the US physician workforce. As a group, they represent 29% of active psychiatrists in the USA, compared to 23% in all other medical specialties. Many IMG psychiatrists were US citizens who obtained their medical degrees outside the USA or Canada, often in the Caribbean. In some states (i.e., Florida, New Jersey), over 40% of active psychiatrists are IMGs. Over 30% of IMG psychiatrists graduated from medical schools in India and Pakistan. Conclusions: This study provides an overview of the psychiatric workforce in the USA, quantifying the specific contribution of IMGs. Several factors, including immigration policies, continued expansion of US medical schools, and the number of available residency positions, could impact the flow of IMGs to the US. Longitudinal studies are needed to better understand the implications for workforce composition and distribution, and their potential impact on the care of psychiatric patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-434
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number4
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

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