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On this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Kevin Lynn, Executive Director of Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), joins us to discuss the displacement of Americans in high-skilled jobs, specifically in the field of medicine. Doctors are required to complete a post-graduate residency program in order to be licensed to practice medicine in the United States. But these taxpayer-funded programs are passing over American physicians who have been educated at U.S. medical schools in favor of foreign doctors who have trained abroad.

America faces a physician shortage, yet this spring 1,431 medical school graduates (7.2% of applicants) failed to match into a residency program at teaching hospitals in the U.S. At the same time, 4,356 foreign–trained doctors – over three times the number of jobless American medical school graduates – attained residency positions, at the cost of $150,000 per year per resident to the taxpayers.

Are American doctors less qualified than those from abroad? Lynn argues that the displacement of U.S. doctors is a product of a greater issue in the American hospital system – profits prioritized over patient health. Hospitals know that doctors from abroad are cheaper and more exploitable.

Kevin Lynn’s project, Doctors Without Jobs, seeks to build awareness of this issue and encourage policy changes that would allow more American doctors to be matched into residency programs.

In his closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, discusses his recent trip to Hungary where he spoke with Ukrainians returning home to Kiev despite the continuing war with Russia. Krikorian emphasizes the importance of helping displaced persons in close proximity to their home countries, rather than resettling them in places further away, so they can return home once the immediate emergency has passed.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Kevin Lynn is the cofounder of Doctor’s Without Jobs.


Doctors Without Jobs


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a “Conehead” on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in “Planet of the Apes”.

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  1. Ernst Rabbit von Hasenpfeffer Member
    Ernst Rabbit von Hasenpfeffer

    Lynn makes a number of factually inaccurate statements in this podcast regarding the way the Match works, physician licensure, and residency funding.  While importing foreign doctors has downsides, it’s not generally true that they are directly displacing graduates of American medical schools.  There’s a big difference in the competitiveness of various specialties, and many of the unmatched simply fell short in their attempt to find a spot in their preferred specialty.  These med school graduates will then spend a year or 2 doing research and reapply rather than accept a spot in a lesser specialty.  It is in these lesser residencies that foreign medical graduates (FMGs) are concentrated.  There’s also a subset of American medical school graduates who should never touch a patient.  Obviously the med schools are to blame for this, mostly their admission committees.  There is some ethnic nepotism in some programs favoring FMGs, but this is a marginal issue that probably doesn’t impact the larger numbers much, and is rare in the more competitive specialties.  Now how the number of residency spots in the various specialties is established is not really a rational process based on the demand for fully trained doctors.  Hospitals typically have residents because they are cheap labor.  The number of residency spots expands to meet the short term financial interests of the hospitals.  On the other end of the pipeline fully trained and certified docs march out and enter the physician labor pool.  So readily available FMGs incentivizes hospitals to expand residency spots, which then creates a surplus of licensed and certified practitioners.  Then it’s just like any other job market with salaries driven down.  But, I guess if you asked the typical man on the street, he would say that doctors are paid too much anyway.

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