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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: October 10, 2017 03:47 PM
From: Representative Aaron D. Kaufer
To: All House members
Subject: Amending the Medical Practice Act of 1985 (P.L. 457, No. 112)
Dear Colleagues:

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would amend the Medical Practice Act of 1985 (P.L. 457, No. 112) bringing parity to medical residency requirements for graduates of U.S. and Canadian accredited medical colleges and their International Medical Graduate counterparts. It is my hope that you will join me in becoming a cosponsor of this important legislation and help improve access to care for patients across the Commonwealth.

Currently, graduates of U.S. and Canadian accredited medical colleges, who seek to become allopathic physicians, must successfully complete a total of two years in an approved medical residency program. Yet, under existing requirements, International Medical Graduates must complete three years of residency. My proposed legislation will change the residency requirement for International Medical Graduates from three years to two years.

The differing residency requirements were initially created in response to concerns that International Medical Graduates faced less rigorous testing and training than medical students of accredited schools. In recent years, however, International Medical Graduates have been held to the same demanding standards as their domestic peers.

Today, International Medical Graduates, just like American and Canadian students, must successfully pass the United States Medical Licensure Examinations (USMLE) Steps 1, 2, and 3, as well as a comprehensive English exam. International Medical Graduates must also receive an Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification, and complete a one-year training program – same as American and Canadian medical graduates.

Despite the stronger standards, under existing residency requirements, fully-qualified physicians who graduate from international medical schools are still required to serve an additional third year of residency before caring for patients as autonomous physicians. This is overly restrictive and creates unnecessary delays for qualified physicians wishing to treat patients.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society supports this legislation.