Indian medical students’ US dream & green card backlog on AAPI plate

RITU JHA

Medical students in India who want to come to the United States would be interested to know that the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin is nudging the Indian government to sign a key accreditation with the World Federation for Medical Education before 2024.

AAPI president Dr Anupama Gotimukula told indica News that the new rule says India or any country to sending their medical students for residency to the US should be accredited by the WFME.

AAPI is one of the largest and most influential doctors’ groups in the United States that has 130 chapters that include more than 100,000 physicians in the nation.

After 2024 no students can come to the US without WFME accreditation,” Dr Gotimukula said, adding that AAPI has been in talks with the National Medical Commission in India.

APPI is in the forefront to promote medical education,” she said. “We want Indian medical students to come to the US for residency. We are pushing the NMC to work on accreditation.”

Dr Gotimukula, who joined AAPI in 2010, also called the green card backlog a burning issue.

Indian physicians who are waiting for green cards and are on H-1B visa, they work in rural areas…. In some areas there is only one doctor. If that doctor does not get the green card, then he has to leave the country and return back to India,” she pointed out.

She said: “We lobbied during Trump and now with the Biden administration to expedite the green card process. Hopefully, I will achieve something this year…. We are saying doctors should not be pulled in the general pool.”

She cited the scarcity of doctors in the rural areas of the US. After finishing residency, doctors on J-1 visas have to go and work in the rural areas for three years. If they want to stay in the US, they convert it to an H-1B visa.

So we are working on J-1 visa waiver — that they be not sent back to their country because after serving so much once you go back there is no guarantee you will come back. The J-1 visa should be getting green card directly,” Gotimukula said.

AAPI, she said, will start a blood donation drive in 75 US cities from August 15 onwards to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day.

She also sounded a warning about Covid in America.

Look Covid is rising among unvaccinated people, and 40 percent of the country is still not vaccinated and they are a silent carrier,” she said. “We are seeing more in the immune-compromised patients — even though they are vaccinated they are getting sick. That is why we need to follow three mantras: wear masks every time you go out, use sanitizer, and social distancing.”

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