Giving Compass’ Take:
• Experts at the Migration Policy Institute analyze how the cultural and linguistic competencies of immigrant and refugee health professionals could be better utilized to provide care to a diverse population.
• Why might the skills of internationally-trained professionals currently be underutilized? How is this need to better serve a diverse population made even more urgent by the COVID-19 pandemic?
• Learn more about immigrant healthcare workers.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States with full force in March 2020, powerful images of healthcare workers under incredible strain have come from communities across the country. At the same time, the public-health crisis has hit some much harder than others, including racial and ethnic minority communities and rural areas that have long had more limited access to health care.
This issue brief looks at both how the pandemic has affected the U.S. healthcare workforce and how other, longer-term trends are shaping the sector’s future. These include the aging and increasing diversity of the U.S. population, and the upcoming retirement of many healthcare professionals. In considering both sets of issues, the brief looks at how the underutilized professional expertise and cultural and linguistic skills of internationally trained health professionals (and some U.S.-trained professionals) could be better leveraged to meet current and future demand for care. This includes about 270,000 underemployed or out-of-work immigrant and refugee health professionals, according to MPI estimates.
Read the full article about immigrant health professionals by Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix, and José Ramón Fernández-Peña at the Migration Policy Institute.
How can these immigrant and refugee health professionals’ skills be leveraged more strategically to tackle the most immediate challenges brought by the pandemic? And thinking beyond the public-health crisis, how can these professionals—who bring both technical knowledge, and linguistic and cultural skills—become a resource in a healthcare system that lacks diversity and that faces both staffing shortages and geographic mismatches?