Report of the Foreign Trained Health Professional Licensing Pilot Project

Sally Sutton and Vanessa Sylvester
Date of Publication: 
October, 2020
Source Organization: 

This report is an overview of results of a pilot project in Maine to increase the diversity and cultural competence of the healthcare workforce by reducing the barriers to training, licensing, and employment faced by foreign trained health professionals. Many immigrants and minority group members face barriers themselves to accessing health services, as seen in the disparate effects of the Coronavirus across population groups. The premise behind this project is that greater workforce diversity would make the entire system more culturally competent. The recommendations in this report take into account the fact that the majority of foreign-trained health professionals in Maine are refugees. The authors recommend a series of modifications to state programs, licensing requirements, higher education, and employer practices in order to put more doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others working at or close to their former training fulfilling diversity and staffing deficiencies. Health employers, for example, can help their entry-level employees develop a career plan and gain the experience necessary to qualify for licensure. The report asserts that the problems faced by foreign-trained health professionals are “deep-seated systemic issues that require a concerted and collaborative effort for change at a number of different levels by a wide range of stakeholders.” The report also gives recommendations for specific health care professions. (Julianne P. Weis, Ph.D.)

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Sutton, S. & Sylvester, V. (2020, October). Report of the Foreign Trained Health Professional Licensing Pilot Project. New Mainers Resources Center & Portland Adult Education.