International recruitment of allied health professionals to the United States: Piecing together the picture with imperfect data

Patricia Pittman, Bianca Frogner, Emily Bass, Courtney Dunham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Research on the international recruitment of health professionals to the U.S. has focused almost exclusively on physicians and nurses; we are aware of no research on the migration of allied health professionals. OBJECTIVE: We examined the strengths and weaknesses of various public and private data sources on foreign-educated allied health professions in the U.S. and patched together a picture of these migrants. We focus on pharmacists, physical therapists (PTs), occupational therapists (OTs), speech language pathologists (SLPs), and medical and clinical laboratory technicians (lab techs). FINDINGS: Based on the American Community Survey, we found that 12% of PTs, 12% of lab techs, 8% of pharmacists, 4% of OTs, and 3% of SLPs are foreign-born and entered the U.S. at age 21 or older. Among foreign-born PTs, about half remain as non-citizens, suggesting the highest proportion of recent arrivals among the five professions. CONCLUSIONS: As Congress debates comprehensive immigration reform, one of the much need changes to the system is better immigration data, disaggregated by occupation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)79-87
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Allied Health
    Volume43
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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