CA program trains Spanish-speaking doctors

Far too often, foreign-trained physicians from Spanish-speaking countries come here and find themselves unable to practice medicine, in part because they're not prepared to pass U.S. medical licensing exams. Given the surge in Spanish-speaking patients in the U.S., however, their skills are desperately needed, particularly in California, where 33 percent of the population is Hispanic but only 4 percent of physicians are Latino. And with Latin American countries producing more med school grads than their hospitals can accommodate for residencies, there's plenty of such physicians available to fill U.S. slots.

Now, a new program is underway at the University of California Los Angeles which hopes to address this issue. UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine now has a 14-month program in place in which qualified graduates from Latin American countries to enter family-medicine residencies at California teaching hospitals. The program, which costs UCLA $48,000 per participant, helps these Spanish-speaking graduates prepare for licensing exams, gives them observership training at a UCLA hospital, and helps them get into residencies. Once the graduates complete the program, they must spend at least three years treating patients in medically underserved areas in rural California or within big cities.

To find out more about the program:
- read this Wall Street Journal piece

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