Integrating Refugee Doctors into Host Health-care Systems

Shahla Namak, Fatin Sahhar, Sarah Kureshi, Fadya El Rayess and Ranit Mishori

Forced Migration Review 58, June 2018, pp. 16-18


This article identifies a number of obstacles faced by refugee doctors wishing to practice medicine in host countries, despite the significant contribution they can make in areas with doctor shortages and/or large immigrant or refugee populations. The authors describe efforts in the UK, Sweden and Turkey to integrate refugee doctors into national health-care systems, necessitating the involvement of different stakeholders including medical associations, regional and national health services, private organizations and universities. In the United States, refugee doctors must undergo time- and labor-intensive processes involving certification, examination, residency periods, and licensing before they can practice medicine. The authors highlight several small programs that assist refugee doctors. The article concludes with recommendations to improve the integration of refugee doctors in the US.