Chicago physician outlines how Illinois is trying solve its doctor shortage

Several people sit in a waiting room at a doctor's office
Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The Illinois General Assembly is making an effort to address the shortage of doctors in Illinois.

In May 2022 the state created a task force aimed at removing barriers that currently keep health care professionals — who are licensed and have practiced in other countries — from being able to get licensed and start a practice in Illinois.

Dr. Rupak Parikh, the CEO of Advanced Rehabilitation Care and a board member of nonprofit advocacy group Physicians for Patient protection, said foreign medical graduates don’t have an easy path to practicing in Illinois.

“There are very strict regulations for foreign medical graduates to then practice in the [United States],” said Parikh, of Chicago.

If international medical graduates were allowed to practice under licensed physicians in Illinois, though, Parikh said Illinoisans could see this gap in medical coverage shrink.

“For physicians who are international medical graduates, the current topic is — like in the state of Washington — can these IMGs practice under a licensed Illinois practicing physician?” Parikh said. “I think that is a great first step in helping to fill this gap in medical coverage.”

Part of the reason for the doctor shortage is one familiar to many physicians over the last couple of years, Parikh said.

“There has been a burnout, and I think you’re seeing it with physicians as well,” Parikh said.

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