Fulfilling Potential: Foreign-Trained Physicians

A Pathway Forward for Maine

Join Us for this Free Online Forum!

Date: Thursday, January 19, 2023

Time: 9:00AM – 12:00PM EST

Location: Online

Female doctor wearing face mask

Fulfilling Potential: Foreign Trained Physicians A Pathway Forward for Maine

A Remote Conference: January 19, 2023 – 9:00 am – 12 pm

As we work together to address workforce issues in Maine, we often overlook foreign-trained professionals. This population of credentialed physicians is locked out of practicing at a time when they are needed most. At this forum, we will hear from some of Maine’s foreign-trained doctors about their experiences and leaders from around the country who will share their insights and experiences about how to address this issue as well as explore options for Maine.

Almost all of the foreign-trained and credentialed physicians living in Maine are effectively locked out of their profession. At this forum, we will hear from some of Maine’s foreign trained doctors about their experiences and leaders from around the country who will share their insights and experiences about how to address this issue as well as explore options for Maine. This event will include two participatory panels in addition to time in small group settings to meet with foreign trained physicians in Maine.

Agenda

9:00 AM: Welcomes and Keynote Speaker

  • Mufalo Chitam, Executive Director, Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition
  • Erik N. Steele, DO, President, Maine Medical Association
  • Mohamed Khalif, MD, Founder, The Washington Academy for International Medical Graduates

9:30 AM: Overview of Challenges – Panel Discussion with Q & A

  • José Ramón Fernández-Peña, MD, MPA, Founder and Executive Director, Welcome Back Initiative
  • Susan E. Bell, Ph.D., Co-Author of “The Case for Refugee Physicians: Forced Migration of International Medical Graduates in the 21st Century”
  • Georges Kanda, MD, Director of clinical services at Greater Portland Health

10:30 AM: Breakout Rooms – Physicians Share Their Stories

10:45 AM: Break

11:00 AM: Progress in Other States Panel Discussion with Q & A

  • Michael Zimmer, JD Senior Policy Advisor, World Education Services
  • Robert P. Marlin, MD, Ph.D., MPH, Chief, Metta Health Center at Lowell Community Health Center, and member of the Massachusetts Special Commission on Foreign Trained Medical Professionals
  • Amy Grunder, Director State Policy and Legislative Affairs MA Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
  • Mohamed Khalif, MD, Founder, The Washington Academy for International Medical Graduates

11:50 AM: Wrap and Adjourn

Featured Speakers

José Ramón Fernández-Peña, MD, MPA

José Ramón Fernández-Peña, MD, MPA

Founder and Executive Director, Welcome Back Initiative

Mohamed Khalif, MD

Mohamed Khalif, MD

Founder, The Washington Academy for International Medical Graduates

Susan E. Bell, Ph.D.

Susan E. Bell, Ph.D.

Co-Author of “The Case for Refugee Physicians: Forced Migration of International Medical Graduates in the 21st Century"

Speakers

Headshot of José Ramón Fernández-Peña, MD, MPA, Founder and Executive Director, Welcome Back Initiative
José Ramón Fernández-Peña, MD, MPA
Founder and Executive Director, Welcome Back Initiative
Originally trained as a physician in Mexico, he has been at the forefront of immigrant inclusion in the US. He founded the Welcome Back Initiative in 2001 with a center in San Francisco. Now made up of a federation of 11 programs across the country, including Maine, the Welcome Back Initiative has been helping foreign trained health professionals living in the US integrate into the US healthcare system.
Headshot of Mohamed Khalif, MD, Founder, The Washington Academy for International Medical Graduates
Mohamed Khalif, MD
Founder of the Washington Academy for International Medical Graduates. In 2019 Mohamed Khalif was appointed to serve on the State Medical Graduate
Workgroup. His organization successfully advocated for licensing reform every year since 2019 and helped pass three pieces of legislation during this time. The most recent legislation, HB1129, established a license for unmatched (unable to obtain a residency) doctors in Washington State.
Headshot of Susan E. Bell, Ph.D.
Susan E. Bell, Ph.D.
Susan E. Bell is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences, at Drexel University, where she is also a Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Science, Technology and Society (CoAS) and the Urban Health Collaborative (Dornsife School of Public Health). She published an article based on this research in 2021 with Lillian Walkover (“The Case for Refugee Physicians: Forced Migration of International Medical Graduates in the 21st Century,” Social Science & Medicine) and is working on a second article about women refugee physicians. She is currently writing a book about outpatient hospital care for immigrant and refugee patients in Maine, tentatively titled Permeable Hospitals.
Robert P. Marlin, MD, Ph.D., MPH headshot
Robert P. Marlin, MD, Ph.D., MPH
Chief of Metta Health Center at Lowell Community Health Center. He also was appointed to the Massachusetts Special Commission on Foreign Trained Medical Professionals which issued a report in July 2022.
Headshot of Michael Zimmer, Senior Policy Advisor at World Education Services
Michael Zimmer, JD
Senior Policy Advisor, World Education Services
Recognized as a national expert on licensing. He has previously served as the Cabinet Director for Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan. Amongst other positions, he has been the Director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Executive Director of the Michigan Administrative Hearing System.

Sponsors

The event is organized by:

NMRC logo

The New Mainers Resource Center

With a speciality in healthcare professions, the New Mainers Resource Center (NMRC) helps foreign-trained professionals overcome barriers to enter the US workforce and advance in their careers. NMRC is proud to be affiliated with the Welcome Back Initiative, a national program committed to building a bridge between foreign-trained health workers and the need for health services in underserved communities.

Portland Adult Education logo

Portland Adult Education

Portland Adult Education welcomes thousands of adult learners each year. Whether someone is a native Mainer who needs a High School Diploma, an engineer from another country who needs to improve their English language skills, or a professional hoping to advance in their career. PAE is here to help people reach their goals.

Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership logo

Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership

The Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership is nonprofit, independent, statewide organization dedicated to supporting the transformation of Maine’s health and healthcare sectors.

The event is Co-Sponsored by the following organizations:

  • Maine Medical Association
  • Maine Hospital Association
  • The Maine Primary Care Association
  • Greater Portland Health
  • Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition
  • Maine Osteopathic Association
  • Maine Health Access Foundation
  • Maine Adult Education Association
  • Welcome Back Initiative
  • The Betterment Fund
  • Office of Maine Refugee Services, Catholic Charities of Maine
  • United Way of Southern Maine
  • Portland Public Schools, City of Portland

For background information about the topic and the event please see Forum Background Materials.
For any questions, contact: Vanessa Sylvester, NMRC Healthcare Professionals Program Associate – sylvev@portlandschools.org or Sally Sutton, NMRC Program Coordinator – suttos@portlandschools.org