Integrating Immigrant Health Professionals into the U.S. Healthcare Workforce: Barriers and Solutions

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health | April 21, 2023

Journal of Immigrant and Minority HealthInternationally educated immigrant healthcare workers face skill underutilization working in lower-skilled healthcare jobs or outside healthcare. This study explored barriers to and solutions for integrating immigrant health professionals. Content analysis identifying key themes from semi-structured qualitative interviews with representatives from Welcome Back Cent- ers (WBCs) and partner organizations. 18 participants completed interviews. Barriers facing immigrant health professionals included lack of access to resources, financial constraints, language difficulties, credentialing challenges, prejudice, and investment in current occupations. Barriers facing programs that assist immigrant health professionals included eligibility restrictions, funding challenges, program workforce instability, recruitment difficulties, difficulty maintaining connection, and pandemic challenges. Long-term program success depended on partner networks, advocacy, addressing prejudice, a client-centered approach, diverse resources and services, and conducting research. Initiatives to integrate immigrant health professionals require multi-level responses to diverse needs and collaborations among organizations that support immigrant health professionals, healthcare systems, labor, and other stakeholders.

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