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With physicians already scarce worldwide, demand for foreign-born doctors in the United States and the United Kingdom is stretching developing and middle-income countries' medical resources to the breaking point. In the U.S., for example, the shortfall of physicians could grow to nearly 95,000 by 2025, equivalent to 43 percent of all doctors working today.When doctors are in short supply, the U.S. and U.K. turn to countries like the Philippines to close the gap. By contrast, the United Kingdom has 270 doctors per 100,000 people.The fundamental problem is that medical staff and students are leaving the developing world en masse to train in countries like the U.S. and U.K., and then never returning to work in their own communities.Students could complete their preclinical training, and a portion of their clinical training, in their country of origin, and then be given the option of completing a temporary clinical-training stint in the U.S. or the U.K.Residency programs are the last stage of the medical-training process, and they often determine doctors' preferred practice setting.
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