A new book out by the Consortium of Physicians from Latin America, or COPHYLA, offers foreign healthcare professionals key tips and steps to take to enter the U.S. labor market.
"The book is an entryway for immigrant healthcare professionals who don't know they can get a license to work in this country," Italia Solorzano, a doctor from Ecuador who now works at the San Miguel Medical Clinic in Los Angeles, told EFE news agency.
"Succesful Immigrants in the Health Care Profession: Brain Drain or Brain Gain?" is a 220-page book in English and Spanish written by sociologist Candido Gonzalez and COPHYLA co-founder Rolando Castillo.
"The United States needs healthcare professionals who are already living here, working at other jobs to put food on the table, or thinking about leaving the country. For all those people, this book will be very useful," Castillo told EFE.
He said that with the aid of COPHYLA, more than 6,000 Hispanic healthcare professionals are now working at hospitals in the United States.
The Salvadoran-born psychologist said that while 40 percent of California's 38 million residents are Hispanic, only 4 percent of the state's physicians are Latino.
"That makes us realize that medical schools are not supplying the professionals that are needed to look after the large Hispanic population, among whom many do not speak English and feel more confident if they can describe their symptoms to doctors of a Latin culture," he said.
Another COPHYLA co-founder, Mexican immigrant Dr. Arturo Castillo (no relation to Rolando), told EFE that the United States does not comply with the recognition of professional qualifications mandated by the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.
"Mexican doctors who decide to emigrate to Canada are welcomed in that country and their medical licenses are processed without any obstacles," the doctor said.
"But the United States does not accept the licenses of Mexican doctors. In other words, the U.S. does not honor the agreement -- that's why this book contains all the other ways that healthcare professionals can begin to work in a Latino community that needs them," Arturo Castillo said.
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