Study Estimates Proportion of Health Care Professionals Not Born in U.S.



Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Anupam B. Jena, M.D., Ph.D., email Ekaterina Pesheva at The full study is available on the For The Media website.

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Bottom Line: Health care professionals not born in the United States, including those who are noncitizens, made up a significant proportion of the health care workforce in 2016. An analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data for 164,000 health care professionals found 16.6 percent weren’t born in the United States and 4.6 percent were noncitizens. Non-U.S.-born health care professionals were a substantial proportions of several health care professions, including physicians (29 percent), dentists (24 percent), pharmacists (20 percent), registered nurses (16 percent) and nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides (23 percent). The majority of health care professionals not born in the United States were born in Asia (6.4 percent) or Mexico and Central America or the Caribbean (4.7 percent).  The studied relied on survey-reported occupation and there was the possibility of underreporting of noncitizenship.

Authors: Anupam B. Jena, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, and coauthors

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.


Editor’s Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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