Afghani MD now a PA and NP

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    A friend in a rural area of the South told me about her co-worker who was seeking mental health treatment for apparent depression. There is a dearth of psychiatrists in this small town, neither of which is taking new patients. There are a few NPs in free-standing clinics (if that is the correct term).

    She ended up having to go to a state-run drug treatment center, filled out masses of paperwork (income verification, SS card for citizenship status, insurance card, etc.). She said it was like walking into a homeless shelter; this person has always been employed and had access to private physician practices.

    Anyway, after a four-week wait for an appointment, she saw a very nice intake counselor, who referred her to the NP. She was very pleased (3 weeks later, when she got the appointment) to see the NP, who diagnosed her and prescribed, and thankfully she is feeling much better.

    Sadder than the population of this clinic is that the NP said he was an MD in Afghanistan, passed the US certification for foreign medical school graduates, but could not get a residency.

    So he works a few days a week in this small town as a NP, works one day a week as a PA at a pain clinic in the nearest large city, and works two days a week as a PA at the psych center of a county jail.

    What is my point?! I am still processing this. I know rural health care is hurting terribly for providers, thankful that my friend has found a provider.

    But how does a foreign medical grad become a PA and an NP? Just very curious, and happy that she has someone she trusts and who will take care of her.
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I'd like to know as well, unless he went through both a NP program and a PA.
  5. 0
    Could he be a graduate of a medical school (MD) working in NP or PA jobs??
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    the University of southern california pa program(they call it a physician associate program) makes an RN who matriculates eligible to take FNP and PA boards. if you are not an RN you can only take PA borads. this is a possible solution.
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    My understanding is he was an MD in Afghanistan. I'll get more info when I touch base again with my friend. But I am curious. He would have had to get a nursing degree to become a NP, and also some training for the PA license. I just find it interesting and an unusual twist to fill the gap for medical care in such a rural area.
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    If he were an NP OR a PA it would make sense, he would have obviously done a direct entry NP or a PA program. That he apparently has both is what is confusing.

    I know a few foreign MDs who are having a hard time finding a residency (one is currently teaching physiology and pathophisiology at a local community college). Personally I think they should be allowed to take the PANCE and work as PAs either permanently or until they do find a residency. We supposedly have a physician shortage yet we have people willing to work who can't get a slot. Doesn't make any sense to me.
  9. 0
    Quote from benm93
    the University of southern california pa program(they call it a physician associate program) makes an RN who matriculates eligible to take FNP and PA boards. if you are not an RN you can only take PA borads. this is a possible solution.
    USC might have had that program at one point but now it is a strictly PA program. Stanford also had a combined PA/FNP program called "Primary Care Associate" but now it's also strictly a PA program. University of California Davis still has a combined PA/FNP program open to RN's who are eligible to take both PA and FNP certification upon graduation. Those without an RN license prior to starting the program can only sit for the PA boards. If this were the route this guy did, he would have been an RN first in order to be able to have both NP and PA certifications.
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    Quote from Psychcns
    Could he be a graduate of a medical school (MD) working in NP or PA jobs??
    That is what I think too.
  11. 0
    When I was doing my ER rotation there was a Bengali md working as a pct! She had plans to get her RN and then np. But for all that she felt better off in the us.


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