Upwardly Global supports HB 2556 and TX 5074, which would expand pathways for eligible international medical graduates (IMGs) to practice in Texas.
For over 20 years, Upwardly Global has been advancing the inclusion of refugee and immigrant professionals into the U.S. workforce. We are the first and longest-serving national organization that helps these individuals restart their careers and bring their skills and perspectives into the labor market. Though newcomers to the U.S. in recent times are more educated than at any other time in our history — with roughly 45% of recently arrived immigrants possessing at least a bachelor’s degree — over two million college-educated immigrants and refugees are unemployed or underemployed because of the many cultural and structural barriers in the way of restarting their careers.
Texas is home to a significant immigrant population; it also faces a potential shortage of 3,375 primary care physicians by 2030. Immigrants and refugees with overseas healthcare backgrounds are key to addressing this labor shortage.
Upwardly Global’s work in Texas has been growing and includes new government and foundation grants focused on the Houston metro area and an employment and training partnership with one of its most prestigious academic health systems, Memorial Hermann. Approximately one-third of the three dozen healthcare professionals we are currently supporting in Texas were physicians in their home countries. For example, one was a pediatrician and anesthesiologist in Russia; she is currently working in clinical research while trying to match for a medical residency in the U.S.
If enacted, HB 2556 will not only help address Texas’s healthcare shortage, but also provide internationally trained immigrant and refugee medical professionals equitable career opportunities.