Immigrants Make Up 25% of Massachusetts Health Care Professionals, Study Finds
Immigrants make up more than 25% of health care workers in Massachusetts, including pharmacists, medical scientists and surgeons, according to an executive summary of a study commissioned by the Immigrant Learning Center, the Boston Globe reports.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Massachusetts-Boston; Tufts University; and the University of California-Berkeley and is expected to be presented to the public in May. For the study, lead researcher Ramon Borges-Mendez of the University of Massachusetts, and colleagues analyzed census data from 2000 and 2005 to identify foreign-born residents in the state who reported being employed in a health care field. Researchers used weighted averages to account for small sample sizes and then made estimates based on the results, according to the Globe.
The study found that the percentage of foreign-born pharmacists doubled from 20% in 2000 to 40% in 2005, the percentage of foreign-born physician assistants increased from 11% to 28% during that time, and the percentage of foreign-born paramedics increased from 4% in 2000 to 14% in 2005.
In 2005, immigrants accounted for
- 28% of physicians and surgeons in the state;
- 22% of opticians;
- 17% of dentists;
- 21% of licensed practical and vocational nurses; and
- 10% of the entire nursing population.
Researchers recommended that the state create new programs to encourage immigrants to join the health care field as a way to meet the growing demand for medical services (Sacchetti, Boston Globe, 3/23). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.