The Rise of Foreign Trained Dentists in the U.S.

An interesting article titled “Will we see more foreign-trained dentists in the United States?” appears in the July 2017, issue of JADA written by Marko Vujicic (issue 7, pp. 538-540). The article explores the H-1B program with a focus on dentistry. The article presents a figure which shows the number of dentists practicing in the U.S. who received a foreign degree is rising.

The article states

“Across all US dental schools, there were 896 foreign nationals admitted in 2016, representing approximately 14% of total admissions. “

The article later says that around 1,165 H-1B applications for dentists were received in 2016 which is up from 414 H-1B applications in 2011.

The article states

“The top 3 companies applying for H-1B visas for dentists were Jefferson Dental Clinics, Western Dental, and Kool Smiles. Combined, these 3 companies account for 12% of total applications.”

The article indicates that the dental workforce in the U.S. is becoming more foreign. It is possible that this may drive down the wages of domestic dentists. It is also possible this may change the practice patterns of dentistry. The article also goes into a more controversial issue of using policies to potentially force foreign dentists to practice in shortage areas or undeserved communities. After serving in such an area for a number of years they may then be allowed to go practice where they please.

Since the subject U.S. immigration has been a hot topic recently it is important that the ADA monitors any changes in immigration policy and the potential effect it may have on dentistry.

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One Response to The Rise of Foreign Trained Dentists in the U.S.

  1. juan gonzalo arango December 4, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    im juan arango dentist laboring in medellin.i would like to leave my medellin colombia practice and find work in usa. i have no dental license to work in any state but hope theres some way i could be working there somehow. im 55 years old with 30 years experience.if you can help me find any opportunity i would appreciate

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