MEDICAL SOCIETY of the STATE OF NEW YORK
|Elizabeth Dears, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Chief Legislative Counsel
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CLICK HERE FOR BILL STATUS
|Division of Governmental Affairs
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the
abolition of citizenship requirements for licensure in certain
This measure would eliminate the licensure requirement of citizenship or permanent residence immigration status for those professions that currently have that requirement. The Medical Society of the State of New York supports this bill.
Under Education Law, citizenship or permanent residency is required for 13 of the 39 professions credentialed by the State Education Department. This number has continually decreased over the years as more and more professions have decided that citizenship should not be a requirement for licensure. Because of the length of time involved in attaining either status, entry into practice is often significantly delayed for many otherwise qualified people, in many cases, costing them a previously negotiated position.
In the case of physicians, International Medical Graduates account for 35% of active patient care physicians and 53% are pathologists. When their licensure is delayed because of delays in the citizenship process, it leaves many areas of the state without physician coverage and leaves physicians without the ability to practice medicine.
A 2011 report from the Center for Workforce Studies has identified a number of regions of New York State that have experienced some or very little growth, in active patient care physicians between 2008 and 2010. However, many areas of the state are still without sufficient primary care and specialty care physicians. At the same time as regions of the state are experiencing shortages in physician populations, many physicians are waiting for licenses to be granted in order to be able to practice, a wait that maybe protracted because of delays in obtaining citizenship or permanent residency, a process that can take years to complete.
Professionals who have been offered academic or clinical appointments in New York State institutions or who work for large corporations that do business in a number of different states have also encountered problems because of the current law.
Enactment of this bill is also necessary to facilitate the purposes of the Trade Agreement between the United States and Canada, in which both countries have agreed to work toward the elimination of barriers to professional mobility for practitioners who meet equivalent standards for licensure. The European Economic Community provides that a license from any member is valid throughout the community. This bill would retain New York’s authority to license and regulate practice in this State, but would eliminate an arbitrary and unnecessary requirement.
For the above reasons, the Medical Society of the State of New York supports this bill and urges that it be passed.
ELIZABETH DEARS, ESQ
1 Commerce Plaza, Suite 408, Albany, NY 12210 TEL (518) 465-8085 FAX (518) 465-0976
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