(OPINION) Two Solutions in One: Addressing Refugee Brain Waste While Solving the U.S. Healthcare Worker Shortage

Brain waste — the problem of being underemployed relative to one’s skills and knowledge — is a challenge facing many people, but especially refugees, in the United States. Refugee health professionals, in particular, often face difficulties in re-credentialing their foreign professional qualifications, but the impacts now are especially problematic. More than half of the states had hospitals “critically short of doctors, nurses, and other staff” as the COVID-19 pandemic surged last November — in some states, more than a third of hospitals were affected. However, there are actions policymakers could take to facilitate refugee health-professionals’ U.S. credentialing, admission, and employment while addressing the significant staffing shortages in the health care sector.

Two Solutions in One…
L.J. Wolfgang Keppley, Niskanen Center
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