Foreign Trained Professional Recertification Program

Foreign Trained Professional Recertification Program


Click here to see the groundbreaking documentary "Doctors becoming Doctors by filmmaker Teresa Konechne.

Immigrant and refugee physicians face many barriers to practicing medicine and working in their communities when they come to the U.S. While the U.S. brings foreign trained physicians into the country to provide health care in areas that are lacking physicians like rural areas but who leave after 3-4 years. Instead, they could utilize physicians that are already here, have years of experience, communities that depend on them, are culturally and linguistically appropriate and who will stay in the area.


The Foreign Trained Professional Recertification Program, funded in part by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement for refugees who have lived in the US less than five years through the Professional Refugee Resettlement Program, is provided by WISE in partnership with the African & American Friendship Association for Cooperation and Development (AAFACD). The vision of integrating foreign trained professionals, immigrants and refugees, is to develop a sufficient, diverse, culturally and linguistically appropriate workforce in Minnesota.  The unique program provides information, education, resources, mentorship and advocacy to new immigrants and refugees who are foreign trained professionals in need of recertification to work in the US.

Why is it important?

Minnesota healthcare workforce does not proportionally represent the demographics of the patient population, which leads to a lack of access to culturally & linguistically appropriate primary health care for the immigrant/refugee population.  This Summit wants to mobilize the community and advocate to diversify MN’s healthcare workforce system. Please join us, this event is open and free to the public.

The program provides orientation, counseling, English language classes, and support to foreign trained professionals.  Participants in the program develop a career pathway plan that builds on their education, experience, and skills. In addition to receiving support in obtaining appropriate professional credentials and licenses for their profession, participants are also assisted in exploring relevant educational programs, job and volunteer opportunities, and alternative career options.  The program staff will provide assistance in a variety of areas, as needed, including:

  1. Procuring and filling out forms required for licensing agencies
  2. Applying for validation of credentials
  3. Researching schools that provide programs for different professions
  4. Applying for relevant programs at community colleges or universities
  5. Applying for financial aid
  6. Identifying work and volunteer opportunities in the sector that match a participant’s career goals
  7. Re-assessing and adjusting career pathway plan, as needed


For foreign trained health professionals, the program staff will assist with:

  1. Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System
  2. Education with regard to Organization of Health Services
  3. Public Health and Safety Education
  4. Health Professions and Practice Education
  5. Residency Training in the U.S. for International Medical Graduates
  6. Health Care Issues
  7. Leadership and Advocacy in Health
  8. English for Health Professionals
  9. Community Health Agents Training


The program will share any information available about work permits or employer-based sponsorships.  However, the program's staff has no influence or means for procuring these for participants. The program staff  can share information with regard to agencies that offer advice and services related to immigration status issues.

Prospective program participants need to bring copies of diploma(s) and transcripts, as well as copies of any certificates or licenses.  If a prospective program participant does not have these documents, the program staff will attempt to assist in obtaining copies of these documents.

For more information about this program, please contact Jesse Mongrue at 651-645-5828.


On November 29th, 2012, WISE & AAFACD in partnership with the the Bush Foundation convened the MN Immigrant Physicians Summit, “Mobilizing Resources to Integrate Foreign Trained Physicians into Minnesota’s Healthcare Workforce”, at the Urban Research& Outreach Engagement Center (UROC).  Stakeholders from around the Twin Cities joined together with Foreign Trained Physicians to discuss


Refugee Participant Recruitment for Professional Refugee Recertification Program

WISE assists foreign trained professional refugees, through funding from the Office of Refugee Resettlement for its Professional Refugee Recertification, (PRR), program, with navigation of the professional licensure process in Minnesota, mentoring, financial aid research, leadership development, advocacy and alternative career pathyway development.  WISE is seeking new foreign trained professional refugees to serve in its PRR program.  WISE assists refugees who are trained as teachers, accountants, lawyers, engineers, doctors and other licensed medical professionals.  This program is free to foreign trained refugees.