Foreign Trained Professionals Recertification


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.


The Minnesota health care 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.  

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


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