Idaho comes in last place for the number of doctors we have per capita. Yet when immigrant and refugee physicians move here, the process to get back to practicing medicine is complex and expensive.
On today’s episode we’re joined by local doctors who are addressing this issue – Drs. Scott Smith, Paula Carvalho, and Sampson Nde.
Scott is a mentor with Global Talent working with a cohort of New American medical professionals in Idaho, including Sampson, a physician and general surgeon from Nigeria.
“Medicine, essentially, for me it’s a calling. Right from when I was a little kid I always wanted to take care of people and help people,” Sampson said. “When I arrived in the U.S. and I wasn’t able to do that, it was difficult for me. Because for all my life that’s all I wanted to do.”
Sampson works at the Idaho Health Neighborhood Clinic in Nampa and has completed the necessary exams to apply for medical residency this winter. He helps other IMGs (international medical graduates) on their path to practicing medicine in the states.
Dr. Paula Carvalho works at the Boise VA Medical Center, where she assists the Global Talent Docs cohort with simulation lab training. She and Scott are both Idaho WWAMI Medical School alumni.
ABOUT OUR GUESTS
Sampson Nde was a physician and general surgeon in Nigeria for four years before moving to the United States in 2015. He obtained a master's degree in public health from Westminster College in Utah and worked in the public health space for more than two years in research and program development.
In 2022, Sampson moved to Idaho and took a position at the University of Idaho as a program manager with Project ECHO, where he helped in the dissemination of medical education across the Gem State.
With the help of Global Talent, he currently works at Idaho Health Neighborhood Center in Nampa as Lead Physician Extender, while also assisting in the development of a training curriculum for International Medical Graduate (IMG), which helps facilitate medical graduates' transition to a medical practice in the United States.
He has passed the United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE) and will be applying for medical residency this winter.
Dr. Scott Smith is an internal medicine doctor, educational researcher, and professor of medicine (emeritus) with the University of Washington. He was in residency leadership for 28 years and was a USMLE “National Boards” question-writer for eight years. He discovered that this was the perfect job experience to help immigrant and refugee physicians to get licensed to practice medicine in Idaho. He began working with Global Talent doctors in 2019 and since then, he has served 31 individuals from 19 countries. To date, six candidates have been accepted into residency and are practicing, or soon to be, in Idaho.
Dr. Paula Carvalho attended medical school, residency, and fellowship at the University of Washington. She is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical care, and Sleep Medicine and Adjunct Professor, Department of Surgery at the University of Washington. She is also a Teaching Scholar at the University of Washington.
She is the academic section chief of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine at the Boise VA Medical Center, as well as director of the intensive care unit, bronchoscopy service, and simulation program. Her specialty boards include Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine, and Palliative Care.
Dr. Carvalho is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine writing panel for Critical Care Medicine and an advisory member of the FDA Pulmonary panel. She has received teaching awards for seven years from the University of Washington medical students and medical residents.
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