IMG Member Spotlight with John A. Sharma, MD
Spotlight on International Medical Graduate (IMG) Section Leaders!
OSMA is proud to be launching the International Medical Graduate (IMG) Section. Recognizing that physicians representing international medical schools bring a wealth of diversity and are a vital part of Ohio’s physician community.
John A. Sharma, MD, MSc, FAAFP, DNBPAS
IMG Leadership Board • Member at Large
Title/practice specialty: Family Medicine
Years in OSMA: 2 years
Q: What is your favorite part of practicing medicine in your specialty area?
A: The ability to be an integral part of a patient’s or a family’s health care from cradle to the grave suits my personality. I enjoy getting to know my patients and their families and especially their vision on health and wellness. Crucial conversations like this help solidify my role as their care coordinator. Furthermore, serving rural communities enables connections with patients at deeper levels as they get to know me when I am not wearing my “physician hat.” Patients essentially become front and center to witnessing that I am engaged and committed to the community in which I live and serve. This only strengthens the physician-patient relationship.
Q: What are some of the issues specific to International Medical Graduates?
A: Scope creep, state licensure and residency (GME funding), workforce shortages, immigration equity and visa issues for both the IMG and their family members, pay parity, community integration are just a few.
Q: Why are you excited to be an IMG leader?
A: This is an excellent platform at the state level that will allow me to advocate for IMGs. It will hopefully permit avenues for critical conversations to take place among key stakeholders, such as lawmakers and the SMBO, to introduce, discuss and advance policy directly affecting IMGs which can help to improve primary care for Ohioans. I look forward to the networking and collaboration opportunities that can be afforded by being an IMG leader.
Q: What are some of the ways in which OSMA supports International Medical Graduates?
A: First and foremost, I believe the OSMA recognizes the value of IMGs to care for communities and patients throughout the state of Ohio. However, the value of IMGs is likely greatest in rural and underserved communities. OSMA has developed policies over the past few years to recognize this value and provide support for IMGs. Establishing the IMG Section was a logical and integral step forward in this recognition. As an IMG, I have found the OSMA to be responsive to my inquiries about advancing the advocacy of IMGs, even in indirect efforts such as advocating for physician-led team-based care and non-compete contract reform.
If you’d like to get in touch with OSMA leadership or learn more about member opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.