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In this episode of the First Opinion Podcast, I speak with Lubab al-Quraishi, a Baghdad-trained physician, about her difficulty getting licensed to work as a physician in the United States. She worked for a decade as a pathologist in Iraq, but after being forced to flee the country with her family, ended up working at Popeyes in New Jersey because she could not afford the cost of the exams needed to transfer her license. But after being granted a temporary license to work as a physician during the pandemic — which recently expired — al-Quraishi is pushing for change to the slow and exclusionary system of licensing for foreign-trained physicians and other health care professionals.

The conversation emerges from al-Quraishi’s recent First Opinion, “Foreign-trained doctors like me were asked to help fight Covid-19. Now we’re being tossed aside.”

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