Insourced Called “Intriguing and Lucid” by Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly, a leading website and newsletter for the publishing industry, has reviewed Insourced:

Tulenko, a physician and director of clinical services for a global health nonprofit, pursues a new angle in the ongoing healthcare debates in this intriguing and lucid study. She argues that the insourcing of health care workers–i.e. bringing them to the U.S. after they complete training in their own countries–is a destructive trend. Currently, 25% of physicians are “imported” from “countries that can least afford to lose them,” a practice that has resulted in a “multibillion-dollar international healthcare-worker recruitment” industry operating in at least 74 countries. In the U.S., she says, this results in lower salaries and employees who are less likely to unionize, as well as medical errors due to cultural differences or language barriers. Despite insourcing, there is nevertheless a scarcity of trained medical staff, and that shortage of workers will grow as baby boomers age. To address this deficit and provide jobs for Americans, Tulenko suggests reducing the cost of education needed to attain necessary credentials, training more workers at every level, better aligning students with healthcare needs (such as those of rural communities), and increasing efficiency in hospitals and doctors’ offices (e.g., via the use of electronic records, which technology has been available since the 1960s, but largely unutilized). Those interested in healthcare management or public policy will find plenty of cogent information in this well-researched treatise. (May)


About Dr. Kate Tulenko

Dr. Kate Tulenko is a physician, health policy specialist, and Senior Director for Health Systems Innovation at IntraHealth Internatonal. She is the former coordinator of the World Bank’s Africa Health Workforce Program and recently served as team lead on Health Workforce Shortage for the “Reinventing Primary Care Project” for the Hope Street Group, a bipartisan coalition of business, civic and policy leaders. Dr. Tulenko serves on the board of the National Physicians Alliance and on the board of advisors for the Global Business School Network and in 2002 she received a Rainer Arnhold Fellowship for innovation in global development. She is a practicing pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Tulenko has degrees from Harvard; Johns Hopkins; and Emmanuel College, Cambridge and holds adjunct faculty positions at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the George Mason School of Health and Human Services. Her book, "Insourced: How Importing Jobs Impacts the Healthcare Crisis Here and Abroad", addresses how the U.S. is underinvesting in training young Americans to be health workers and instead imports doctors and nurses from poor countries with extreme health worker shortages. Opinions expressed in "Insourced" represent those of Dr. Tulenko alone and do not represent opinions or policies of any of her current or past employers. Dr. Tulenko grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and Gainesville, Florida. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and two daughters with whom she enjoys exploring the beauty of art and nature. Follow Dr. Tulenko on twitter at ktulenko.
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