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Clandestine doctors in the immigrant communities

The American medical community is full of immigrants. Most of these are legitimate professional who have all the credentials and licenses to work in the state where they practice.    Continues below...    



But we also get doctors who have doubtful credentials. Usually these are doctors that operate in the shadow. They mainly serve the immigrant community they are part of and typically, they accept only cash, even for large payments never health insurance and their rates are lower than other doctors. 

Some of them were physicians in their native countries but they do not speak enough English to try to get a medical license in the USA or for other reasons they do not qualify to be a professional. This is the best-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, they are not even doctors. Perhaps they are nurses or doctor's assistants, etc. or even worse, their medical license was revoked for some misconduct.

Most people who patronize these doctors do it because they do not speak English and feel more comfortable with someone of their community. Plus, they do not have health insurance and have very limited options. 

Risks going to these doctors 

1- As previously said they may not even be doctors. They cannot prescribe medication, and therefore, they cannot always give the best medicines for the illness. 

2- They generally do not carry insurance so that if there is a malpractice lawsuit against them, there are hardly any possibilities to get compensation from them. They may also have problems of previous malpractice litigation and generally there is no record of it since they often move from town to town.

3- They may not have access to emergency services.

4- They may not follow proper hygiene and sterilization procedures. And they may not have proper ways to dispose hazardous waste. 

5- They may have obsolete or lower quality equipment.

Avoid having surgery, especially plastic surgery, with doctors that look suspicious, such as a clinic that is not located in a reputable medical center. If the clinic is in a home a run down building or not part of a medical building you should run from such a surgeon. If she or he insists on cash payments or refuses to accept legitimate health insurance, be careful. 

Is it worthwhile for an immigrant to go to these doctors?

No, it is not. Some of them maybe good doctors, but the risk is simply too high. Your life is on the line. A better approach is to find a regular doctor - most of them entertain patients without health insurance and almost always accept cash and credit card payment.


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