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Letter to Governor Pritzker 4.10.20

April 10, 2020
The Honorable J.B. Pritzker
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Governor Pritzker,

The Chicago Medical Society appreciates your untiring leadership and your administration’s devotion to protecting the public from the COVID-19 pandemic.

You have rightly pointed out the need for proper protective equipment and adequate personnel to overcome shortages of essential hospital and healthcare resources.

Our physicians applaud all your efforts to date to build up capacity.
We are writing today to suggest another means to address the physician shortage as the numbers of COVID-19 cases grow, and our healthcare providers become ill themselves from exposure.

We would like to propose enlisting the help of the hundreds of Illinois-based International Medical Graduates. IMGs are legal Illinois residents who have the requisite training and knowledge to effectively treat our growing sick population. Assigning an “assistant physician” temporary license, as other states have already done, for these individuals, would increase our ability to address the state’s growing healthcare needs. The IMG qualifications are listed below for your reference:

IMGs have trained at internationally accredited medical institutions
• IMGs have trained at internationally accredited institutions
• They are certified in the U.S. by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)
• All IMGs have passed U.S. Medical Licensing Exams (USMLE) parts 1 & 2, and many have also passed step 3, which exceeds licensing guidelines for resident physicians
• All IMGs already meet the state requirements for Temporary/Resident medical licensing

This initiative has been successfully implemented or is being implemented in other states including: Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington, and New Hampshire.

Once credentialed by the IDFPR, these qualified assistant physicians will work under the supervision of fully licensed physicians in Illinois during this crisis. They can help to fulfill staffing needs in clinics, community hospitals, long-term care facilities, mental health facilities and prisons across Illinois, and will reduce the burden on the workforce that will soon be stretched to its limits.

We believe in this initiative and ask that you consider its implementation in Illinois.

If you or your staff have any questions about this proposal or other issues you want to bring to our attention, please contact Ted Kanellakes, CMS Executive Director, at or 312-953-3153. Thank you for your consideration.


A. Jay Chauhan, DO, FAOCO
President, Chicago Medical Society

Tariq Butt, MD
President-Elect, Chicago Medical Society

Vemuri Murthy, MD
Chairman of the Board, Chicago Medical Society

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