International doctors find home in rural communities, Mercy says

Many of Mercy's physicians born outside the U.S. are settling in rural communities, often choosing to stay in small towns to practice instead of moving back to large cities.

Many come to the U.S. to attend Ivy League schools or practice in big cities on either coast, according to a Nov. 23 Mercy news release. Physicians often agree to practice for a few years in rural communities as part of their requirement to obtain citizenship.

"I was supposed to stay here three years, and then I could go anywhere, but I chose to stay," Dr. Michael Miranda, a native of the Philippines and a Mercy Clinic physician in Booneville, Arkansas, said in the release. "The plan was always to seek out a place more like home, but this has become home. We were foreigners, and now we're part of this community."

Dr. Miranda is not the only one.

"Right from day one, I never felt alienated here," Dr. Syed Hamid said. "At Harvard, when my colleagues found out I was moving to Arkansas to practice, they were shocked. But I have only experienced wonderful people here in Arkansas. This is my home. This is where I have raised my family. This is where I choose to practice medicine. It's the family-oriented atmosphere and the acceptance from the community that made me decide to stay all those years ago."

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