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UCLA Program To Bring More Latino Doctors To Underserved Areas | Latina

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Undocumented college students Martha Vasquez, 21, from left, Jessica Ortiz, 21, and Miriam Vasquez, 20, hold hands as they follow the Senate's cloture vote on television at the UCLA Downtown Labor Center in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010. The measure fell five votes short of the 60 needed to move forward Saturday. The bill would allow illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children a chance to gain legal status if they enroll in college or join the military. Critics called the measure a | AP

Over 2,000 foreign-trained Latin American doctors living in Southern California are currently not practicing medicine, according to Dr. Patrick Dowling, chairman of UCLA's Department of Family Medicine.

MedCity News reports that UCLA has created a program to increase the number of Latin American physicians in medically underserved areas in California, and improve care for patients.

The International Medical Graduate program was founded by Dr. Dowling and Dr. Michelle Bholat in 2007 to address the gap between Spanish-speaking immigrants and Latino doctors.

But the program is more than just about having Spanish speakers, it's about creating a cultural connection for Latino patients.

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