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In response to the coronavirus pandemic, New Jersey has begun issuing temporary emergency licenses to doctors licensed in other countries. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy called the new policy “entirely fitting” for the state, which has the second-most cases of COVID-19 and the second-most deaths after New York.

It’s a smart move.

The United States was suffering from a shortage of doctors long before the coronavirus landed on our shores. The pandemic has cast that shortage into even starker relief. Right now, we need every qualified doctor we can find – and that need will not go away after the pandemic ends.

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State and federal regulations make it hard for physicians licensed in foreign countries to practice medicine in the United States. Doctors from other countries, with the exception of Canada, must pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination. Fair enough.

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