Someone elsewhere in this wiki suggested that hospitals tap into private medical groups to get additional staffing. I think, since most such doctors have ‘admitting priviledges’ in said hospitals, that these people will be called in almost immediately; the hospitals already have their pager numbers, so to speak.
However there are also doctors working in the drug and medical device industries whose work will be less important in the event of a pandemic—unless they’re making anti-flu treatments they’re company is likely to be shut down as part of a quarantine. So, those people will have to be reached, somehow. Nobody has a list of them that I know of, except perhaps the medical board. Those whose licenses have expired by simply not being renewed (as opposed to those who have had theirs revoked for a reason of danger to patients) should also be recruited. Again the medical board has contact information for these people—assuming they don’t go to help relatives, or hole themselves up somewhere to hide until the outbreak is controlled.
Are there any legal folk out there who can comment on the possibility of allowing doctors licensed in select foreign countries but living in the US and working in, say, pharmaceutical research or regulatory affairs, to practice clinical medicine in the event of a pandemic? Many of these doctors have licenses and many years of experience in their country of origin, but are not permitted to practice clinically in the US because they have not completed an internship or residency in the US (although they usually have in their native country). These doctors could offer an *advantage* over we American-trained physicians, because they are accustomed in many cases to practicing with a more limited array of resources, and yet have exposure to critical care (think of the skills of the Hanoi doctors, for example, who must be effective both in the high-tech urban Hanoi setting and in the backwoods dirt-scratch chicken and dirt districts). I think they very likely could offer ways of making scarce resources serve that we spoiled yanks would never have considered. (I think there would be issues of ‘professional hubris’ to overcome due to the legendary and demonstrable arrogance of US docs; they may resist perfectly good suggestions from such foreign docs on the prejudice that the foreign docs, and therefore any of their suggestions, are inherently inferior.)
During my internship some of the experienced foreign docs who were doing internships to get a US license would prescribe medications that were ‘wrong’ because a newer drug was available for that indication with better efficacy etc.; their treatment plan was ‘outdated’. However as drug supplies for the popular drugs diminish, these ‘outdated’ treatments may provide alternatives to get people through the crisis until their usual regimen can be restored. Diversity is one of America’s strength and we should use it.