SOUTH PORTLAND, Me. — Jolly Ntirumenyerwa ran her fingers over the stethoscope that she had slung around her neck. It was a comforting connection to her career as a physician in her home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she worked in emergency medicine.
Her credentials did not transfer when she moved to the United States in 2012, and she could not work as a doctor. So, she took jobs as a health aide in an assisted living facility.
Now, thanks to an unusual program that is training immigrants to become emergency medical technicians, she is preparing to make better use of her medical background and, she hopes, work her way up to becoming a physician assistant if not, someday, a doctor.
“I want to do what I was trained to do,” Ms. Ntirumenyerwa, 37, said the other day as she took a break from her E.M.T. class, being conducted in a cavernous ambulance bay at Southern Maine Community College. “I put in a lot of years training to be a physician, and I don’t want to throw them away.” Read more»