For many years, Paul Herfs has been closely involved in the integration of foreign doctors in the Netherlands. During the 1990s, there was a sharp increase in the immigration of doctors trained outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Often their medical diplomas were not recognised by the Health Secretary; therefore, many doctors contacted university medical faculties, as it was impossible to work as a doctor in the Netherlands without a Dutch doctor’s diploma. As the student counsellor for foreign students, Paul Herfs was one of their first contacts at Utrecht University. With his help , dozens of foreign doctors succesfully enrolled in Utrecht University medical faculty.
A number of activities led to the composition of a doctoral thesis, including the development of a training course in Medical Dutch for foreign doctors and a study into the medical careers of foreign doctors in the Netherlands. At present Paul Herfs works as ombudsman at Utrecht University and the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. Besides that, he is one of the senior researchers at the European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER).