Foreign Physicians Helping Underserved Areas
The Primary Care Office (PCO) helps coordinate the placement of foreign physicians in underserved areas of the state through the Physician Visa Waiver Program. This program is also known as the "Conrad Program" or the "J-1 Visa Waiver Program".
Right now, many Oregonians do not have access to a primary care doctor in their community. This is mainly true for rural areas of the state, but also applies to some urban and suburban communities. The Physician Visa Waiver Program helps address this issue by allowing international medical graduates to remain in the United States if they work in a federally designated shortage area.
The program allows Oregon to sponsor 30 waiver applications per federal fiscal year, October 1 - September 30. An application fee of $2,000 helps fund the program.
Program Year 2019 as of October 18, 2018
Nineteen of 30 slots are filled. Due to increased program demand, care physicians will have priority through November 30, 2018. These are: Family Practice, General Internal Medicine (including Hospitalists), OB-GYN, Pediatricians, and General Psychiatrists. Critically-needed specialists may also be considered. After November 30, the program will fill remaining slots on a first-tome basis. Please refer to the Administrative Rule Changes below.
The administrative rule (OAR 409-035) has been amended effective 10/1/2018. Changes include:
- Counts percentage of patients instead of percentage of patient visits to establish the health care facility’s participation eligibility;
- Defers acceptance of most specialist and flex placement applications until after November 30, 2018 except in cases of critical need; and
- Changes “Health Professional Shortage Area” to “Health Care Shortage Area” to confirm that Medically Underserved areas and Populations (MUPs), in addition to Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), do not require a flex placement.
Please examine and use the updated application form below.
Please visit the Department of State and obtain your tracking number in advance. The employer and the J1 physician need to work together to complete the application. The Administrative Rules (OAR 409-035) explain the program requirements and steps necessary to complete the application process. Below are the forms you will need:
Our mailing address is:
Physician Visa Waiver Program
OHA-Health Policy & Analytics
500 Summer Street NE, E-65
Salem, OR 97301