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 Update as of December 5, 2019
The Primary Care Office is accepting applicants for Program Year 2020 that started October 1, 2019. A brief update:
- Twenty-five physicians have signed employment contracts approved by the Program, reserving their slots until receipt of the their applications;
- Effective October 21, 2019, Oregon Administrative Rule 409-035 was revised to count total patient visits to establish the health care facility’s participation eligibility, as well as for physician reporting requirements (see updated forms below);
- Effective December 1, 2019 all conforming applications will be accepted on a first come basis until the 30 slots are filled; and
- If no slots remain for program year 2020, Oregon will accept and hold applications until the beginning of the next program year on October 1, 2020. Those physicians may start work upon issuance of the waiver, in late November or early December 2020.
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