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 August 12, 2019
The Primary Care Office is accepting applicants for Program Year 2020 that will start October 1, 2019.
- Seven physicians have signed employment contracts; more than 20 additional are in consideration for the remaining 23 slots;
- Proposed changes to Oregon Administrative Rule 309-035 will count total patient visits to establish the health care facility's participation eligibility;
- OAR 309-035 defers acceptance of most speciaist and flex placement applications (those practicing outside of designated shortage areas) until after November 30, 2019, except in cases of particularly high need.
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