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 April 20, 2020
All 30 slots are filled for Program Year 2020 that started October 1, 2019.
- Applicants who sign employment contracts by May 20th will be first in line for Program Year 2021. We will accept and review these applications before October 1, 2020, then submit them on that date. Those physicians who are available for work may start as soon as the waiver is issued (probably late November or early December). All others may complete residencies or fellowships according to the regular academic schedule before beginning their J-1 employment;
- Applicants who sign employment contracts after May 20th will be subject to OAR 409-035. This gives preference to primary care and specialists in documented high-need areas for the first two months of each program year. Conforming applications received on or after December 1st will be submitted for remaining slots on a first come, first served basis; and
- 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).
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