A foreign medical school graduate can work in the United States through the awarding of a special visa status called a J1 waiver. Some J1 waiver jobs include general practice, family medicine, obstetrics, psychiatry, and out-patient acute care. These jobs typically serve a particular need or caregiver shortage in the U.S. medical community and are tied to a required length of service to a medically underserved area or population, or health professional shortage area.
International medical students can complete medical residency requirements and acquire specialized skills and training within the United States. Completion of this advanced study generally leads to a return to the home country of the foreign medical school graduate in order to fulfill a service requirement of a two-year residency in that country. A J1 visa waiver through the U.S. government can be awarded to international medical professionals who apply to have the two-year return to respective countries waived.
Though it is possible to find employment in a specialized area of medicine, J1 waiver jobs usually are offered in more general health care fields to areas that are underserved by health care facilities and professionals. A J1 position may include meeting the primary care physician needs of a rural community without a resident doctor. Serving as the dental caregiver for several underserved counties is also a typical option as is meeting the mental health needs of an urban population.
Some J1 waiver jobs are offered in public facilities that are minimally staffed, which can provide opportunities for learning to treat a variety of general care cases. Other J1 waiver assignments can include placing a physician in an environment where foreign language skills can be utilized for translating the needs of patients who do not speak or understand English. A length of service also could include adjusting to a remote or isolated geographic location.
Government placement for J1 waiver jobs is distributed across the United States, so the types of positions available will depend on the needs of the areas seeking medical workers. In many cases, places that have the greatest shortage of the health professionals are in regions of lower economic levels.
Those seeking, applying, and competing for J1 waiver jobs should include information determining whether a specific assignment will be a good match for the candidate. Competition for employee sponsorship and placement through a J1 waiver is generally high, as those who apply often express their hope to remain in the United States through this extended visa.