We’ve all heard the dire predictions about the anticipated significant shortfall in physicians by the year 2030. In fact, we are starting to see it already.
But there is one solution before us: International medical graduates (IMGs) are doctors who are currently finalizing their training at U.S. medical institutions but do not currently have visas to work in the United States. During the COVID-19 pandemic, IMG physicians helped fill the gaps in healthcare access, often serving in rural and medically underserved communities.
“The demand for IMG physicians is only going to increase in the years to come,” commented Dan Fuller, President and CEO of IN Compass Health. “Hospitals have always looked to us to provide solutions to staffing challenges and this is one of the best ways we have found to ensure they have the quality medical staff needed to serve their communities.”
The J-1 visa is designed for a non-immigrant exchange visitor. It is often used by IMGs for their education, medical residency and fellowship training. Normally, the individual would have to return to their home country after a seven-year period, unless they receive a J-1 visa waiver that allows them to stay and practice for a specified period of time. Qualified candidates make a commitment to work for their sponsoring employer for a period of three years.
For the past several years, IN Compass Health has been recruiting J-1 visa physicians for hospitals and health systems throughout the country, hiring an average of 3-5 per year. In addition to being a J-1 physician sponsor, the company handles all the paperwork, and has resources for candidates that include HR specialists, immigration attorneys and others who help facilitate the process for foreign doctors to remain and work in the United States. In fact, IN Compass Health has never failed to secure a J-1 visa for an IMG who wishes to work here.
“We have strived to ‘smooth the pathway’ for IMGs to continue to remain in the U.S. after completion of their training,” Fuller added. “We handle all the legwork, which enables them to focus on what they do best—care for patients.” Fuller says that students from all over the world train in the United States.