Each fall applications are accepted at the Michigan Health Council from physicians seeking a J-1 Visa waiver. A J-1 visa is an educational visa and requires the physician to return to their home country for three years at the conclusion of their education. A J-1 waiver allows the physician to remain in the U.S. if they are employed for a three year term in an underserved community. The Conrad 30 program which began in 1994 offers each state the opportunity to support up to 30 waiver applications.
The goal of the program is to place primary care physicians (Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Pediatrics, Ob/Gyn and Psychiatry) in outpatient based practices in communities designated as HPSA’s (Health Professional Shortage Areas) or MUA/MUP’s (Medically Underserved Area or Medically Underserved Populations).
The program is administrated by the Michigan Department of Community Health. MDCH has designated MHC to manage the program and the application process. Priority is given to applicants that will practice in primary care with Safety-Net providers; county health departments, certified rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers, critical access hospitals, free clinics, community mental health centers and correctional and psychiatric facilities.
Each state has the jurisdiction to create guidelines within the federal structure. In Michigan, applications from physicians who are specialists or hospitalists are also considered. Those applicants must demonstrate the physician’s specialty is needed in the community due to a major health problem, to address population to physician ratio or to meet state or federal health care facility regulations.
This year’s application window is October 1, 2013 to November 27, 2013. Completed applications are only accepted during this time. For more details about the Michigan Conrad 30 program click on the Conrad 30 tab at www.mimom.org or call 800-479-1666.