What are the requirements for a physician to obtain a J-1 for clinical training?
Under federal regulations, the physician must:
1. Have adequate prior education and training to participate satisfactorily in the program for which they are coming to the United States [determined by ECFMG];
2. Be able to adapt to the educational and cultural environment in which they will be receiving their education or training [determined by ECFMG];
3. Have the background, needs and experiences suitable to the program [determined by ECFMG];
4. Have competency in oral and written English [can be demonstrated by passing the TOEFL];
5. Have passed steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE (or its equivalent or be exempt from those examinations);
6. Provide a statement of need from the government of the country of their nationality or last legal permanent residence;
7. Submit an agreement or contract from an accredited U.S. medical school, an affiliated hospital, or a scientific institution to provide the accredited graduate medical education. Both the physician and the official responsible for the training must sign the agreement or contract.
Additionally, ECFMG requires J-1 physicians and dependents to maintain health, accident, medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains insurance during their stay in the United States.
Moreover, in order to participate in graduate medical training in the US, an applicant not only needs a visa, but the appropriate license as well. Requirements vary from state to state, but an ECFMG certificate is a normal requirement. While all three steps of the USMLE are typically required to get full licensure, a temporary license limited to training is available for J-1 visa applicants in most states without having the third step of the USMLE exam.