Visa change means fewer rural doctors

February 16, 2007

Congressional changes to U.S. visa laws intended to help companies hire skilled workers have made it hard for rural areas to find doctors.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday many foreign doctors no longer get a J-1 visa, which gave them eligibility for a green card if they spent three years practicing in a medically underserved area. Instead, they obtain an H1-B visa, which doesn't require them to spend time in a rural area, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The newspaper said the number of foreign physicians in the United States on a J-1 visa has fallen to 6,000 in 2005-2006, from nearly 11,000 in 1995-1996.

"It's a life-and-death situation," Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, told the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper said the situation was a result of a 2000 change in the visa laws that lifted the number of H1-B visas granted.

On top of putting in long hours, working in a rural area doesn't offer doctors the opportunities to practice their specialties or use new technology, the newspaper said.

"It's like serving jail time," Minoo Kavarana, a Mumbai native and heart surgeon working in London, Ky., on a J-1 waiver, said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.