N.J. Senate Approves Bill to Help Foreign Physicians Stay In-State
an NJ Spotlight report.
Because the federal government requires evidence of a physician shortage before it will grant visa waivers, Senate Bill S2002 would require all New Jersey physicians to complete an online survey that aims to document the severity of the state's shortage. The survey would be conducted in 2013 when physicians apply to the state Board of Medical Examiners to renew their licenses, and will address issues such as where New Jersey physicians practice, their specialties, how many hours per week they work, and whether or not they are accepting new patients.
If a shortage is apparent from the data, the government will grant up to 30 visa waivers per year to allow foreign physicians to remain in the state when their residency training ends. The visa waivers would be granted to foreign physicians who agree to practice medicine for at least four years in a proven shortage area, said Deborah Briggs, president of the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals.
New Jersey has "an incredible shortage of pediatric subspecialties, and particularly surgical subspecialties," said Meg Fisher, MD, incoming president of the American Academy of Pediatricians. Shortages include pediatric neurosurgeons, cardiac surgeons, neurologists, developmental pediatricians and emergency medicine pediatricians, she said.
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