To increase access to quality healthcare in Delta communities, the DRA has implemented the Delta Doctors program, which allows foreign physicians who are trained in this country to work in medically underserved areas for three years through a J-1 visa waiver. Those in the Delta Doctors program do not take jobs away from U.S.-born physicians. Instead, they provide critical medical services in areas with a physician shortage.
The Delta Regional Authority is able to recommend J-1 visa waivers to the State Department. Medical school graduates from other countries normally are required to return to their home countries for at least two years after they complete their education; however, the J-1 visa waiver obtained under the Delta Doctors program allows graduates to stay in the United States if they spend at least three years in a medically under-served area. The physicians must provide primary care in their specialty fields for at least 40 hours a week. The Delta Doctors program also accepts waiver requests for medical specialists. Physicians must provide care to the indigent, Medicaid recipients, and Medicare recipients.
For more information about the Conrad State 30 Program, which provides similar services, click here.