Getting enough primary care providers into rural areas is a struggle everywhere- and AZ is no exception.  Each state needs to have a coordinated and creative strategy to the get these critical access to care resources to the right places.  We have a few strategies.  One is the J1 Visa Program.

Each year, we provide (through the J1 Visa Waiver Program) a waiver recommendation to 30 rural and urban  J-1 physicians (foreign trained physicians on J1 visa due to residency or fellowship training) who commit to work for a 3-year stint in a federal medically underserved area of the state.   We provide a waiver recommendation to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services for the J1 physician so they can legally stay and work in the US.  There are currently 84 J-1 waiver physicians in medically underserved areas of Arizona.

Another strategy we’re implementing is the Arizona National Interest Waiver Program. This program provides an opportunity for foreign physicians on a J-1 waiver to receive a national interest waiver letter of support from ADHS- which helps them to extend their commitment for an extra 2 years.  We recently expanded our policy to include the current J1 physicians serving for the 3-year stint.  Please visit the website for more information about the Arizona National Interest Waiver Program or contact Ana Roscetti at [email protected].