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Second Opinion

Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.

Washington Highlights

Comprehensive Reform Bill Could Improve Physician Immigration

April 19, 2013—Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) April 16 introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744), which includes a number of provisions that will impact physician immigration.  In addition to Sen. Schumer, the bill is co-sponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) ― known collectively as the “Gang of 8.” 

The measure includes most of the Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Act (S. 616), introduced March 19 by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) [see Washington Highlights, March 22]. AAMC, American Medical Association (AMA), and American Hospital Association (AHA) are listed among the supporters of S. 616.

Of particular importance to teaching hospitals and residents, S. 744 would:

  • Create three new Conrad 30 slots per state dedicated for academic medical centers;
  • Provide a mechanism to increase Conrad 30 waivers each time 90 percent of waivers are filled nationwide;I
  • Institute physician employment protection provisions for physicians in the Conrad 30 program;
  • Clarify physician eligibility for national interest waiver green cards;
  • Better align visa terms with residency training and physician practice; 
  • Exempt eligible medical residents and physicians from annual worldwide immigration caps; and
  • Help address “brain drain” by allowing immigrating physicians to practice in designated developing countries without affecting their U.S. continuous residency requirements.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin a series of hearings on immigration overhaul legislation April 19.

A similar bipartisan group of House members has been working on comprehensive immigration reform, but has yet to release any proposals publicly. The House group consists of Representatives Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), John Carter (R-Texas), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Sam Johnson (R-Texas), and John Yarmuth (D-Ky.).

Contact:

Matthew Shick, JD
Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
Telephone: 202-862-6116
Email: mshick@aamc.org

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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.


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For More Information

Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806
Email: jkleinman@aamc.org