According to 2019 Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) data, international medical graduates (IMGs) comprise 23% of all actively practicing doctors in the United States (1). In nephrology, that number rises to 51% and in the coming years, is expected to grow, given that IMGs now make up nearly 60% of trainees entering the specialty. In the most recent fellowship match (appointment year [AY] 2022), 38% of all matched applicants were non-US IMGs, and most are likely to be on visas (2). The growing number of IMGs on visas (J-1 and H1-B; Table 1) entering practice face unique career and immigration challenges. Nephrology societies should consider instituting specific measures aimed at career development and preservation of the IMG workforce (Figure 1).
Comparison of J-1 and H1-B visas
Association of American Medical Colleges. Physician Specialty Data Report. Accessed December 28, 2021. https://www.aamc.org/data-reports/workforce/report/physician-specialty-data-report
Pivert K. AY 2022 Nephrology Match. ASN Data. ASN Alliance for Kidney Health. December 1, 2021. Accessed December 28, 2021. https://data.asn-online.org/briefs/12_ay-2022-match/
Neyra JA, et al. International medical graduates in nephrology: A guide for trainees and programs. Adv Chronic Kidney Dis 2020; 27:297–304.e1. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2020.05.003
Seethapathy H. Hiring an international medical graduate on a J-1 visa waiver. Kidney News February 2022; 14:16–17. https://www.asn-online.org/publications/kidneynews/archives/2022/KN_2022_02_feb.pdf
Bier DJ. 150-Year wait for Indian immigrants with advanced degrees. Cato Institute. June 8, 2018. Accessed December 28, 2021. https://www.cato.org/blog/150-year-wait-indian-immigrants-advanced-degrees
Roy K, et al. A wasted opportunity during a pandemic: The foreign medical graduates in the USA. J Immigr Minor Health 2021; 23:1364–1368. doi: 10.1007/s10903-021-01243-2