Coronavirus and Foreign Medical Residents, Fellows
The U.S. is granting visas to foreign medical residents and fellows despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but getting here may be a struggle.
Scarcity of international flights could create barriers to entry
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL school graduates and foreign students in their final year of med school overseas who were awarded a U.S. medical residency or fellowship via the National Resident Matching Program are probably excited about the opportunity – but they may worry about whether it will actually happen.
These individuals should know that they should be able to start their medical training this July as planned, despite complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. Department of State announced on March 26 that it was processing J-1 and H-1B visas for medical professionals despite the ongoing suspension of routine visa services at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. Nevertheless, despite accommodations by the U.S. government, it might still be challenging for prospective residents and fellows outside the U.S. to get the authorizations and flights they need in order to travel to the U.S. before their training program begins, according to some experts.
A common fear among those who are supposed to begin medical training in the U.S. this summer is that they might have to start their program late or even defer it for a year one has to prepare himself for either outcome, though the hopes for the best.