According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, roughly 34.9 million Americans live in area designated as health professional shortage areas. These are urban and suburban neighborhoods and rural areas where there is less than one primary care physicians for every 2,000 persons. In addition to shortages of medical doctors, some 28.5 million American reside in areas where there is a shortage of dentists and 44.4 million persons live in areas that lack sufficient mental health professionals.
Relieving the shortage of medical personnel would necessitate placing an additional 16,000 doctors in areas of need, as well as 8,500 dentists and 4,000 mental health professionals. As a part of effort to fill the shortage, the Congress provides methods for foreign-born physicians to immigrate into the United States. Under the U.S immigration law, the foreign-born and trained physicians can be admitted to reside in the United States through the employment-based immigration.
In addition to immigration, the foreign doctors can be admitted to the U.S as a nonimmigrant. The admission of those foreign doctors occurs primarily through use of the J-1 and H-1B visa categories.