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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion
This report discusses the criteria that foreign nationals must meet before admission to the United States, including the reasons why a foreign national might be denied admission, most particularly on health-related grounds. This report discusses such issues in relation to the recent outbreak of the 2009 H1N1 ("swine flu") virus, and how the outbreak has affected various government agencies, such as the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This report also discusses efforts to confront and address such issues on a legislative front. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491270/
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": Military Policy and the Law on Same-Sex Behavior
This report describes the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy, which holds that the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in same-sex acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability. Under this policy, but not the law, service members are not to be asked about nor allowed to discuss their "same-sex orientation." This report also describes recent efforts by certain Members of Congress to amending this policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491465/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
The combined efforts of the food industry and the regulatory agencies often are credited with making the U.S. food supply among the safest in the world. Nonetheless, many food-related health issues persist. At issue is whether the current U.S. regulatory system has the resources and structural organization to protect consumers from these dangers. Also at issue is whether the federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31457/
Comparison of the Current World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and the World Trade Center Health Program Proposed by Title I of H.R. 847
This report compares the current federally supported medical screening and treatment program offered to various persons affected by the terrorist attack on New York City on September 11, 2001, with the federal program proposed to be established by Title I of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, as amended and passed by the House of Representatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491211/
Veterans Medical Care: FY2011 Appropriations
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides benefits to veterans through three major operating units, one of which is the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), on which this report focuses. This report will track the FY2011 appropriations process for funding VHA, and will be updated as legislative activities warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31364/
Legal Issues Relating to the Disposal of Dispensed Controlled Substances
Prescription drug abuse is the second-most common form of illicit drug abuse among teenagers in the United States, trailing only marijuana use. Prescription drug abuse has become a particular concern amongst federal policymakers. This report discusses this issue, including related pieces of legislation such as the Controlled Substances Act, the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, and the proper way to dispose of controlled substances. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29570/
Comparison of the Current World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and the World Trade Center Health Program Proposed by Title I of H.R. 847
This report compares the current federally supported medical screening and treatment program offered to various persons affected by the terrorist attack on New York City on September 11, 2001, with the federal program proposed to be established by Title I of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, as amended and passed by the House of Representatives. The World Trade Center (WTC) Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program (MMTP) and the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) are the specific programs compared in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29594/
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": The Law and Military Policy on Same-Sex Behavior
This report describes the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy, which holds that the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in same-sex acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability. Under this policy, but not the law, service members are not to be asked about nor allowed to discuss their "same-sex orientation." This report also describes recent efforts by certain Members of Congress to amending this policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29575/
TRICARE and VA Health Care: Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
The 111th Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and hereafter referred to as PPACA. This report addresses key questions concerning how PPACA affects the Department of Defense (DOD) TRICARE program and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31357/
Legal Issues Relating to the Disposal of Dispensed Controlled Substances
This report describes an issue that is the fastest-growing drug problem in the country -- the intentional use of prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. It is the second-most common form of illicit drug abuse among teenagers in the United States behind marijuana use. Several bills have been introduced in the 111th Congress that would create a legal framework governing disposal of controlled substances that have been dispensed to patients. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31336/
The Millennium Development Goals: The September 2010 U.N. High-level Meeting
This report discusses overarching trends in Millennium Development Goals (MDG) progress and lessons learned from previous and ongoing efforts to achieve them. The MDGs are a group of measurable development targets agreed to by 189 U.N. member states - including the United States - as part of the 2000 Millennium Declaration. The MDGs cover a number of issues, such as eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, combating HIV/AIDS, and promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. This report examines U.S. policy toward the MDGs and how, if at all, the Goals fit into U.S. development and foreign assistance policy. It also examines different schools of thought regarding the effectiveness of the Goals, their role in international development, and their long-term sustainability. This report addresses the MDGs as a whole; it does not assess or analyze issues pertaining to the individual Goals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29607/
U.S.-South Korea Beef Dispute: Issues and Status
This report describes the beef provisions in the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) and the separate bilateral protocols that the United States has negotiated in order to secure the lifting of South Korea's ban on U.S. beef imports, imposed after the discovery of mad cow disease in late 2003. It also summarizes U.S. beef export developments to this key market before and after the ban and since these protocols took effect; and lays out the outstanding issues on U.S. beef access that will likely need to be resolved to facilitate congressional consideration of the KORUS FTA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29712/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
The combined efforts of the food industry and the regulatory agencies often are credited with making the U.S. food supply among the safest in the world. Nonetheless, many food-related health issues persist. At issue is whether the current U.S. regulatory system has the resources and structural organization to protect consumers from these dangers. Also at issue is whether the federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29748/
Veterans Affairs: Health Care and Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
This report provides an overview of health care services and disability compensation benefits available to Vietnam veterans, Children of Vietnam Era veterans, and non-Vietnam veterans exposed to herbicides. This is followed by a discussion of litigation pertaining to Navy veterans of the Vietnam Era who served offshore and were never physically present on Vietnamese soil. The report concludes with a discussion of epidemiologic research conducted to study the health effects of Agent Orange and dioxin exposure on Vietnam veterans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29704/
Veterans Affairs: Presumptive Service Connection and Disability Compensation
The purpose of this report is to examine the very complex and sometimes controversial policy issue of establishing presumptive service connection. The material in it is based in large part on VA's "Analysis of Presumptions of Service Connection," and IOM's "Improving the Presumptive Disability Decision-Making Process for Veterans" reports. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491018/
Comparison of the Current World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and the World Trade Center Health Program Proposed by Title I of H.R. 847
This report compares the current federally supported medical screening and treatment program offered to various persons affected by the terrorist attack on New York City on September 11, 2001, with the federal program proposed to be established by Title I of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, as amended and passed by the House of Representatives. The World Trade Center (WTC) Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program (MMTP) and the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) are the specific programs compared in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491365/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, which many experts say is among the safest in the world. This report discusses various food safety proposals in Congress, as well as agencies with food safety related responsibilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491097/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
This report discusses Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is used to produce certain types of plastic that are used in thousands of formulations for myriad products. Containers made with these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Medical devices and other more ubiquitous products, such as thermal paper coatings, also may contribute significantly to human exposure. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491289/
Veterans Medical Care: FY2011 Appropriations
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides benefits to veterans through three major operating units, one of which is the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), on which this report focuses. This report will track the FY2011 appropriations process for funding VHA, and will be updated as legislative activities warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491546/
Iraq: U.S. Casualties
This report consists of a brief table summarizing casualty data compiled by the Department of Defense (DOD), including fatalities during Operation Iraqi Freedom since March 19, 2003, and since May 1, 2003, including statistics on those wounded, but not killed, since March 19, 2003. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26315/
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26156/
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases
This report discusses the April 2009 outbreak of the influenza strain known as H1N1, or commonly, swine influenza. This report describes the distribution of the virus and the statistics of affected areas, as well as international and U.S. efforts to treat infected persons, respond to outbreaks in various countries (such as Mexico and other Latin American nations), and prepare for a possible influenza pandemic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26157/
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: Selected Legal Issues
In late April 2009, human cases of infection with a novel influenza A(H1N1) virus, commonly known as "swine flu," were identified. Since then, the virus has become widespread. It is timely to examine the legal issues surrounding this public health threat. This report provides a brief overview of selected legal issues including emergency measures, civil rights, liability issues, and employment issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26152/
FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations
This report discusses the White House's request for supplemental appropriations that include funding for defense, foreign affairs, and domestic fire fighting. The report details the different programs and areas that the appropriations would fund, including operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, preparedness and emergency management measures relating to the swine flu outbreak, border security between the United States and Mexico, benchmark assessment in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other general defense operations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26148/
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: An Overview
This report first provides a synopsis of key events, actions taken, and authorities invoked by WHO, the U.S. federal government, and state and local governments. It then discusses the WHO process to determine the phase of a flu pandemic, and selected actions taken by the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, and by state and local authorities. Next, it lists congressional hearings held to date, and provides information about appropriations and funding for pandemic flu activities. Finally, it summarizes U.S. government pandemic flu planning documents and lists sources for additional information about the situation as it unfolds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26151/
Iraq: U.S. Casualties
This report consists of a brief table summarizing casualty data compiled by the Department of Defense (DOD), including fatalities during Operation Iraqi Freedom since March 19, 2003, and since May 1, 2003, including statistics on those wounded, but not killed, since March 19, 2003. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26316/
Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion
This report discusses the criteria that foreign nationals must meet before admission to the United States, including the reasons why a foreign national might be denied admission, most particularly on health-related grounds. This report discusses such issues in relation to the recent outbreak of the 2009 H1N1 ("swine flu") virus, and how the outbreak has affected various government agencies, such as the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This report also discusses efforts to confront and address such issues on a legislative front. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26155/
Alert Systems for Missing Adults in Eleven States: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the emerging development of nationwide alert systems to recover missing adults, such as those with mental impairment (such as Alzheimer's disease), developmental disabilities, or suicidal tendencies. This report provides an overview of such alert systems in 11 states: Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia. This report also provides a discussion of issues for Congress to consider with respect to the federal role, if any, in developing state alert programs for missing adults. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26150/
FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations
This report discusses the White House's request for supplemental appropriations that include funding for defense, foreign affairs, and domestic fire fighting. The report details the different programs and areas that the appropriations would fund, including operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, preparedness and emergency management measures relating to the swine flu outbreak, border security between the United States and Mexico, benchmark assessment in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other general defense operations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26149/
Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
This report explores the relationship between the United States and Mexico in terms of trade, drug trafficking, and cooperative disease control and management. Specifically, the report discusses the Mérida Initiative, the trade dispute involving the implementation of NAFTA trucking provisions, Secretary of State Clinton's March 2009 visit to Mexico, and the April 2009 outbreak of the H1N1 "swine flu" virus. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26225/
Federal Tort Claims Act
The Federal Tort Claims Act is the statute by which the United States authorizes tort suits to be brought against itself. With exceptions, it makes the United States liable for injuries caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any federal employee acting within the scope of his employment, in accordance with the law of the state where the act or omission occurred. This report discusses, among other things, the application of the Feres doctrine to suits for injuries caused by medical malpractice in the military, the prohibition of suits by victims of atomic testing, Supreme Court cases interpreting the discretionary function exception, the extent to which federal employees may be held liable for torts they commit in the scope of their employment, and the government contractor defense to products liability design defect suits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29494/
Animal Identification: Overview and Issues
This report provides information about animal identification and proposed solutions. Livestock industry groups, animal health officials, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been working to establish a nationwide identification (ID) system capable of quickly tracking animals from birth to slaughter, to deal with animal diseases and/or to satisfy foreign market specifications. Some consumer groups are among those who believe ID also would be useful for food safety or retail labeling purposes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87388/
Iraqi Civilian Deaths Estimates
This report presents various governmental and nongovernmental estimates of Iraqi civilian dead and wounded. The Department of Defense (DOD) regularly updates total U.S. military death and wounded statistics from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). However, no Iraqi or U.S. government office regularly releases publicly available statistics on Iraqi civilian deaths or civilians who have been wounded. Statistics on Iraqi civilian dead and wounded are sometimes available through alternative sources, such as nonprofit organizations, or through statements made by officials to the press. Because these estimates are based on varying time periods and have been created using differing methodologies, readers should exercise caution when using these statistics and should look on them as guideposts rather than as statements of fact. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463433/
Nonmarital Childbearing: Trends, Reasons, and Public Policy Interventions
This report analyzes the trends in nonmarital childbearing, discusses some of the characteristics of unwed mothers, addresses some issues involving the fathers of children born outside of marriage, covers many of the reasons for nonmarital childbearing, examines the impact of nonmarital births on families and on the nation, and presents the public policy interventions that have been used to prevent nonmarital births or ameliorate some of the negative financial consequences that are sometimes associated with nonmarital childbearing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26294/
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coverage of Contagious Diseases
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), provides broad nondiscrimination protection for individuals with disabilities in employment public services, public accommodations and services operated by private entities, transportation, and telecommunication. This report briefly discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act's statutory provisions relating to contagious diseases and relevant judicial interpretations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10648/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10735/
Iraqi Civilian Deaths Estimates
This report presents various governmental and nongovernmental estimates of Iraqi civilian dead and wounded. The Department of Defense (DOD) regularly updates total U.S. military death and wounded statistics from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). However, no Iraqi or U.S. government office regularly releases publicly available statistics on Iraqi civilian deaths or civilians who have been wounded. Statistics on Iraqi civilian dead and wounded are sometimes available through alternative sources, such as nonprofit organizations, or through statements made by officials to the press. Because these estimates are based on varying time periods and have been created using differing methodologies, readers should exercise caution when using these statistics and should look on them as guideposts rather than as statements of fact. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10683/
Veterans Affairs: Health Care and Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
This report provides an overview of health care services and disability compensation benefits available to Vietnam veterans, Children of Vietnam Era veterans, and non-Vietnam veterans exposed to herbicides. This is followed by a discussion of litigation pertaining to Navy veterans of the Vietnam Era who served offshore and were never physically present on Vietnamese soil. The report concludes with a discussion of epidemiologic research conducted to study the health effects of Agent Orange and dioxin exposure on Vietnam veterans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462214/
International Convention Against Doping in Sport: Issues for Congress
The International Convention Against Doping in Sport seeks to harmonize anti-doping commitments for non-professional sports at the international level. Issues that may continue to arise as policymakers evaluate the Convention include its relationship to anti-doping regulations in professional sports and the legitimacy and effectiveness of current international anti-doping activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10749/
Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress
The 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic have sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats. The 109th Congress passed laws that reauthorized public health and medical preparedness and response programs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and reorganized parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the establishment of an Office of Health Affairs (OHA). This report discusses key issues in public health and medical preparedness and response, citing additional CRS reports and other resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10695/
The Public Health and Medical Response to Disasters: Federal Authority and Funding
This report examines (1) the authorities and coordinating mechanisms of the President and the Secretary of HHS in providing routine assistance, and assistance pursuant to emergency or major disaster declarations and/or public health emergency determinations; (2) mechanisms to assure a coordinated federal response to public health and medical emergencies, and overlaps or gaps in agency responsibilities; and (3) existing mechanisms, potential gaps, and proposals for financing the costs of a response to public health and medical emergencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94068/
The Public Health and Medical Response to Disasters: Federal Authority and Funding
This report examines (1) the authorities and coordinating mechanisms of the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in providing routine assistance, and assistance pursuant to emergency or major disaster declarations and/or public health emergency determinations; (2) mechanisms to assure a coordinated federal response to public health and medical emergencies, and overlaps or gaps in agency responsibilities; and (3) existing mechanisms, potential gaps, and proposals for financing the costs of a response to public health and medical emergencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461895/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10733/
Abortion Services and Military Medical Facilities
In 1993, President Clinton modified the military policy on providing abortions at military medical facilities. Under the change directed by the President, military medical facilities were allowed to perform abortions if paid for entirely with non-Department of Defense (DOD) funds (i.e., privately funded). Over the last three decades, the availability of abortion services at military medical facilities has been subjected to numerous changes and interpretations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26084/
Global Health: Appropriations to USAID Programs from FY2001 through FY2008
This report details the funds Congress appropriated from FY2001 through FY2008 to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for global health programs. The report includes which key programs said appropriations supported and also discusses the role of other U.S. agencies and departments in this context, including the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10767/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10734/
International Convention Against Doping in Sport: Issues for Congress
The International Convention Against Doping in Sport seeks to harmonize anti-doping commitments for non-professional sports at the international level. Issues that could arise as the Senate considers the Convention include its relationship to anti-doping regulations in professional sports, potential consequences that non-ratification could pose to the United States, and the legitimacy and effectiveness of current international anti-doping activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10750/
The Public Health and Medical Response to Disasters: Federal Authority and Funding
This report examines, first, the authorities and coordinating mechanisms of the President and the Secretary of HHS in providing routine assistance, and assistance pursuant to emergency or major disaster declarations and/or public health emergency determinations; second, mechanisms to assure a coordinated federal response to public health and medical emergencies, and overlaps or gaps in agency responsibilities; and finally, existing mechanisms, potential gaps, and proposals for financing the costs of a response to public health and medical emergencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462504/
Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress
The 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic have sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats. The 109th Congress passed laws that reauthorized public health and medical preparedness and response programs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and reorganized parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the establishment of an Office of Health Affairs (OHA). This report discusses key issues in public health and medical preparedness and response, citing additional CRS reports and other resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10696/
Foreign Medical Graduates: A Brief Overview of the J-1 Visa Waiver Program
The Educational and Cultural Exchange Visitor program has become a gateway for foreign medical graduates (FMGs) to gain admission to the United States as nonimmigrants for the purpose of graduate medical education and training. These FMGs either enter under the J-1 nonimmigrant visa or receive waivers that require them to work in a designated healthcare professional shortage area for a minimum of three years. The ability of states to request such waivers is known as the "Conrad State Program," and was added temporarily to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in 1994. It has been extended by the last several Congresses. Legislation has been introduced in the 110th Congress to address the program's expiration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10688/