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Applicants for subspecialty examinations must be certified in Anatomic Pathology (AP) and/or Clinical Pathology (CP). Therefore, J-1 visa candidates should register for the Spring session of the AP and/or CP examinations by the January 15 deadline and then submit their application for subspecialty certification by the May 15 deadline of the same year.

The ECFMG has been advised by our state department of restrictions in J-1 visa utilization. In turn, the ECFMG has promulgated an advisory as to how it will proceed in granting J-1 visa holders time to pursue additional, non-ACGME accredited training (October 18, 2002 letter from J.D. Hallock, M.D. of ECFMG to Stanley Colvin, J.D. of the US Department of State).

The ABP has informed Dr. Hallock of ECFMG that J-1 visa holders may benefit from additional training in pathology that is not ACGME approved and that the American Board of Pathology is willing to endorse a J-1 visa applicant for concentrated study in pathology and will do so only if:

  1. The J-1 visa candidate has completed the prerequisites for primary certification and   has applied for certification or is a diplomate of the American Board of Pathology, and
  2. There is documentation that the program of interest to the J-1 visa holder is directly associated with an ACGME-accredited program in pathology, and this is verified in writing by the program director of the ACGME-accredited primary program, and
  3. There is opportunity for the American Board of Pathology to comment on the submission to ECFMG of the following requirements:
    1. The program’s institutional sponsor must be in full compliance with ACGME institutional requirements as evidenced by a “Favorable” action on its most recent institutional review.
    2. All accreditable programs within the institution must be in good standing with the ACGME.
    3. The sponsorship institution’s Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) must affirm in writing to ECFMG that it approves of the program after review of the program description.
    4. There must be verification that the proposed training program is directly associated with an ACGME-accredited program. This verification must be provided by the program director of the accredited program.
    5. The program director must submit a detailed program description that has been reviewed and approved by GMEC specifying the educational objectives, the curriculum involved, the nature of supervision, the method of evaluation, and the duration of the program.
    6. The applicant must submit documentation that includes a Statement of Need from the applicant’s home country Ministry of Health that confirms the government’s need for the specific subspecialty training and confirms that the applicant has committed to return home on completion of training.The applicant physician must also submit a personal statement of educational objectives, which documents a definite training program in the United States and indicates its application to the home country.
  4. If you are interested in ECFMG approval of your J-1 visa for additional pathology training, please submit documentation satisfying items 1, 2, and 3 (parts a-f) to the American Board of Pathology office. A prompt response will be forwarded to you and the ECFMG.