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Internal Medicine and Primary Care - CA

CEP America


Source:
ACP Career Connection
Location:
Emeryville, California 94608
Date:
04/03/2017
Job Code:
36755
Job Type:
Employee
Job Status:
Full Time
Categories:
  • Internal Medicine and Primary Care
CEP America
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Job Details

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ONE HOSPITALIST'S JOURNEY THROUGH VISA SPONSORSHIP 

PATHWAY TO PARTNERSHIP
One of CEP America's first visa sponsored physicians, Gurvinder Kaur, MD, talks about the challenges of pursuing a career in America, the support she received from our Physician Partnership, and her plans for the future. 

HOW IT ALL STARTED
I'm from India and completed medical school there. Indian medical education provides a very strong clinical base, but it's not exactly cutting edge in terms of therapies, research, and so forth.  

I was also very interested in the business side of medicine. I thought that having some administrative training would really help me bring the latest research and evidence-based practice to patients.  

CHASING DREAMS
I came to California on a student visa to pursue a master's degree in healthcare administration. I also wanted to complete a residency here, and from a visa standpoint, it made sense to do both at the same time. I passed the licensing exam, and completed an internal medicine residency program. Then I went through the very in-depth certification process to transition to a J-1 (exchange visitor) visa, which is the type offered by most residencies. 
 

A BUMP IN THE ROAD
After residency, the J-1 visa requires you to return to your home country for two years. The only way around that is to work a "waiver job" for three years, which means practicing in a medically underserved area.  

The nearest waiver job I could find was with a small hospitalist group practicing in California's Central Valley. It's a rural community hospital, and it's been difficult to attract physicians to the region, so visa sponsorship makes a lot of sense. Here, patients need me. The hospital needs me. And that makes me feel good about my job at the end of the day. 

One of the things you dread as a visa candidate is something happening to your employer. If they go out of business or lose a contract, that can be the end of the road for you. 

The site where I was practicing decided to bring in CEP America to manage all of its hospitalist programs in the Central Valley. I was pretty anxious at first, but my administration really came to bat for the physicians. They wanted us to stay and encouraged us to join CEP America. CEP also agreed to take over my visa sponsorship. It was one of the first times they'd done that for a physician, so I felt really fortunate. 

HOW DID IT GO?
Few people comprehend the massive bureaucracy that goes into maintaining a visa. There are fees that need to be paid, paperwork that needs to be filed. And if you make a mistake or miss a deadline, it can lead to big problems.
The good news is that CEP America has a very dedicated, responsive human resources team backed up by in-house legal counsel. Whenever I had a question, someone would work with me to get the right answers. The process ended up going very smoothly. I felt I had a lot of support. 

In fact, CEP America just finished sponsoring one of my Hanford colleagues all the way through the green card process. He's a hospitalist from Colombia who has been a wonderful asset with our Spanish-speaking patients.  

BY GURVINDER KAUR, MD HOSPITAL MEDICINE MEDICAL DIRECTOR 

To read more about Gurvinder's story and gain some advice on working internationally, visit go.cep.com/YourVisa


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