To the Editor:—

As a junior faculty member committed to becoming an anesthesiology physician scientist, I read the article by Schwinn and Balser1on recruiting and training more of my own with great interest. However, one issue not touched upon either in the article1or in the accompanying Editorial View2is that a large portion of recent anesthesiology graduates, including myself, do not hold US citizenship or a green card, but came to the country on a J-1 visa.3If they manage to obtain a visa to stay on after graduation, this visa will not allow them to pursue research training fellowships, to work part-time to make room for research, or to apply for research training or research starter grants through the National Institutes of Health, because green card status is required for all of the aforementioned pathways. But among these non-American recent graduate anesthesiologists, many are keen to embark on a research career, not least because it will enhance their prospects to eventually obtain a waiver of the home return requirement inherent in the J-1 visa under which they completed their anesthesia training. We would miss out as a specialty if we do not tap this potential, e.g. , by extending the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited fellowships to include an additional mandatory research year (that would hence be covered by a J-1 visa extension) and by lobbying for visa waivers for research trainees in anesthesiology.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey. michael@andreae.org

References

1.
Schwinn DA, Balser JR: Anesthesiology physician scientists in academic medicine: A wake-up call. Anesthesiology 2006; 104:170–8
2.
Knight PR, Warltier DC: Anesthesiology residency programs for physician scientists. Anesthesiology 2006; 104:1–4
3.
Grogono AW: Resident numbers and graduation rates from residencies and nurse anesthetist schools in 2004. ASA Newsletter 2004; 68:11