Primary care physicians, as defined by Federal Regulations, are physicians who practice internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, psychiatry, or family medicine. Specialists may qualify for the Conrad 30 program depending upon the state’s policy. Pursuant to Public Law 108-441 of the United States 108th Congress, December 3, 2004: states do have the option to consider if some of the 30 slots may be allocated to licensed and contracted specialist physicians. Not all of the 50 states in the union exercise their option to allow specialists apply for the J-1 waiver. For instance, California does not accept J-1 waiver applications for a doctor that practices specialty medicine. However, in California, specialists may qualify for a J-1 waiver by working as a primary care physician. In January 2009 California could change its policy regarding allowing specialists to apply for a J-1 waiver, if all of the J-1 waiver Conrad 30 slots are not utilized.
Based on the foregoing, it becomes apparent that if you are a specialist you should ensure that your potential employer is in a state that allows specialists to apply for the Conrad 30 waiver.