ECFMG|FAIMER leadership and staff recently had the privilege of engaging in a live panel event with four J-1 physician panelists, all of whom previously contributed to Journeys in Medicine, an ECFMG blog. The conversation included a discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic, their passion for medicine, what drew them to the United States for training, and more. We are pleased to share some of the highlights of that conversation in the video below. Continue reading “A Conversation with J-1 Physicians: Spring 2021”
By ECFMG Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program Team
ECFMG’s Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP) has been the sole visa sponsor for J-1 exchange visitor physicians for decades. As an organization, we’ve always known that the physicians we sponsor are remarkable individuals. We’ve seen them exhibit great bravery, dedication, and talent. But this year, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, we’ve never been more proud of them or of the role that we play in supporting their journeys in medicine.
An Interview with Fred Valente
Regional Advisor, ECFMG Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program
Fred Valente celebrated his 30th year as an ECFMG employee this fall, working as a regional advisor for the Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP). The following is an interview conducted by Journeys in Medicine to chronicle his achievement.
30 years! How does it feel to reflect on this milestone moment in your career?
Return with me now to the thrilling days of yesteryear, 1989. The Berlin Wall was torn down. The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize. The World Series was postponed for ten days as a result of an earthquake. An entire generation grew up since I started working here. Considering that this sort of longevity in one job is practically unheard of these days, I consider myself to be extremely lucky. Through my three decades, I have worked with many wonderful and talented people. We have always worked hard… really hard. We also laughed together and, sometimes, we cried.
By Katie Powell
Exchange Visitor Cultural and Educational Affairs Program Manager, ECFMG
It was a beautiful fall day, 55 degrees and sunny, in our nation’s “Big Apple.” The sound of spectators and volunteers cheering rose from the sidewalks as more than 50,000 runners persevered along the city streets. It was a perfect setting to introduce exchange visitor physicians to the New York City (NYC) Marathon, an American tradition 48 years strong. We were gathered for a day of volunteerism and cross-cultural sharing with the aim of fostering international understanding in line with the spirit and intent of the J-1 visa program we represent.
ECFMG serves as the sole sponsor for nearly 11,000 foreign national physicians participating in the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor (J-1 Visa) Program to train in U.S. programs of graduate medical education. Each year, the U.S. Department of State (DoS) reaches out to program sponsors to plan an exchange-visitor volunteering event at the NYC Marathon. The idea is to bring exchange visitors from all different sponsorship categories—of which there are scholars, trainees, physicians, and more—together for a cross-cultural activity. It also gives exchange visitors the opportunity to connect with each other and engage in an exciting volunteer event supporting marathon runners from around the world.
By Tracy Wallowicz
Director, ECFMG Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program and Compliance
Welcome to Journeys in Medicine. ECFMG is thrilled to launch this new blog developed to profile the physicians, institutions, and experiences behind our Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP). With each post, Journeys in Medicine will highlight the accomplishments and contributions of a current or former exchange visitor participant and/or feature a host teaching hospital that is taking a unique approach to resident education resulting in an enhanced experience for exchange visitor (EV) physicians.
You may wonder why we are launching the blog and why we are doing so now. The answer to both questions is quite simple. We feel strongly that the contributions of current and former EV physicians to health care around the globe cannot be underestimated and should be shared. While in the United States, these doctors hone their skills and share their medical expertise while engaging in valuable cross cultural experiences and enriching their communities. Upon completion of U.S. training, many make significant impacts on health care in their home countries. We look forward to sharing their stories with you.
Below you find our inaugural blog entry. It marks the first time that I am sharing the very personal story of my unexpected and profound interactions with two exchange visitor (EV) physicians.