Profession

Ohio transplant doctor gets visa

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 2, 2004

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The kidney transplant program at Akron City Hospital in Akron, Ohio, is up and running again after a hiatus of more than six months.

The physician hired to resuscitate the program recently received a visa to work in the United States, after his first request for a work visa was denied last fall.

Akron's transplant program had been poised to close unless a full-time physician was found to replace the part-time visiting doctors who could not cover the program on short notice. Tanmay Lal, MD, was hired to fill this gap and had expected to start working soon after his July 2003 arrival date.

However, his request for an O-1 work visa was denied, even though he was legally allowed to live here as a dependent of his physician wife, who already had an O-1. The O-1 visa is for applicants of extraordinary ability at the top of their fields and is a typical path for transplant surgeons.

To the relief of the 96 patients on the kidney transplant waiting list, Dr. Lal recently won a waiver from his J-1 visa requirement to return to his home country for three years before reapplying for work in the United States.

Now armed with an H-1B visa, Dr. Lal is required to work as a general surgeon in a medically underserved area for three years, He will do that work at a clinic operated by Akron City Hospital. His transplant surgery duties will be in addition to the 32 hours he spends each week at this clinic for the underserved.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/02/02/prbf0202.htm.

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