Governor Phil Murphy

Governor Murphy and Attorney General Grewal Announce First-in-the-Nation Program to Enlist Foreign-Licensed Physicians in Fight Against COVID-19


Division of Consumer Affairs Is Now Accepting Applications from Foreign-Licensed Physicians Living in the U.S. Who Meet Certain Practice and Experience Requirements

TRENTON –  As part of the state’s ongoing effort to combat COVID-19, Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced today that physicians who are licensed in another country but living in the United States can now apply for a temporary emergency license to practice medicine in New Jersey—the first program of its kind in the country. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs will begin accepting applications for the program today.

“New Jersey is the first state in the nation to fully embrace the tremendous wealth of international knowledge and experience to help us on our own front lines,” said Governor Murphy. “This will create a pathway for foreign-licensed physicians to put their skills to use in our state when and where they are needed most. Every member of our diverse New Jersey family has a role to play in our fight against COVID-19.”

“We welcome physicians with training and experience abroad who are willing to join the ranks of New Jersey’s healthcare heroes in the fight against COVID-19,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Foreign-licensed physicians can provide critical reinforcements for New Jersey healthcare providers who have been working around the clock to save lives.”

“New Jersey’s frontline health care workers have been valiantly caring for our friends and neighbors with COVID-19 for weeks,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Having a new infusion of physicians to supplement those who need a break or have fallen ill is vital to our ongoing effort to flatten the curve of this virus.”

The program announced today is open to individuals living and authorized to work in the U.S. who are currently licensed, in good standing, to practice medicine in another country. Among other criteria, eligible candidates must:

  • Have engaged in the clinical practice of medicine for at least five years;
  • Have not been out of practice for more than five years;
  • Have no disciplinary or criminal histories that preclude them from the program; and
  • Provide copies of relevant documents to support their application, including their medical license, and information about their education and professional experience.

Physicians licensed under this program will be required to limit their practice of medicine in New Jersey to providing in-person medical care at facilities licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) or at another location designated as an emergency health care center by the Commissioner of Health.

The temporary emergency licenses granted under the program will not extend beyond the current public health emergency.

“The Division, through its professional licensing boards, is doing everything in its power to expand New Jersey’s healthcare workforce and make sure that our residents have access to care when they need it most,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “Today we are furthering that mission by expanding the pool of experienced physicians who can assist on the frontlines on an emergency basis.” 

The Division has waived application fees and will utilize its established credentials review group, comprised of Board of Medical Examiners (“the Board”) members and staff, to review applications on an expedited basis. The Board will fast-track applications from foreign-licensed physicians holding certifications issued by The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (“ECMFG”), the entity that reviews and evaluates whether foreign medical graduates have satisfied education requirements to be eligible for an accredited residency program in New Jersey and throughout the United States.

“During this public health crisis, we are proud to lend our expertise to the State of New Jersey in its fight against COVID-19,” said ECFMG|FAIMER President and CEO Dr. William Pinsky.

Foreign-licensed doctors can apply for temporary emergency licensure online on the Division’s website.

For more information on the Division’s program, please click here.

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