To be employed at UW Health all residents and fellows are required to meet credentialing and conditions of employment requirements

Eligibility requirements

Employment requirements

Employment requirements to be completed prior to start date:

  • Pass the caregiver background information check.
  • Complete the employment eligibility verification (I-9 form) (to be completed during your Employee Health Services appointment)
  • Obtain clearance from UW Health Employee Health.
  • Complete all required orientation activities.
  • Obtain the appropriate medical license for your PG level.
  • Obtain appropriate lifesaving requirements.
  • Pass the USMLE or COMLEX exams for your PG level.
  • Medical school graduation
  • If applicable, acquire appropriate training visa for the current training year.

To view eligibility requirements for non-US citizens, click here: non-US eligibility (pdf)

Medical licensure

Med students

Resident Educational License

In the state of Wisconsin, residents entering training as a PGY-1 or as a PGY-2 must obtain a Resident Educational License (REL) by their clinical start date. Your appointment letter lists acquisition of a REL as a requirement prior to beginning your clinical training at UW Health.

Follow the directions for the Online Application Service (OLAS) to apply for your REL.

Information/documents needed before starting the online application:

  • Verification of completion of medical school
  • List of dates of employment/training after medical school. Do not leave gaps of more than 30 days between medical school graduation and starting residency/fellowship.
  • Read carefully the convictions and pending form. If you have/have had convictions or currently have pending charges such as alcohol violations (including underage drinking) or drug violations, be prepared to submit required documentation.

Contact the Graduate Medical Education Office at (608) 263-0572, option 5, or uwgme@uwhealth.org for assistance.

Unrestricted Medical License

Your appointment letter lists acquisition of a medical license as a requirement prior to beginning your training program at UW Health. Except in extraordinary circumstances, residents or fellows at the PGY-3 level or above are required to obtain an unrestricted license.

Review the directions for the Online Application Service (OLAS) to apply for your Wisconsin Medical License. OLAS website

Emergency Educational Center (EEC)

The Emergency Education Center provides the training for lifesaving courses. EEC location

  • For current lifesaving certification cards, EEC only accepts AHA Healthcare Provider cards and/or Red Cross Professional Rescuer cards.
  • Current residents: To schedule a certification class, detailed instructions are available on Med Hub/GME Resources/Life Saving or click on the class information link below.
  • New residents: To schedule any of these courses, check the MedHub new hire portal for the Lifesaving document to review.
  • CPR/BLS guidelines
    • All residents must be CPR/BLS certified before beginning training.
    • Course: This is a four-hour class. Select this course if certification has not expired.
    • Books are available at EEC or can be reviewed on the day of class.

Visa sponsorship

Permanent residents can remain in the United States indefinitely and can engage in any type of lawful employment, training or education without limitation as to location, employer or duration. They possess a resident alien card also known as a "green card." The University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics does not provide sponsorship to individuals who are pursuing permanent resident visas.

Visitor exchange visa (J-1 Alien Physician) 

The J-1, or exchange visitor visa, is a temporary non-immigrant visa sponsored by the ECFMG for foreign national physicians to participate in graduate medical training in the United States. The duration of participation for J-1 physicians in graduate medical education is the "time typically required" to complete the program, and duration is further limited to seven years, provided that the J-1 physician is advancing in an approved program of graduate medical education or training.

The J-1 visa holder is further obligated to return to their country of most recent legal permanent residence for at least two years immediately following the completion of their training. The GME Office supports and administers the J-1 visa sponsorship application process through the ECFMG for residents and fellows in accredited training programs.

J-1 eligibility and requirements

  • Exchange visitors must be eligible for visa sponsorship by successful completion of USMLE steps 1 and 2 (CK & CS) and ECFMG certification. For a full listing of eligibility requirements, please refer to the ECFMG website.
  • J-1 visa sponsorship applications must be submitted to the training program liaison in the GME Office and should not be submitted directly to the ECFMG. Application fees and other registration costs, as well as reporting changes to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, are the responsibility of the exchange visitor. 
  • It is the J-1 visa holder's personal responsibility to maintain lawful status while in the US and while training within a UW GME training program. Lawful status is evidenced by possession of a current Form DS-2019, an active SEVIS record, and Form I-94 confirming admittance for "J-1, Duration of Status - D/S." 
  • Neither internal nor external moonlighting is permitted on the J-1 visa.

Employee Authorization Document

Employee Authorization Document known popularly as a "work permit" is a document issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that provides its holder a legal right to work in the United States of America. It should not be confused with the green card.

The Employment Authorization Document is issued for a specific period of time based on alien's immigration situation.

Currently the Employment Authorization Document is issued in the form of a standard credit card-size plastic card enhanced with multiple security features. The Employment Authorization Document card contains some basic information about alien: name, birth date, sex, immigrant category, country of birth, photo, alien registration number (also called "A-number"), card number, restrictive terms and conditions, and dates of validity.

Canadian citizens and landed immigrants

Although in the past two years it has become somewhat easier for Canadian citizens to obtain a J visa, it can still be a lengthy process. There is a 30 page document located on the Health Canada website that describes the requirements for obtaining a Statement of Need from the government of Canada for medical graduates seeking postgraduate training in the United States.