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).
  • Obtain clearance from UW Health Employee Health Services.
  • 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, obtain appropriate work authorization (Green Card, EAD, or J-1 physician visa) for the current training year.

To view eligibility requirements for non-US citizens, click here: Non-U.S. citizen eligibility

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 to apply for your REL via  LicensE, Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Service’s online application portal.

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 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 LicensE to apply for your Wisconsin Medical License. LicensE: Online License Application Platform.

Emergency Educational Center (EEC)

The Emergency Education Center provides the training for lifesaving courses.

  • For current lifesaving certification cards, EEC only accepts American Health Association (AHA) Healthcare Provider cards.
  • Current residents: Click here to view the available courses and schedule a certification course with the EEC. The AHA Course Enrollment User Guide Tutorial can be found here.  
  • New residents: Check the MedHub new hire portal for the Lifesavings Certifications Requirements document to review instructions and requirements by program.  Incoming new hires must obtain certifications by hire date.


International Medical Graduates

UW Health welcomes International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to our residencies and fellowships.

To qualify for a residency/fellowship at UW Health, IMGs must hold a valid certificate from the Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

IMG Definition

An International Medical Gradate is a physician who received their basic medical degree from a medical school located outside the United States and Canada. The location of the medical school, not the citizenship of the physician, determines whether the graduate is an IMG. This means that U.S. citizens who graduated from medical schools outside the U.S. and Canada are considered IMGs.


Visa sponsorship

J-1 exchange visitor visa

The Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is authorized by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor foreign national physicians for the J-1 visa. UW Health is a host institution for J-1 physicians sponsored by ECFMG.

To apply for a J-1 visa, an IMG must meet the following criteria:

  • Passed USMLE® step 1 and step 2 CK (or equivalent).
  • Have a valid ECFMG Certificate.
  • Have a contract for a position in a program of graduate medical education or training.
  • Provide a statement of need from the Ministry of Health of the country of last legal permanent residence (LPR) regardless of country of citizenship.

Two-year home country physical presence requirement

Upon completion of training in the U.S., J-1 visa holders must return to their home country for a period of two years to transmit the knowledge they gained in the U.S.

An individual must fulfill this obligation before being eligible for a change or adjustment of visa status to certain types of U.S. visas.

Related Links

Note: UW Health does not sponsor H-1B visas or accept F-1 OPT for graduate medical education training.