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House Staff Information

Visa Information/Policy

MedStar Washington Hospital Center adheres to the standards and guidelines for the employment of non-immigrants as established by federal immigration laws and the United States Department of Labor.

The MedStar Washington Graduate Medical Education Office sponsors J-1 visas for eligible, employed house staff.  For more information on the J-1 visa requirements, please visit the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates​ website.

Medical Licensure for House Staff

This policy will apply to all graduate medical education (GME) training programs at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.


  1. In order to begin training, all house staff must either:
    • hold an unrestricted medical license in the District of Columbia or
    • hold a Medical Training License in the District of Columbia
  2. House staff who are in the following categories must have an unrestricted DC License in order to begin training:
    • 5 years past medical school (for US graduates);
    • 5 years from the beginning of ACGME-accredited, postgraduate training (for international graduates);
    • have completed a residency program;
    • enrolled in unaccredited/unapproved programs;
    • licensed in another jurisdiction (excluding training or temporary licenses in another jurisdiction).
  3. House staff who are not required to obtain an unrestricted medical license in DC, as detailed above, must apply for a medical training license in DC prior to the start of their training.
  4. International residents and fellows are not eligible for licensure in DC unless they have completed 3 years of ACGME-accredited training.
  5. House staff enrolling in an unaccredited training program must either be eligible for a full medical license in DC, or the postgraduate training program must be pre-approved by the DC Board of Medicine prior to the house officer's enrollment in order for the trainee to be eligible for the medical training license.
  6. Failure to apply for licensure within a reasonable timeframe prior to the contract effective date shall result in termination of the employment agreement.
  7. Failure to renew an existing license, resulting in an expiration of license, shall result in termination of the employment agreement.
  8. House staff who require a full license, have taken Step III, and have submitted their DC License application, can work while they await their results.
  9. All house officers are required by law to maintain current licensure (training or full) for the duration of their training program.
  10. GME Office Responsibilities:
    • Maintain current licensure information on all house staff, including copies of all applicable licenses.
    • Conduct an annual audit to ensure that house staff are licensed according to DC regulations.
    • Notify program directors of their house staff who require full licensure.
    • Pay license application or renewal fee when a license is mandated by law, not for moonlighting purposes.
  11. The GME Office will not be responsible for house officers who do not submit licensure applications in a timely manner.
  12. House Staff Responsibilities:
    • Obtain DC license application online.
    • Complete licensure applications in full and submit accordingly.
    • Submit copies of all licenses to the GME Office.

House staff are ultimately responsible for submitting their licensure applications within the time limits, and will be held responsible for fines incurred as a result of late application.