Silicon Valley’s hunger for H-1B talent may routinely make headlines, but tech isn’t doling out the biggest paychecks for those on the long-term work visa – medicine is.
Highly-skilled immigrant doctors are compensated pretty handsomely, data from h1bdata.info show. The specialists drawing the biggest paychecks are in interventional cardiology, a subset of cardiology that deals specifically with the catheter-based treatment of heart diseases. Such specialists are paid over $425,000 (Rs 3.1 crore) each year on average.
Gastroenterologists, experts in digestive health, came in second with an average annual salary upwards of $400,000.
Facebook and Google have offered some of the highest individual salaries of up to $2 million this year. But like the tech skills gap, medicine in the United States, too, has gaping holes. The US is expected to experience a shortage of up to nearly 1,22,000 physicians by 2032, as per the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Due to this growing demand, the highest average salaries by H-1B employers are all offered by healthcare players.
Scores of these immigrant doctors are on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic. Recently, the US even relaxed some rigid location and employer specifications for H-1B visa-holders to allow immigrant physicians to service patients via telemedicine so they can help overburdened facilities.
However, they are not secure in America still.
Much of this workforce is at the mercy of the Donald Trump administration, which has been cracking down on the H-1B programme for years now. Many are worried that if they fall sick or die while serving patients, their dependent families will immediately face deportation.
This article first appeared on Quartz.