International Travelers

The SMDM Annual Meeting brings together medical professionals from all over the world to learn about the latest in medical research to advance medical decision making and SMDM warmly welcomes all international attendees to the Annual Meeting. Please reference the following information to help with your travel planning.


SMDM will provide a letter stating your intent to attend the SMDM Annual Meeting, which may assist you in obtaining your travel visa. Attendees may request a visa letter by writing Please note that visa letters take 3 - 5 business days to process. 

Citizens from countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program may be unable to enter the United States without Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval from the U.S. government. For more information about how to apply for ESTA authorization, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

Due to recent policy changes, U.S. Consulates may request additional documentation from applicants for visas to enter the United States. This may include information concerning travel and work history as well as other details. Travelers should familiarize themselves with these procedures and factor in additional time for visa processing.

For more information and current procedures regarding obtaining a visa, please visit the U.S. State Department Travel website. The U.S. State department recommends visa applicants apply as soon as possible to allow for time to process visas in time for the meeting. 

Recently, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has suspended issuance of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to applicants from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela. Please note the policy may apply to individuals who have become citizens of unaffected countries or who have traveled to the affected countries. SMDM is committed to international academic participation. We have registered the 2019 Annual Meeting with the U.S. State Department, and this should assist with visa processing for international attendees. 

Please carefully review U.S. Customs and Border Protection rules to determine your eligibility to obtain a visa. An application to waive visa restrictions should be submitted well in advance of the meeting.  Unfortunately, granting of waivers by U.S. Customs and Border Protection is rare. We will do our best to accommodate those whose abstract is accepted, but who are unable to travel to the annual meeting due to US visa restrictions. Please contact the SMDM office immediately by writing Trevor Scholl at to let us know if you anticipate problems getting a visa. Alerting us well in advance will help us to understand how many are affected so that we can investigate how to accommodate presenters.

Travel Tips

Climate: In October, Portland, Oregon, has an average high of 63°F (17°C) and average low of 48°F (8°C). Get the 10-day weather forecast for Portland, Oregon.

Dress/Attire: Business casual is appropriate for the meeting. Plan to bring a sweater or light jacket in case some rooms feel cold. Comfortable shoes are recommended to walk long distances in the hotel. 

Electricity: The United States uses 110 to 120 volts AC (60 Hz). Adaptors that may be required are for 2 flat blades or for 2 flat blades with a grounding pin.

Exchange Rate: Help plan your trip by checking the current exchange rate of your currency in U.S. dollars.

Insurance: International attendees should assess the need for international (travelers) medical insurance that will assist in covering any health-related expenses you may incur while you are in the United States. While accidents are rare, there is always a possibility of injury or sickness. Therefore, if you are interested in obtaining insurance, you should research options and arrange for coverage at least 30 days before you are scheduled to travel.

Time Zone: Portland, Oregon is located in the Pacific Time Zone and will observe Daylight Saving Time over the meeting dates (GMT-7).

Tipping: Tipping in the United States is customary. A 15% to 20% tip is usually expected in restaurants, taxis and for services you receive.

United Airlines Discount Code:

SMDM has partnered with United Airlines to offer discounted rates on flights to/from Portland International Airport (PDX). For the discount code, please contact SMDM by writing