AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement upon the Trump administration’s announcement to rescind the executive action related to individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status:
“The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals have a long-standing commitment to health equity and building a diverse, culturally competent biomedical health care workforce. We believe that medical students, medical residents, and researchers with DACA status are important to the fabric of the nation’s health care system, and their participation benefits all patients. We are extremely dismayed by the administration’s decision to rescind the current executive action establishing DACA. Even with the ‘wind down process’ described by the administration, the implications of this action for medical students, medical residents, and researchers with DACA status are serious, and will interfere with their ability to complete their training and contribute meaningfully to the health of the nation.
With the nation’s population growing and becoming increasingly diverse, it is crucial that the physician workforce reflect the changing demographics of the country to mitigate racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities. Research demonstrates that diversity in the health professions leads to improvements in access to care for the underserved, better quality of care, and learning environments that increase creativity and innovation for all students. As I wrote in a letter to the then President-elect last December, we are dedicated to promoting a culturally responsive, diverse, and prepared health and biomedical workforce that leads to improved patient care.
To ensure that all members of the health care workforce with DACA status are able to continue their education, training, and research, we urge Congress to pass a permanent solution—such as the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017—or at the very least, to pass a temporary legislative remedy such as the BRIDGE Act.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members are all 151 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 173,000 full-time faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.