AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s executive order on immigration:
“The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals are dedicated to promoting a diverse and culturally competent health and biomedical workforce that supports improvements in health care, breakthroughs in medical research, and, ultimately, improved and equitable health for all patients.
We are deeply concerned that the Jan. 27 executive order will disrupt education and research and have a damaging long-term impact on patients and health care.
The AAMC strives to ensure medical education and training is accessible for students and physicians from all backgrounds. The United States is facing a serious shortage of physicians. International graduates play an important role in U.S. health care, representing roughly 25 percent of the workforce. Current immigration pathways—including student, exchange-visitor, and employment visas—provide a balanced solution that improves health care access across the country through programs like the National Interest Waiver and the Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver. In the last decade, Conrad 30 alone has directed nearly 10,000 physicians into rural and urban underserved communities. Impeding these U.S. immigration pathways jeopardizes critical access to high-quality physician care for our nation’s most vulnerable populations.
Our ability to attract top talent from around the world also enriches the research laboratories at medical schools and teaching hospitals that are working toward cures and has helped position the U.S. as a global leader in medical research, strengthening our economy and bolstering the public's health. Because disease knows no geographic boundaries, it is essential to ensure that we continue to foster, rather than impede, scientific cooperation with physicians and researchers of all nationalities, as we strive to keep our country healthy.
The AAMC is committed to a workforce that serves all patients and urges the administration to carefully consider the health care needs of the nation.”
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 152 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.