AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement about the executive action related to individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status:
“While the AAMC is encouraged by President-Elect Trump’s comments about working to ensure that people with DACA status are able to remain in the United States, we strongly urge him to not revoke the current DACA executive action until a permanent pathway to a lawful immigration status for DACA participants is approved by Congress. I affirmed this sentiment, particularly as it relates to medical residents and students with DACA status, in asent to the incoming administration yesterday.
The AAMC is dedicated to promoting a culturally competent, diverse, and prepared health and biomedical workforce that leads to improved health. 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. A diverse and culturally responsive physician workforce leads to improvements in access to care for the underserved, improves cultural awareness, promotes health equity, and—studies have shown—leads to more positive patient experiences.
The AAMC alsowork underway on Capitol Hill to craft a potential legislative solution that would ensure a temporary stay of deportation for students with DACA status until such time that Congress approves a permanent fix, such as the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Further, the AAMC encourages lawmakers to grant DREAMers eligibility for federal student loans since financing medical education is often cited as the biggest barrier for aspiring physicians.
Medical students and residents with DACA status and DREAMers represent a small but important segment of the U.S. population, and their participation in our health care workforce will benefit all U.S. patients. The AAMC looks forward to working with the incoming administration, Congress, and the broader higher education community to ensure these dedicated students and residents are able to continue their medical education and training.”
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.