Nonprofit: Trump's immigration order could contribute to doctor shortage

Nonprofit: Trump's immigration order could contribute to doctor shortage

President Trump’s executive order on immigration could worsen the shortage of doctors in the United States, warns the Association of American Medical Colleges.

“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,” AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch said in a statement Monday.

“The AAMC strives to ensure medical education and training is accessible for students and physicians from all backgrounds.”

Trump signed an executive order on Friday barring Syrian refugees from the U.S. indefinitely and halting the resettlement of all refugees for four months as the administration reviews the vetting process.


The order also denies entry for 90 days for all visa-holders from Syria and six other predominantly Muslim countries: Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen.

Kirch said international graduates play an “important role” in U.S. healthcare, making up about 25 percent of the workforce.

According to Forbes, 260 people have applied for medical residency from the seven countries impacted by Trump’s order.

Kirch further warned that impeding 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,” Kirch said.

“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.” 

American Hospital Association President Rick Pollack said he is concerned that, without modification, Trump's executive order could adversely impact patient care, education and research. 

"We are hopeful that the Administration will find solutions to preserve patient access to medical and nursing expertise from across the globe, ensuring care is not disrupted," he said. 

"Hospitals and the patients we serve often rely on international collaboration among clinicians to advance care, and an efficient visa program is essential to their success. We rely on a diverse workforce to deliver the care patients and families need. We will work with the Administration to come to a solution that patients can continue to rely on for their care."