Thursday, March 16, 2017

What do immigrant doctors affected by the travel ban bring to America?

"What do immigrant doctors bring to America" is the question asked (and answered) by The Immigrant Doctors Project, a website compiled by a team of youthful looking scholars in response to the six country travel ban reinstated by the White House after an earlier version was found illegal by the courts.

One of the authors, Jonathan Roth, is quoted at length in a news article on the particular effect this ban may have in Los Angeles: Hundreds of doctors in LA County could be affected by new travel ban

"The executive order, which is due to go into effect on Thursday, temporarily blocks visas from being issued to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen to "to protect the Nation from terrorist activities by foreign nationals." The ban does not include permanent residents and those who already have visas, but doctors applying for new visas or seeking to renew expired ones would require a waiver. Several states are challenging the order's constitutionality in court.
"Los Angeles is actually the metro area in the United States which has the highest number of doctors from the banned countries," according to Jonathan Roth, a Harvard PhD student and one of the researchers who worked on the Immigrant Doctors Project.  
Roth, along with other researchers from Harvard and MIT, used the location of the medical school where a doctor was trained as a way to calculate a doctor's country of origin. Since many doctors train abroad, Roth says it's likely that the number of doctors affected by the ban is much larger than their estimates. 
More than 900 doctors in Los Angeles went to medical school in one of the six countries listed in the executive order, more than three-quarters of them in Iran, he says. "
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Tomorrow is Match Day for new medical residents and fellows, and we have yet to hear how the immigration ban may have affected this year's match. (See earlier post: Travel bans and rank order lists for the resident match)

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