AMA: Immigration ban may negatively impact patient access; Urges administration to clarify order

American Medical Association CEO James Madara, MD, sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly to voice its concerns over President Donald Trump's executive order, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States."

Here are five things to know:

1. Dr. Madara says the AMA understands the need to implement a system that properly vets people entering the nation. However, the organization says it is crucial this process does not impede patient access to care.

2. The AMA is concerned the order may restrict physicians and international medical graduates who have visas to train, practice or attend medical conferences in the United States.

3. IMGs play a crucial role in the United States by meeting the healthcare needs of rural and low-income areas. In the letter, the AMA said these physicians —  which constitute 25 percent of all practicing providers —  have licenses that meet the "same stringent requirements applied to medical school graduates."

4. The AMA wants the Trump administration to clarify the order so there are not empty training slots in the upcoming residency matching program in March 2017, which eligible IMG applicants can fill.

Dr. Madara writes, "We urge the administration to provide details and mitigate any negative impact on our nation's healthcare system."

5. The organization also wants clarification concerning future action for individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status. The AMA applauds the administration's comments about make sure those with DACA status can stay in the United States. The AMA wants President Trump to "retain the current DACA initiative until a permanent solution on lawful immigration status for DACA participants is implemented."

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