President Trump's immigration ban: Will it impact US physician shortage?

Megan Wood -   Print  |

President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration sent shockwaves, triggering protests in airports across the nation. Affecting a broad range of people in a variety of ways, the order may negatively impact the medical sphere, as well, Scientific American reporter Seema Yasmin, MD, wrote.

The order, signed Jan. 27, 2017, bars Syrian refugees from entering the United States; bans refugees from entering the United States for 120 days; and stops citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days.


Here are four thoughts:


1. A 2016 Association of American Medical Colleges report revealed the United States will likely see a 94,700-physician deficit by 2025.


2. Potentially worsening the shortage, the ban may inspire foreign physicians to take jobs in other countries, according to the Scientific American report.


3. Of physicians currently working in the United States, upwards of 8,400 are from Syria and Iran, according the American Medical Association.


4. Medical schools may soon faces obstacles, as the matching process commences in late February. Jessica Bienstock, Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's associate dean for graduate medical education, told Scientific American, that teaching hospitals must soon choose physicians for their July staff: "But now we're in a position where we could match someone who is from Syria or Iran and they won't be able to get into the country."


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