Medical Students Weigh Impact of Travel Ban on Residency Match

Monday, February 13, 2017

February 13, 2017

Residency matching is the next critical career step for medical students after they complete their studies. With the yearly match approaching in March, some medical students from Muslim countries potentially affected by President Donald Trump’s contested travel ban are worried U.S. hospitals might pass on them to avoid potential complications around their travel and work eligibility.

According to a recent story in the Chicago Tribune, in 2016 about 14 percent of medical residents who matched through the National Residency Matching Program — or more than 3,700 people — were non-U.S. citizens who graduated from medical schools outside the U.S.

The impact on U.S. health care could be significant if international residents are barred entry or work privileges. Rush does not take applicants’ nationality into account as it ranks choices for residents, says Richard Abrams, MD, associate dean of graduate medical education. If Rush accepts residents who aren’t able to make it to the U.S. in time to start work because of the ban, Rush hopes to hold open their spots till they can, he adds.

“I’ve been here 30 years and this is our family, and the people who come here, they’re part of our family,” says Abrams.

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