You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
Become a Fellow
ACP offers a number of resources to help members make sense of the MOC requirements and earn points.
Understanding MOC Requirements
Earn MOC points
The most comprehensive meeting in Internal Medicine.
April 11-13, 2019
Internal Medicine Meeting 2019
Prepare for the Certification and Maintenance of Certification (MOC)
Exam with an ACP review course.
Board Certification Review Courses
MOC Exam Prep Courses
Treating a patient? Researching a topic? Get answers now.
Visit AnnalsLearn More
Visit MKSAP 18
Visit DynaMed Plus
Ensure payment and avoid policy violations. Plus, new resources to help you navigate the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).
Access helpful forms developed by a variety of sources for patient charts, logs, information sheets, office signs, and use by practice administration.
ACP advocates on behalf on internists and their patients on a number of timely issues. Learn about where ACP stands on the following areas:
© Copyright 2018 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved. 190 North Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1572
Toll Free: (800) 523.1546 · Local: (215) 351.2400
ACP opposes religious tests, refugee ban, denial of entry for persons with legal visas;
supports path to legal residency for "Dreamers"
January 31, 2017
Nitin S. Damle, MD, MS, MACP, President, American College of Physicians
Today, the American College of Physicians (ACP) is releasing a comprehensive statement on U.S. immigration policy. It details ACP’s opposition to discrimination, religious tests, refugee bans, and denial of entry to persons with legal visas, and expresses grave concerns about the implications of the executive order on medical education, access to health care services, public health and families. The statement, as approved by the College’s Executive Committee of the Board of Regents on January 30, 2017, is presented below.
On January 27, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order that severely restricts immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, suspends all refugee admission for 120 days, and bars all Syrian refugees indefinitely. It bans the citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries—Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen—from entering the U.S. on any visa category. On Saturday, January 29, 2017, this included individuals who have student visas, permanent residency status (green cards), H-1B visas for foreign workers in specialty occupations who were traveling overseas to visit family or for work. Reports indicate that between 100 and 200 travelers from those Muslim-majority countries were being held at various airports around the U.S. as a result of the President’s order.
This includes at least two internal medicine residents who are ACP members. A second-year resident in internal medicine at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn with an H-1B visa for foreign workers in specialty occupations was blocked from boarding a plane back to the U.S. from Sudan. A first-year internal medicine resident at the Cleveland Clinic was forced to leave the U.S., hours after landing at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. She was given the choice of withdrawing her visa application “voluntarily” or being forcibly deported and not allowed back to the U.S. for at least five years. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), there are currently 260 applicants from the affected countries among the 35,000 people seeking residency and fellowship positions in this country. Restricting entry of such persons not only disrupts their training and potentially separates them from family members, it also will result in many thousands of patients losing access to their physician.
The executive order could deny entry or reentry to tens of thousands more persons, including medical students and physicians who are being trained in the United States and/or are delivering direct patient care. There are at least 90,000 visa holders, including those with tourist visas, who could be denied entry. It also creates a precedent for barring entry of international medical graduate (IMGs) based on their religion and country of origin. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), one-quarter of physicians practicing in the U.S. are international medical graduates. Approximately 30 percent of ACP members are IMGs. In 2016, 3,769 non-U.S. citizen IMGs obtained first-year residency positions. In the same year, 3029 (45.6 percent) of PGY-1 internal medicine positions were filled by international medical graduates. This figure includes both U.S. citizen students at offshore schools and non U.S. citizen IMGs. AAMC also stated that in 2016, 108 students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status applied to medical school, and 34 matriculates with DACA status entered medical school, bringing total medical school enrollment to approximately 70 students, including several internal medicine residents.
Discrimination based on religion violates ACP's longstanding policies on non-discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion and other factors.
The ban on refugees will contribute to a public health crisis for those affected. According to the Atlantic, "the U.S. took in 12,486 Syrian refugees in 2016, a tiny fraction of the 11 million Syrians who have fled their homes since the war there started in 2011. Now, with the signing of President Trump’s executive order, that number will be brought to zero—indefinitely. This means the U.S. is effectively shutting out a group of people who are suffering from one of the worst humanitarian and public-health crises in recent memory. Syrians are living in medieval conditions, contracting diseases that had been long ago eliminated by vaccination, such as polio. Even highly treatable conditions like diabetes go unchecked, because the Syrian government and its allies have systematically targeted and killed nearly 700 Syrian doctors, according to Physicians for Human Rights."
In 2012, President Obama issued an executive order to protect men and women who were born in another country and brought illegally to the U.S. at a young age, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA grants lawful presence in the U.S. and provides these individuals with work authorization, Social Security numbers, and in many cases state IDs and driver’s licenses, making it possible for them to attend medical school and residency training. Approximately 690,000 out of the 1.9 million estimated young adults in the U.S. who are undocumented immigrants have been granted DACA status. As a candidate, President Trump stated that he planned on revoking the DACA executive order. Many have urged him not to do so until a permanent pathway to lawful immigration for individuals with DACA status is approved by Congress. Several bills have been introduced in Congress to ensure a temporary stay of deportation for individuals with DACA status until such time that Congress approves a permanent fix, and to establish a path to legal immigration.
The executive order and the potential deportation of "Dreamers" have grave implications for medical education, access to health care services, public health, families and freedom to worship. It is essential that Congress, the courts and the administration re-think the current policies and replace them with non-discriminatory policies that support families, public health, and medical education while ensuring that persons entering the U.S. are thoroughly vetted before being granted visas.
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States. ACP members include 148,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.
Contact: David Kinsman, APR (202) 261-4554, firstname.lastname@example.org