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Internists: Supreme Court Ruling on Travel Ban Will Undermine Physicians’ Ability to Serve Patients

Statement attributable to:
Ana María López, MD, MPH, FACP
President, American College of Physicians

Washington, DC (June 26, 2018) —The American College of Physicians (ACP), is disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today that upheld President Trump’s ban restricting travel to the U.S. from six primarily Muslim countries. ACP is concerned that this travel ban will negatively impact the ability of physicians and medical students from affected countries to study, train, and attend medical conferences in the U.S. Additionally, we are worried about the damage this will potentially do to health care for residents of underserved communities in the U.S.; those communities disproportionately rely on care provided by international medical graduates (IMGs).

In an amicus brief that was submitted along with other health organizations in response to the initial travel ban in June 2017, ACP said that implementing a travel ban would exacerbate the nation’s health-professional workforce shortages, inhibit advances in medical care, and constrain collaboration needed to undertake effective biomedical research and manage global threats to public health. We are disappointed that the Supreme Court did not appear to consider the impact that the travel ban will have in those areas. Today’s ruling cements those consequences.

We urge the administration and Congress to affirm the paramount importance of non-discrimination against any person based on religion, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation in all decisions relating to immigration policy, and particularly, to undo the harm to patients, the IMGs who treat them, and to medical education that will result from the President’s Executive Office and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it.

 

Contact: Julie Hirschhorn, (202) 261-452,  jhirschhorn@acponline.org

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About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 152,000 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.