Today is Match Day, a tradition that typically creates anxiety for medical school students as they wait to learn where they will spend their residency.
But this year the uncertainty over President Donald Trump’s travel ban has added anxiety for many international medical students and complicated decisions at some of the country’s residency programs, according to Medscape.
Trump’s executive order, which has been put on hold by court action, banned travel for people from seven Muslim-majority countries. Residency programs have received applications from 260 medical students from those countries and the uncertainty could impact their futures.
A federal judge imposed an emergency stay on the immigration ban and a federal appeals court last week unanimously voted not to reinstate Trump’s order, which he says he issued to protect the country’s security.
At a White House press conference yesterday, Trump said he will issue a new executive order by next week that would seek to address concerns raised by those federal appeals court judges. He gave no details about the replacement order and whether it might contain exemptions.
With fears that medical students from those countries could be barred from entering the U.S. and unable to begin their medical training this summer, some hospital residency programs are reluctant to select those applicants, Medscape said.
Although unhappy about the prospect, Keyvan Ravakhah, M.D., program director of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center's internal medicine residencies, told the publication that the questions about whether candidates can get visas to work here or even enter the U.S. would impact his rank list.
Richard Abrams, M.D., associate dean of graduate medical education at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said his organization has never made ranking decisions based on an applicant’s country of origin and won’t do that now.
The president’s order restricted travel from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. As well as impacting Match Day, the travel order has raised concerns in the medical community because of the potential impact on foreign-born doctors and patients seeking care in the U.S.