Kelly Thibert, DO, MPH National President
American Medical Student Association
Sterling, Virginia – March 1, 2017: The core of the American Medical Student Association’s (AMSA) mission is to advocate for the improvement of health care and health care-delivery to all people. We believe that health care is a human right and as such, we will always advocate for the rights of our patients; including but not limited to health care.
The recent executive order on immigration, issued by President Trump, directly attacks the very foundation physicians-in-training stand upon – to provide quality health care to ALL people without discrimination. President Trump’s executive order affects not only our future patients, but fellow physicians-in-training, peers and scientists – many of whom have been, and will be, directly affected by this order.
As such, AMSA has openly voiced our criticism of the order, taken action and will continue to advocate for members of the immigrant community.
Immediately following the announcement of President Trump’s executive order on immigration, we issued a press release announcing our intentions to stand with immigrant communities and decry the executive order, and we’ve been actively reaching out to the press, USA Today, Minnesota Star Tribune, Buzzfeed and MedScape to name a few, communicating AMSA’s stance on the issue.
AMSA has publicly supported numerous petitions such as the Committee of Interns and Residents’ (CIR) open letter to President Trump to rescind the order instituting and immediate travel ban on valid visa holders from seven predominantly Muslim countries, an indefinite freeze on the nation’s refugees program, and other restrictions, a petition to medical educators to protect physicians-in-training of all nationalities and to protect this year’s match candidates and a petition to the Cleveland Clinic to cut ties with President Trump. We will continue to work with organizations such as CIR and the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) to support their ongoing efforts and needs.
AMSA Education and Advocacy Fellow, Matthey Moy MD, MPH, has been steadfast in his efforts to mobilize AMSA’s members to voice their concerns and advocate for the protection of future patients and peers. He has compiled and sent numerous articles and petitions as a way to keep members well informed and offer ways they can get involved. Dr. Moy has also been instrumental in drafting call-in scripts opposing the executive order and educating our members about effectively leading call-in campaigns at their chapters as well as encouraging them to write op-eds. Have you seen the demonstrations at airports across the U.S.? We’ve been sending medical students to O’hare, BWI, LAX and more to stand with others in the opposition of President Trump’s executive order.
On February 23, 2107, at AMSA’s Annual Convention and Exposition in Washington, D.C., hundreds of medical students, premedical students and physicians participated in Advocacy Day, rallied on Capitol Hill and met with their Senators in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In addition to its support of DACA, AMSA also backs the Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream of Growing Our Economy (BRIDGE) Act, a current bill to allow people who are eligible for, or who have received work authorization and temporary relief from deportation through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), to continue living in the U.S. with permission from the federal government.
We will continue urging state and local leaders to exercise their authority to regulate for the safety and well-being of all residents, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, religion or immigration status. We will continue supporting efforts to stand against scaremongering, profiling and other discriminatory practices, and/or messaging that denigrates and/or depicts immigrant populations in such a light that leads towards marginalization as it relates to human rights and health care. We will continue to stand behind our mission and stand for our patients, always.
AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. To learn more about AMSA, our strategic priorities, or joining the organization, please visit us online at http://www.amsa.org.