AADPRT Position Statement on the Executive Order on Immigration
The American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training strives to ensure that we are training psychiatry residents and fellows to deliver the very best mental health care to the people of the United States. Our organization represents several hundred residency training directors, program administrators, and other faculty and staff, who in turn educate nearly 7,000 residents and fellows.
One of our goals as educators is to foster an environment wherein residents can learn how to become the very best psychiatrists. Thus, we are deeply concerned about the impact of the immigration executive order on current and future psychiatry residents, in particular, International Medical Graduates (IMGs). IMGs constitute approximately one-third of psychiatry residents, over one-half of psychiatry fellows, and one-quarter of psychiatrists in practice. IMGs are more likely to practice in rural areas and they disproportionately care for patients with Medicare and Medicaid. In other words, they are vitally important for the mental health of our nation.
We fear that the executive order is resulting in uncertainty and apprehension that will affect our residents’ training - and perhaps even jeopardize residents’ ability to enter or complete their training. Our concern extends to our residents’ families, who are vital supports for our residents. We are concerned about our faculty who are IMGs and who are essential in training residents, medical students, and other health care providers. The executive order creates an environment whereby every non-US citizen IMG could experience significant anxiety.
We urge our nation to consider the effects of the executive order on the current and future supply of psychiatrists – and in turn the unintended consequences on the mental health of our nation.
We are trying to get a clearer sense of the scope of the impact of the executive order on psychiatry residents and faculty, and on our patients. In the meantime, we encourage our members to express their concerns and views through the democratic process, including reaching out to their elected officials and partnering with organizations that communicate directly with elected officials. Our nation is fortunate to have so many psychiatric educators who are passionate about ensuring that all of our residents, colleagues, and patients, irrespective of national origin, are treated with respect and dignity.
Art Walaszek, MD