An article published in the journal 'Academic Medicine', a journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, states that medical schools have an ethical obligation to change admission policies in order to accept applications from undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. Such students are referred as Dreamers after a proposed federal law called the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors). The DREAM Act is yet to become law.
Co-authors Mark G. Kuczewski, PhD and Linda Brubaker, MD, MS of Loyola University Chicago Stritch of Medicine wrote that not allowing Dreamers to apply to medical school represents a kind of unjustified discrimination and violates the basic ethical principle of the equality of human beings. Social justice means enabling the participation of all - Dreamers, recent immigrants, minorities, U.S. citizens and therefore enabling qualified Dreamers to become physicians is an ethical obligation of the medical education community.
AdvertisementIn 2012, Loyola became the first medical school in the United States to amend its admissions policies and welcomed 7 qualified Dreamers to the class of 2018, who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status and are legally recognized as U.S. residents. The DACA program makes medical training, licensure and medical practice feasible.
The DACA program was created by the Obama administration and is subject to change by a future president. To be eligible for DACA status, an applicant must be between 16-31 years of age, must have arrived in US before the age of 16 years, have resided continuously in the US for at least 5 years, be currently enrolled in school or have completed high school or earned a GED, have no serious criminal involvement; and be able to prove that he or she was in the US on June 15, 2012.