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.
In 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.