ACC Statement on Executive Order Banning Travel By Foreign Nationals in Seven Countries
The ACC is the professional home for more than 52,000 cardiovascular care professionals around the world. This diverse group of scientists, teachers and health care professionals are united around the common mission of transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health with the ultimate goal of curbing the global epidemic of cardiovascular disease.
The ability to share ideas and knowledge necessary to address this epidemic is imperative. Policies that impede this free-flow of ideas will have a detrimental impact on scientific discovery, as well as the lives of patients around the world. If we are to realize a future where cardiovascular disease is no longer the #1 killer of men and women worldwide we must ensure that our system of scientific exchange allows for health care professionals to learn from each other regardless of their nationality.
Additionally, international medical graduates, naturalized citizens and legal residents make up a significant portion of the health care workforce in hospitals and practices across the country. For example, more than 25 percent of current practicing physicians are international medical graduates, with cardiology ranking among the top when broken down by medical specialty. Policies that bring the immigration status of those already here into question, while also limiting the ability of others to legally train in the U.S. going forward, will only serve to exacerbate the already existing cardiovascular workforce shortage, especially in rural America. Such policies also threaten the care continuum of patients who rely on these providers for their medical care.
The modern-day Hippocratic Oath in part says: "I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow." It goes on to say: "I will prevent disease whenever I can ... and I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings." The ACC is committed to supporting all of its members – no matter where they live and work, and no matter where they are from – in fulfilling this promise.
Keywords: Cardiovascular Diseases, Continuity of Patient Care, Emigration and Immigration, Ethnic Groups, Fellowships and Scholarships, Goals, Hippocratic Oath, Medicine, Physicians
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