The DACA Repeal and How it Affects Healthcare Recruitment
After Trump announced his decision to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Association of American Medical Colleges have been urging Congress to pass a solution to keep DACA individuals in the country. Why? As the AMA’s Chief Executive Officer pointed out in a letter to Congressional leaders, “this reversal in policy could have severe consequences for many in the healthcare workforce, impacting patients and our nation’s healthcare system.”
According to the AMA, one out of every four physicians practicing in the U.S. is an international medical graduate and these include many with DACA status who are filling gaps in care. In addition, there were 113 students with DACA status who applied to U.S. medical schools and 65 “Dreamers” enrolled for the 2016-2017 school year. While significant, these figures are expected to be even higher for the 2017-2018 school year considering most confirmed recipients are still completing their undergraduate degrees. Plus, in the coming decades, AMA figures suggest that DACA protections could qualify as many as 5,400 previously ineligible people to join the U.S. physician workforce.
What Does this Mean for Future Physicians?
Ending DACA would severely limit the number of physicians entering our workforce at a time when the U.S. is already experiencing a physician shortage—one that is expected to balloon to between 40,800 and 104,900 physicians by 2030 (and those figures were calculated prior to the announcement of the DACA repeal).
Removing those with DACA status will particularly worsen care shortages for organizations in rural and other underserved areas. DACA physicians are more likely to work in high-need areas where communities face challenges in recruiting other physicians. They tend to be bilingual and come from more diverse cultural backgrounds which help them better understand the challenges that face certain ethnic communities.
Considering this looming threat, it is important to understand and analyze how the legislation could impact healthcare organizations particularly in relation to recruitment. With the potential of a smaller pool of candidates than ever, it’s imperative to have tactful recruitment strategies in place now, before it becomes too late.
Is your organization ready? As you prepare for the future, consider completing this checklist to determine your readiness to recruit. If you have questions regarding the checklist or need information regarding compensation, recruitment incentives, or physician-to-population ratios, don’t hesitate to reach out. Jordan Search Consultants offers free recruitment assessments, and we would be happy to provide direction during this uncertain time.