American doctors, unmatched for residencies, are urging President Trump to prioritize them for the limited medical residency spots, rather than allowing a continued inflow of foreign doctors to fill the program.
In a letter to Trump and Congress, unmatched American doctors say they should be given priority for residency spots over foreign doctors who are continuing to arrive on J-1 and H-1B visas. The program currently ensures U.S. tax dollars are paying to given residency spots to foreigners over American graduates.
Doctors Without Jobs has determined there are about 6,000 unmatched American doctors — these are qualified U.S. medical graduates who lost out on the limited residency spots and who cannot practice medicine until they land a residency.
The unmatched American doctors write:
We are American citizen Medical & Osteopathic Doctors. More than 6,000 of us have gone unmatched for taxpayer-funded residency programs because Americans don’t get priority placement. That means foreign doctors who come to America on J-1 or H-1B visas often get placed in residencies before, or instead of, us.
We are superior candidates who cannot matriculate into the practice of medicine without the mandatory next step of residencies.
Thousands of certified medical graduates cannot find proper employment in healthcare because without residency training, our MD/DO degree does not qualify us for anything but the most entry-level positions. Our training and talents are being wasted by working low-paying jobs that include delivering pizza and driving for Uber, despite paying thousands of dollars in medical school tuition and taking out student loans.
We urge America’s leaders to put Americans first for residency programs, with foreign applicants filling only unfilled slots, if any.
Alternatively, we urge that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) consider opening up more residency spots and new residency programs, where we are paid minimum wage, which can be a pathway to grant full certification to the unmatched population. We will exert our medical knowledge and training we have accumulated over the years from working minimum wage jobs as scribes and medical assistants in the various specialties of medicine. Most of us have completed the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) step 3 or the US Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) level 3 and are already demonstrating continued working clinical knowledge. It is a waste of our hard work and talent for us to be working in non-medical/non-skilled jobs.
Above all, thousands of jobless American doctors urge you to expand the current H-1B and J-1 visa ban to include the healthcare sector. Bringing in more foreign doctors will only exacerbate our already dire situation. Leaving qualified American doctors jobless — especially during this COVID-19 pandemic — while foreign doctors are filling federally funded residency training positions, is not in the best interest of America. Please help us.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely, Unmatched American Doctors
Trump’s order halts the H-1B visa, H-2B visa, H-4 visa, L visa, and J-1 visa programs but allows for a medical-related coronavirus exemption that keeps foreign doctors and nurses arriving in the U.S. so long as they are working on research or treatment.
The unmatched American doctors, though, say there is no need to keep importing foreign doctors to fill coveted hospital residencies and jobs when there is a pool of thousands of U.S. medical graduates who want those jobs.
Every year, more than six percent of U.S. medical graduates go unmatched for residencies, often losing out to imported H-1B and J-1 foreign visa doctors.
Despite there being no shortage of qualified American doctors, Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Todd Young (R-IN), and Chris Coons (D-DE) — as well as the Democrats’ HEROES Act — have sought to increase the number of foreign doctors and nurses imported every year to take U.S. medical jobs.
Every year, the U.S. admits about 1.2 million legal immigrants on green cards to permanently resettle in the country. In addition, another 1.4 million foreign workers are admitted every year to take American jobs. Often, Americans are fired and replaced by foreign visa workers. Many are forced to train their foreign replacements.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.