On March 27, 2015, the House of Delegates of the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) held its second annual policy summit. This meeting considers resolutions that set policy for the organization, especially in regard to its policy advocacy and education efforts. This year, the delegates considered a resolution related to the eligibility of Dreamers of DACA status to apply to medical schools. This resolution was of great interest to the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) because of its position of national leadership in promoting social justice for this student population. See www.stritch.luc.edu/daca. Four of Stritch’s first-year medical students who have DACA status attended the summit. Below is the text of the resolution that carried and the testimony of the two Loyola Dreamers who spoke in support of the resolution, Manuel Bernal and Diana Andino. For more on this event, click here.
|Loyola Stritch DREAMers|
RESOLVED, that our LMSA provide a safe environment for the edification and advancement of Latino students applying to medical school, irrespective of their immigration status; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the LMSA strongly encourage medical schools, residency and fellowship programs to clarify their DACA admission and match policies; and be it further
RESOLVED, that our LMSA supports regulatory relief to DACA eligibility in the absence of comprehensive reform as seen by the Executive Action declared in 2014, and be it further
RESOLVED that the LMSA strongly encourage medical schools, residency and fellowship programs to support the admission, retention and promotion of DACA eligible students; and be it further
RESOLVED, that our LMSA write an open letter to the AAMC asking for regulatory relief for DACA eligible students who are accepted into medical school but are unable to matriculate; and be it further
RESOLVED that the LMSA work with medical advocacy organizations to develop policy language that promotes the admission, retention and promotion of DACA eligible students.
Congressional Action: ADOPTED as amended.
Testimony of Manuel Bernal, MS-1, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
|Manuel Bernal, SSOM|
Testimomy of Diana Andino, MS-1, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
Thank you, Mr. Policy Chair. My name is Diana Andino, a current medical student, speaking on behalf of myself, students of the Stritch School of Medicine and other DACA students present here, as supporters of this resolution.
With the passage of DACA, support of mentors, and institutions, myself along with few other students are one step closer in becoming healthcare providers. We have been able to overcome many obstacles. For example I was not able to apply to graduate school, internships, nor work during my undergrad due to the lack of a nine digit number. My dream of becoming a physician was deferred until DACA allowed me to apply to medical school.
The passage of this resolution is of interest not only to the medical profession, but to our community. We call for more actions like the ones being done today, to be implemented in other schools and continue to open more opportunities for DREAMers like ourselves. Thank you.