MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine is the first medical school in the nation to announce that it is accepting applications for admission from undocumented immigrants in response to President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“As a medical school built on Catholic and Jesuit values we have a tradition of reaching out and encouraging the growth and development of future doctors from all walks of life,” said Linda Brubaker, MD, dean and chief diversity officer of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
The DREAM Act enables qualified undocumented immigrants to receive a two-year, renewable authorization to remain and work in the United States. Criteria to obtain DACA status include arrival in the U.S. before age 16, current age under 31, specified levels of education or military service and an absence of felony conviction or problematic record of misdemeanors.
The decision to consider applications is a conscious step to help fill a void in the medical community. The United States is facing a significant shortage of physicians. In addition, large portions of the population are underserved by current distribution and demographic profiles of physicians.
“DREAMers represent a previously untapped source of qualified and diverse talent that will enrich the medical education environment, the medical profession and lives of patients,” Brubaker said.
Mark Kuczewski, PhD, director of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine’s Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Public Health, also believes this is a beginning step in meeting a major public health disparity – access to care.
“We believe these students will help broaden the diversity of the physician workforce. This will benefit not only the many patients who one day these physicians will serve, but also our entire student body. This will help all our students better understand the variety of cultures and people they will be treating,” Kuczewski said
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Statement from Mayor Emanuel, June 13, 2013
“Loyola University's decision to become the first medical school in the country to allow undocumented students to apply and attend is one more way Chicago is becoming the most immigrant friendly city in the country,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “As the University attracts more of the best and brightest to Chicago, they will help shape our city, as immigrants have done in every generation. With our support for the DREAM act and efforts to promote immigrant businesses and citizenship, we are creating more opportunities for immigrants to pursue their dreams. By accepting undocumented students, Loyola will provide families and students across the country a better chance to achieve the American dream in Chicago, the most American of American Cities. Loyola’s decision is true to our values as a city and will help create value for our city for generations to come.”
The Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division (HSD) advances interprofessional, multidisciplinary, and transformative education and research while promoting service to others through stewardship of scientific knowledge and preparation of tomorrow's leaders. The HSD is located on the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, Illinois. It includes the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, the Stritch School of Medicine, the biomedical research programs of the Graduate School, and several other institutes and centers encouraging new research and interprofessional education opportunities across all of Loyola University Chicago. The faculty and staff of the HSD bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a strong commitment to seeing that Loyola's health sciences continue to excel and exceed the standard for academic and research excellence. For more on the HSD, visit LUC.edu/hsd.