In light of the recent Executive Order signed last Friday, January 27, 2017, we are writing to affirm the support and commitment of the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) to members of the Graduate Medical Education Community and its international employees and colleagues. We wanted to provide some additional information concerning the executive order restricting entry into the U.S. for individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and placing new restrictions on the U.S. visa process.
There is considerable uncertainty about how the executive order will be implemented and the impact it will have on individuals with immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. UCMC is closely monitoring developments as the executive order is rolled out to understand how the policy will be implemented and the implications to our international colleagues. We urge individuals who may be affected by the order to carefully consider any plans to travel abroad at this time in light of the rapidly evolving situation and pending litigation.
Members of the Graduate Medical Education community may have been contacted directly by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (“ECFMG”) and/or the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (“ACGME”) concerning the executive order. The statement issued by the ECFMG, as well as any updates, can be found at http://www.ecfmg.org/news/ Similarly, the letter issued by ACGME, as well as any updates from ACGME can be found at http://www.acgme.org/Newsroom
The University of Chicago Office of International Affairs (“OIA”) is currently scheduling informational sessions with experts in immigration law that will be open to UCMC employees potentially impacted by the executive order. We will circulate additional information about these sessions and other available resources once that information is available. You can also check for updates at the Office of International Affairs Updates on Presidential Executive Orders Affecting Immigration
We are also aware that managing these issues can be emotionally intense and stressful, and want to remind you of the resources available to you through the Perspectives Employee Assistance Program. You can find more information about resources available through Perspectives on the UCMC intranet at Perspectives EAP or by calling 1-800-456-6327. Perspectives counselors and other resources are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
UCMC fully understands the invaluable contributions our international Residents, Fellows, and other colleagues bring to the Medical Center each year. We are committed to the direct support of those in our community who may be affected by the order. We want to assure you that we realize the potential seriousness of these recent changes, and are giving this matter very close attention and priority. We urge those potentially impacted by these developments or those who have questions about these issues to contact their Program Director directly. You can also contact Kristen Hirsch, Director of GME Operations, Accreditation, Strategy, and Innovation at 773-834-0173 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or suggestions for how we may be helpful.
Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Dean and EVP for Medical Affairs
Holly J. Humphrey, MD, Dean for Medical Education