MAYWOOD, Ill. (April 1, 2015) – Four Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine students with deferred action for childhood arrival (DACA) status traveled to Washington, D.C. to address the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) delegate congress at its Annual Policy Summit, March 27-28. First-year medical students Diana Andino, Rosa Aramburo, Everado Arias and Manuel Bernal had the opportunity to be advocates on Capitol Hill concerning health care issues including access to care.
“I was honored to be in the same room with numerous Latino physicians who provide medical care to underserved communities. I was inspired as I watched leaders in the medical field work together to make an impact in local communities,” said Arias.
The students spoke in favor of the passing the LMSA policy that supports Latino students applying for medical school regardless of immigration status. It encourages medical schools to amend their policies to welcome applicants with DACA status and calls for advocacy from medical professional organizations. The resolution was passed along with 15 others that generally seek to promote a more just and equitable health care system in the United States.
“Although there is a lot of work to be done, the passage of the resolution was a great first step. It is a privilege to be a part of Stritch and other organizations that are advocating for change in our health care community to open up more opportunities,” said Andino.
“There is a shortage of Latino physicians in the United States, but I know with the advocacy of LMSA and the work of Loyola Stritch and other medical schools that are opening their doors to new possibilities that the statistics will change. Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we DREAMers have a dream,” Arias added.
Loyola Stritch was the first medical school in the U.S. to change its admissions policy to allow individuals with DACA status to openly apply for medical school. In 2014, Loyola Stritch was the first medical school to openly welcome DACA students when seven DREAMer students joined their colleagues as part of the 140-plus member class of 2018.
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