This directory of resources from Pre-Health Dreamers provides updated guidance to residency programs on considering applicants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In 2015, Pre-Health Dreamers authored a guide that provides comprehensive information on this topic and was subsequently published in Academic Medicine in 2017. This updated directory of resources provides supplemental information since 2017 changes in the legal and political landscape. The information is intended for decision makers and leaders who influence residency programs at their institutions. The goal is to encourage fair consideration of U.S. medical students with DACA who are applying to residency programs.
Pre-Health Dreamers encourages residency programs to consider applicants with DACA for residency slots as they would consider any other applicant. Often, individuals with DACA know how to navigate systems in underserved communities that can be an asset to a cohort of trainees. Without question, each individual has overcome significant obstacles as they pursued higher education and a medical degree. They are resilient and persistent in their educational attainment despite substantial odds
More than 50 medical schools now consider applicants who are DACA recipients, and medical school graduates with DACA are eligible to continue their training in graduate medical education. The resources summarize current policy and provide data on DACA recipients in medical school. They also review the implications for considering DACA recipients in graduate medical education, including employment guidelines, employer responsibilities, training at Veterans Affairs facilities, research funding, and professional licensure. They conclude by discussing the future of the DACA program and best practices for supporting students who are DACA recipients.
Some states, like California and New York, have adopted policies and regulations allowing trainees with DACA who meet all professional requirements to receive a medical license. Given this state of affairs, DACA recipients should have equal standing to their peers when being evaluated for residency positions.