Immigrant doctors from the six Muslim-majority countries included in President Trump’s revised travel ban play a critical role in caring for Americans, especially in many of the Rust Belt and rural areas that voted heavily for the Republican, according to an analysis by graduate students in economics at Harvard University and MIT.
The economists found that these doctors, who handle about 14 million patient visits a year, are unevenly distributed across the country, often settling in areas where American doctors are reluctant to work.
The researchers — who are pursuing doctorates in economics or have recently earned that degree — found the US physician workforce includes more than 7,000 doctors who attended medical school in Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Those are the six countries whose citizens are banned from entering the United States unless they already have a visa or green card, under Trump’s new order. But the travel ban will not immediately affect doctors already working here.
“There’s a lot of benefit that comes with having people like doctors immigrate to the US. These doctors are not concentrated in rich parts of the country,” said Mitra Akhtari, one …