Free exchange of knowledge is critical in the further advancement of medical care to everyone around the world, including citizens of the U.S.
The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is privileged to bring together the best clinicians and investigators not only from North America but from around the world to advance the care of patients with thyroid disease and the science leading to new and better diagnosis and treatment options for patients who suffer from this most common of endocrine disorders. This primary function of the ATA depends completely upon the free exchange of ideas, techniques, technology as well as encouragement by our members and non-members who attend our venues, especially our annual meeting. These meetings are the premiere opportunity for scientists and clinicians with thyroid interests to advance the cause of our patients.
The ATA, therefore, depends on and fully supports free exchange of students, scientists, clinicians, or others interested in thyroid disease. The ATA membership includes several scientists and clinicians from countries that are/will be subject to the travel restrictions related to the Immigration Executive Order recently initiated by the new administration. If the ordered travel restrictions are upheld, all of these members will find it impossible to attend our meetings. In addition, because our 2017 Annual Meeting is being held in Victoria, B.C., Canada, students, scientists and physicians currently studying or in training in the U.S.A. under visas as well as permanent U.S. residents (i.e. green card holders) will be affected. These individuals will find it difficult or even impossible to reenter the U.S. after crossing our border into Canada. Because of this, the sharing of recent study results and research discoveries from within the United States will also be significantly affected, impairing the advancement of science and the translation of scientific and clinical discoveries to our patients.
The ATA calls upon our country’s leadership to lift the travel restriction so that we may continue to bring all relevant scientific and clinical advances before the thyroid community. This free exchange of knowledge is critical in the further advancement of medical care to everyone around the world, including citizens of the U.S. The diversity our organization enjoys greatly enhances the knowledge base of thyroid disease for all involved in our activities, who in turn translate that knowledge to improved care for all persons around the world. We call upon our leaders to find mechanisms of enhancing our safety against terrorism that do not block advancement of knowledge or improvements in the health of our peoples.