A Louisiana immigration detention center is advertising a job posting for a doctor who is “philosophically committed to the objectives of this facility.”
The position offers an astonishing $400,000 and only requires the prospective doctor have two years of experience. There is no requirement that applicants have board certification, which doctors receive after completing residency programs and that generally vouch for a doctor’s on-the-job ability.
For context, a doctor working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons receives around $200,000 a year.
Dr. Ranit Mishori, a member of Physicians for Human Rights and a professor of family medicine at Georgetown, alerted journalists to the posting. She called it “chilling” and a “loyalty test.” The language in the ad suggests that this new doctor might be forced to have “dual loyalty” to both the patients and ICE personnel, and quite possibly at the expense of a patient’s health.
“The person comes in for a headache, and you notice that they have scars on their back from being beaten,” Mishori told NPR’s Ari Shapiro on Monday. “And you’re not doing anything. You’re not asking questions about it. You’re not documenting it in a chart, or you’re not reporting it to anybody. One of the things we try to teach in medicine is, really, the foundational idea that we need to always act in the best interest of the patient. And oftentimes, these scenarios do not lend themselves to doing that.”
ICE is currently detaining over 48,000 people, well over what its funding allows. 24 people have died in ICE custody during the Trump administration. In at least one case, a man died after a doctor who only returned missed calls “50 percent of the time” did not respond.
When asked by NPR to comment about the job posting, the hiring company, GEO Group, wrote in a statement “We are deeply committed to delivering high-quality, culturally responsive services in safe and humane environments.”
(Featured image: Pixnio/ Hamilton Viana Viana)
Nathan Wellman is a Grit Post contributing editor in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @LIGHTNINGWOW. You can also email him at info AT gritpost DOT com.