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Legislature Approves More Foreign Doctors to Fill Unmet Rural Needs

Primary loser Senator Neal Tapio (R-5/Watertown) uses fear and falsehood to stay relevant. If Tapio’s bigotry and fearmongering doesn’t make you sick, it could make it harder for you to get well.

Do you remember the outrageous fear Tapio expressed during his doomed U.S. House campaign last winter, when he claimed that 190 Muslim doctors somehow intimidate Republican legislators into political dishonesty? This week, Tapio’s fellow legislators on the Rules Review Committee voted to open South Dakota’s doors to even more foreign doctors, whatever their religion, to fill vacancies in our hospitals via J-1 visas:

Foreign physicians receiving J-1 status stay for three years and decide whether to seek permanent U.S. residency.

Avera for example now has 93 openings in 15 South Dakota communities in 35 specialties.

Brian Bruner, an Avera immigration lawyer, said the J-1 program was important.

“Everyone’s recruiting for retention,” Bruner said. “Foreign nationals will fill in the gaps” [Bob Mercer, “Lawmakers Approve Changes in J-1 Physician-Visa Program,” Mitchell Daily Republic, 2018.09.17].

But isn’t the USD Med School cranking out locally grown graduates to staff our hospitals?

Avera and Sanford officials said South Dakotans typically have left USD medical school seeking different experiences and different weather in other states, rather than for economic reasons [Mercer, 2018.09.17].

In July, Department of Health division director of Health Systems Development and Regulation Tom Martinec told Rules Review that in the 2012–2014 J-1 cohort, 16 out of 32 visa-recipient docs chose to stay in South Dakota.

Those sixteen self-sacrificing immigrant doctors are the kind of people Neal Tapio and his Bigot Brigade are making feel unwelcome in our state. That unwelcoming attitude can only make South Dakota sicker.

Learn more about South Dakota’s J-1 Visa Waiver Program here.


  1. Steve Hickey 2018-09-19 09:10

    I gave up reading at primary loser. He’s a Senator. It’s an odd jab if you too have lost a race for office.

  2. Jenny 2018-09-19 09:36

    Neal Tapio is an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant racist and he DID lose a primary race so I don’t see anything wrong with it.

    When one is in public office, one needs to be prepared for scrutiny, and when one spreads lies about another religion then the scrutiny is to be expected.

  3. mike from iowa 2018-09-19 09:50

    But the Drumpf/Putin regime has narrowed and focused immigration to European so called kristians.

  4. Dicta 2018-09-19 11:01

    Somewhere, a faint but frantic pattering of feet can be heard as Tapio runs to a bunker in terror from the threats of terrorist OBGYNs.

  5. Daryl Root 2018-09-19 12:28

    The state needs doctors and nurses, but be wary of program names that consist of a letter, a dash, and a number. How many of these foreign doctors will decide to stay in sub-zero South Dakota for more than three years? My guess is not many.

  6. Jason 2018-09-19 12:32


    Does sharia law exist?

  7. Jenny 2018-09-19 12:50

    Jason, why do South Dakotans scare so easily? I am not afraid of Muslims and you shouldn’t be either. They are good people and work hard and love their families. Also, they make great neighbors. I wouldn’t mind having as Muslims and gay couples as my only neighbors rather than a bunch of scared racist white South Dakotans as yourself.
    Gay men are beautiful and so are dark-skinned dashing Muslim men. :)
    I love all religions and cultures and each of them has some kind of beauty connected to it in its own way. Peace out, man! :)

  8. Jason 2018-09-19 12:58


    Why do you condone sharia law? Do you like it that women are second class citizens in the Muslim religion?

    US Muslim preacher ‘who advocated beheading of gay men allowed to lecture in the UK’

    Here are the 10 countries where homosexuality may be punished by death

    Need any more evidence Jenny?

  9. Porter Lansing 2018-09-19 13:03

    Awwwwwwww ….. Jason and OlSarge always address their posts to Cory or someone else but not me. I must have offended them. I’ll just watch and learn, then. :)

  10. mike from iowa 2018-09-19 13:27

    Why does Jason and imaginary Kristians hate Ugandan Gays?” Why do they promote death penalty for repeat offenders?

    Although the bill prompted widespread international condemnation, including from President Obama, the American influence on its contents is well-documented. A three-day series of talks in the country by a group of American anti-homosexual activists in 2009 is seen as a catalyst for the measure. The talks addressed an audience of influential Ugandans, including lawmakers, on the Western “gay agenda,” including the (obviously false) notion that gay activists abroad were targeting Africa for “recruitment.” All three Americans involved have denied that their intention was to produce the “kill the gays bill,” although one of the three, Scott Lively, has acknowledged discussing the bill with the Ugandan lawmakers. In a March 2009 post on his visit to the country, Lively noted that one Ugandan referred to his campaign as “a nuclear bomb against the “gay” agenda in Uganda.” The other two Americans were Caleb Lee Brundidge and Exodus International board member Don Schmierer.

    According to Jeff Sharlet, who reported extensively on the bill’s American roots, Bahati has also cited the anti-homosexuality message of Pastor Rick Warren as an influence. Warren, along with John Ashcroft and Senator Jim Inhofe, have been frequent visitors to the country’s annual, American-style National Prayer Breakfasts. However, Warren, Inhofe, and Ashcroft have all since condemned the bill.
    Source: Gay Uganda

  11. mike from iowa 2018-09-19 13:30

    While we are talking women as second class citizens, take a look in the mirror, Troll. You and other wingnuts have been waging war on women’s rights since the time no one knew why men and women were different.

  12. Jenny 2018-09-19 13:32

    Jason, most Muslims here in Minnesota are members of the DFL party.
    Yay Muslims for picking the right party! They are staunch supporters of progressive politics!
    Catholicism is anti-gay and they treat women Catholics as second class also, Jason. So pointing out that Muslims are anti-gay doesn’t mean anything these days. Most Muslims are like Catholics and Any other religion and don’t religiously Follow the rules. Nice try, Jason.

  13. OldSarg 2018-09-19 13:43

    Jenny, Catholics aren’t throwing gays off of buildings but muslims are. . . I’m surprised you support such acts. Well , maybe not surprised. . .

  14. jenny 2018-09-19 13:45

    Those countries that ban homosexuality are all the more reason why Muslims join the party that truly cares about human rights – the Democratic Party. Having come From countries that have stifled human rights it just makes perfect sense that they would join a party that cares for all people, not just upper-class whites christians.
    With people like real Tapio and Jason an old Sarge In the gop, they would not feel welcome. The Party of Trump has made that clear

  15. bearcreekbat 2018-09-19 14:12

    It is amazing how folks like Jason and OS claim to be worried about the rights of gay people in Muslim countries, as well as the dangers they believe Muslim women and children face in those countries from domestic violence and a failure of the government to protect them.

    Meanwhile, these purported conservatives apparently fully support the general religious and conservative animosity toward gays here in America, including efforts to outlaw gay marriage, allow people to refuse to serve gays with the same public accomodations available to non-gays, and support discrimination in a variety of ways against members of the LBGT community.

    And they also apparently support policies of the current administration that deny refugee status to Latin American women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

    Given their lack of concern for Latino women and children being harmed by domestic violence, allegedly permitted by local governments, it seems likely that these so-called conservatives would happily apply the Trump domestic violence exclusion to Muslim women and children victims of domestic violence who seek refuge in America.

    It is a strange set of values that claim we should hate Muslims because of how they allegedly treat women and children victims of domestic abuse and gays, while at the same time support American policies designed to deny these and other women and children victims our help, as well as policies that discriminate against and marginalize gays.

  16. jerry 2018-09-19 14:21

    Right now at Rapid City Regional, there are doctors and nurses that have to travel here to take care of patients. My nurse is from Oklahoma, and the doctor, from Texas that come here on short term contracts. I heard the accent of either a Scottish doctor or an Irish one as they spoke. In the meantime, there is another tower going up. Where we gonna get the docs, nurses and everyone else associated with making a hospital work…in a city. Think rural areas and you can think of Philip, which luckily has their doctor from South Africa. Better be thankful that we have an option of getting highly qualified doctors from someplace.

  17. Francis Schaffer 2018-09-19 18:39

    Catholicism has a doctrine of being anti-gay. Practice, well not so much.

  18. Debbo 2018-09-19 22:18

    Francis, depends on the priest. Some are class A homophobes. Others are good people.

    If SD ditched uber corrupt, 1 party SDGOP rule and truly supported public education on all levels, ditched the homophobia, misogyny and racism, this would probably become much less true:

    “Avera and Sanford officials said South Dakotans typically have left USD medical school seeking different experiences and different weather in other states, rather than for economic reasons [Mercer, 2018.09.17].

    “Different experiences.” What a kind way to put that.

  19. Jason 2018-09-19 22:41


    I see that all you care about is if a person votes for your party.

    It’s funny that you changed the subject.

    Let me know when you want to discuss the Muslim religion.

  20. jerry 2018-09-19 22:44

    I would love to discuss Islam with you Jason. Please proceed

  21. Jason 2018-09-19 22:49

    Great. Let’s start with Cory saying Sharia law doesn’t exist in Iran.

  22. jerry 2018-09-19 22:53

    Okay, prove it.

  23. Jason 2018-09-19 22:57

    Porter already posted the Evidence above.

  24. grudznick 2018-09-19 22:58

    Mr. Lansing, and I feel we should be on a first name basis with all your goats are belong to us, but hey, Porter, why is it that you thing Mr. H is not a “person of the people?

    Porter Lansing 2018-09-19 at 21:50
    Grudz … Living in a bigger state, I get a mailbox full of glossy, expensive, full sheet, double sided political ads daily. After you started squawking like a bald hen, I made a note to look. No ads from either political party’s candidates mention political party affiliation. It’s not done anymore, anywhere by any valid “person of the people” Keep up …

  25. Jason 2018-09-19 22:58

    Actually, he posted it in the other thread. I am sure you saw it.

  26. jerry 2018-09-19 22:59

    This one? “Awwwwwwww ….. Jason and OlSarge always address their posts to Cory or someone else but not me. I must have offended them. I’ll just watch and learn, then. :)”

  27. jerry 2018-09-19 23:01

    I thought you were going to discuss. Mr. Lansing is a great poster, but his only post here is that you seem kind of gullible.

  28. Jason 2018-09-19 23:02

    I can’t help your reading comprehension issues.

  29. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-19 23:03

    The real point I’m making is that doctors don’t exist in a lot of South Dakota communities, doctors do exist in a lot of foreign countries, and the only way to get doctors in those South Dakota communities, even if for only three years at a time, is to bring them in from the foreign places that Tapio and Trump are telling us to fear.

    Translation: Tapio’s xenophobia is a recipe for reducing South Dakotans’ access to health care.

    Shorter translation: Trumpism kills.

  30. Jason 2018-09-19 23:04

    Jerry, why are you not wanting to discuss what Cory said?

  31. jerry 2018-09-19 23:05

    So then, you only want to try to pick on a lady. Ms. Debbo can defend herself of course, but ya got me dude. You wanted this, so proceed

  32. Jason 2018-09-19 23:06


    Which towns in SD with a sustainable population to pay for a doctor don’t have one?

  33. jerry 2018-09-19 23:08

    What Cory said is accurate and factual. He does not mention Iran, you do though.

  34. jerry 2018-09-19 23:09

    Rapid City Regional for one.

  35. Jason 2018-09-19 23:12

    How many doctors does Rapid City Regional have right now?

    I am going to go out on a limb and say Rapid City is not a rural city.

  36. jerry 2018-09-19 23:12

    Sioux Falls for two. “SIOUX FALLS | A South Dakota surgeon admitted to mistakenly removing an Iowa woman’s healthy kidney but denied that he breached the standard of care, according to the surgeon’s response to a lawsuit filed by the patient.

    Dr. Scott Baker and The Surgical Institute of South Dakota acknowledged in an answer to Dena Knapp’s lawsuit that Baker removed Knapp’s right kidney instead of an adrenal gland and an associated mass. Knapp, of Milford, Iowa, filed the lawsuit last month alleging professional negligence.”

  37. jerry 2018-09-19 23:13

    Our whole state is called a rural state…that is if you are living in South Dakota

  38. Jason 2018-09-19 23:15

    Who is saying that Jerry?

    Cory said he doesn’t believe sharia exists in Iran.

  39. jerry 2018-09-19 23:16

    Many times I have condemned the South Dakota legislature for not living up to what the ideals and responsibilities are for governing the state. In this case, legislators hit a home run and I for one, thank them dearly for making that decision.

  40. jerry 2018-09-19 23:18

    Tomorrow is a school day son, get your rest or teacher will make you put your dunce cap on again and stand in the corner.

  41. Jason 2018-09-19 23:21

    I accept your surrender Jerry.

  42. jerry 2018-09-19 23:28

    Nighty night, mom will leave the bathroom light on for you. Make sure you tinkle before going to your basement room.

  43. jerry 2018-09-19 23:30

    Oh, and for the record, if anyone has said that Iran is ruled by Sharia Law, then they are mixed up, that claim belongs to Saudi Arabia. You know the one that is, where trump is holding a lighted ball with the rest of the witches and it was not Halloween.

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