In controversial deal, New York signs Caribbean med school for training

Amid a storm of protest, New York City's Health and Hospitals Corp. has signed a 10-year, $100 million deal with a Caribbean medical school to provide clinical training for students at the city's 11 public hospitals. The deal, backed by a HHC board member who works for the school, has met loud complaints from NYC-based medical schools, who say that they're reluctant to compete with demand for such students. The competition will be boosted by the fact that public hospitals in the city will collect more money for every student affiliated with St. George's University School of Medicine, a for-profit school based on the island of Grenada. Meanwhile, critics say that it's not a good idea to bestow the city's prestige on a school whose curriculum, they contend, is more vocational than academic.

Traditionally, med schools have sent third- and fourth-year students into city hospitals to work alongside doctors. The med schools haven't charged for the assistance, though HHC said some institutions have begun paying a flat $250,000 per year. These free clerkships have been a core part of medical education, offering 3,700 rotations for U.S. medical schools at the city's public hospitals. But under the new contract, signed last year, St. George's pays the hospitals $425 to $500 per student per week, along with an annual fee of $50,000 for hospitals taking 24 or more St. George's students.

To learn more about the city's new med school deal:
- read this New York Times article

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