Med students taught outside U.S. may be denied domestic training

Medical schools in New York want to it make nearly impossible for foreign schools to use New York hospitals for clinical training. The 16 New York med schools are lobbying the State Board of Regents to only allow foreign schools to send students to New York hospitals for electives in their fourth year, reports the New York Times.

Their campaign promotes the AMA stance that "the core clinical curriculum of a foreign medical school should be provided by that school and that U.S. hospitals should not provide substitute core clinical experience."

This will hurt Caribbean medical schools that guarantee clinical training in the U.S. during students' third and fourth years. Many of the small islands lack the hospitals to offer such hands-on training, according to the newspaper.

Domestic medical school deans, though, argue that large for-profit Caribbean schools are simply bribing New York hospitals with millions of dollars to accept their students. "These are designed to be for-profit education mills to train students to pass the boards, which is all they need to get a license," Dr. Michael J. Reichgott, a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, told the Times.

According to a memorandum submitted to the Regents earlier this month, the top Caribbean med schools have been able to prove their academic credibility as they continue to admit students with competitive backgrounds, said Frank Muñoz, a deputy state education commissioner.

The proposed changes may affect the licensing of physicians across the U.S. as the healthcare industry expects a substantial doctor shortage as early as 2015. With only 18,600 out of more than 42,000 applicants accepted to domestic medical schools each year, some of those rejected turn to foreign schools, notes the Times. Lacking the prospect of U.S. clinical training, they may not.

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