Medical schools in New York say they're struggling to place students in clinical clerkships

New York's medical schools are finding it hard to get their students clinical clerkship placements, an essential part of their training process. These placements are invaluable for students because they involve learning from and working with real doctors and patients. 

However, according to an article published this week in The Wall Street Journal, state schools are getting nudged out by for-profit offshore institutions--many located in the Caribbean--which are willing to pay hospitals up to $400 per week to take their students. This leaves very few openings for students from American medical schools, which have typically relied on the prestige and perks hospitals get from being associated with universities to land their students training spots.

"It's immoral," said Edward Halperin, chancellor of New York Medical College, to The Journal. "I don't think human illness is a commodity to be sold in the marketplace." Furthermore, it creates a bottleneck for universities that have expanded their medical programs to meet the projected shortage of physicians in the years to come. 

Universities argue that offshore schools are not as stringent as American medical programs. Typically physicians trained in for-profit institutions score lower on the U.S. Medical College Admissions Test and while in school, carry lower GPAs.

Hospitals, however, need the revenue generated from these arrangements more than ever. One institution, St. George's University School of Medicine in Grenada, has paid nearly $38 million to NYC Health + Hospitals, the health system that operates all public hospitals in tne New York City area.

To learn more:
- Here's The Wall Street Journal article