Offshore Medical Schools Are Buying Clinical Clerkships in U.S. Hospitals: The Problem and Potential Solutions.

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Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, ISSN: 1938-808X, Vol: 91, Issue: 5, Page: 639-44

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Halperin, Edward C; Goldberg, Robert B
Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health); Touro Scholar
Social Sciences; offshore medical schools; medical education; osteopathic medicine; clinical clerkships; Medical Education
article description
U.S. medical education faces a threat from for-profit Caribbean medical schools which purchase clinical rotation slots for their students at U.S. hospitals. These offshore schools are monetizing a system that was previously characterized as a duty-the duty of the current generation of physicians to educate their successors. Offshore schools purchase clinical rotation slots using funds largely derived from federally subsidized student loans. This leads to pressure on U.S. schools to pay for clinical clerkships and is forcing some of them to find new clinical training sites.For-profit Caribbean schools largely escape the type of scrutiny that U.S. schools face from U.S. national accreditation organizations. They also enroll large classes of students with lower undergraduate GPAs and Medical College Admission Test scores than those of students at U.S. medical schools; their students take and pass Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination at a substantially lower rate than that of U.S. medical students; and their students match for residencies at a fraction of the rate of U.S. medical school graduates.Among the potential solutions proposed by the authors are passing laws to hold for-profit Caribbean schools to standards for board passage rates, placing restrictions on federal student loans, monitoring attrition rates, and denying offshore schools access to U.S. clinical training sites unless they meet accreditation standards equivalent to those of U.S. medical schools.