Friday, December 24, 2010

The market for clinical rotations for medical students

After studying in classrooms for two years, medical students head to hospitals for medical roations or clerkships. Some of the Carribean medical schools that serve primarily American students pay American hospitals to supervise their students, which is upsetting some existing relationships, the Chronicle reports: Students From Caribbean Med Schools Head for New York, Angering Some Local Programs --The trend angers some medical educators, who say their trainees are being crowded out of clinical rotations

"Thousands of students from offshore medical schools flock to teaching hospitals in the United States each year to complete the clinical portion of their education. In New York, the number of students performing third- and fourth-year hospital rotations from these offshore programs now almost equals the number of students from the state's own medical schools.

"That is making a number of medical educators in the state angry. They say their students are being crowded out of opportunities, in part because the offshore medical schools are paying hospitals to secure the spots—something they say their budgets prohibit them from doing. Some also say many offshore students have been poorly supervised and are inadequately prepared to practice medicine."

And here is the NY Times on the subject: Medical Schools in Region Fight Caribbean Flow

"The dispute also has far-reaching implications for medical education and the licensing of physicians across the country. More than 42,000 students apply to medical schools in the United States every year, and only about 18,600 matriculate, leaving some of those who are rejected to look to foreign schools. Graduates of foreign medical schools in the Caribbean and elsewhere constitute more than a quarter of the residents in United States hospitals.

"With experts predicting a shortage of 90,000 doctors in the United States by 2020, the defenders of these schools say that they fill a need because their graduates are more likely than their American-trained peers to go into primary and family care, rather than into higher-paying specialties like surgery.

"New York has been particularly affected by the influx because it trains more medical students and residents — fledgling doctors who have just graduated from medical school — than any other state. The New York medical school deans say that they want to expand their own enrollment to fill the looming shortage, but that their ability to do so is impeded by competition with the Caribbean schools for clinical training slots in New York hospitals."

HT: Muriel Niederle

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