For sale? House votes for efforts to keep offshore MD schools from buying U.S. GME slots U.S.-based graduate medical education programs should maintain their ability to select residents based on merit, House says. July 21, 2012Saturday Carolyn Schierhorn Contact cschierhorn Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Topics graduate medical educationHouse of Delegates Given that many offshore, particularly Caribbean, medical schools are known to purchase clinical rotation slots for their students at U.S. teaching hospitals—for hundreds of dollars per student per week, according to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education—the New York State Osteopathic Medical Society (NYSOMS) is concerned that these schools are beginning to buy residency positions for their graduates as well, according to the society’s executive director, Barbara Greenwald. To head off this development, NYSOMS submitted a resolution to the AOA House of Delegates that calls on the AOA to collaborate with the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the American Medical Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges and other stakeholders to ensure that U.S.-based graduate medical education programs maintain their ability to select residents based on merit. The AOA House unanimously approved the resolution today. “The offshore medical schools have had a critical impact and, in my opinion, a negative impact on educational access,” stressed New York delegate Robert B. Goldberg, DO, during a House committee meeting yesterday. He noted that certain for-profit Caribbean medical schools have class sizes of 700 to nearly 1,000 students. While only a third of their students graduate, the schools aim to secure GME positions for those who do, he said. “They have started to buy residency positions,” said Dr. Goldberg, who is the dean of the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) in New York City. “We want to make sure that program directors continue to be able to select their residents on merit.” The problem of offshore medical schools buying clinical clerkships for their students has been most severe in New York state, but it is also occurring in California and elsewhere, according to California delegate David A. Connett, DO. “Offshore schools often ask for all of their tuition money up front,” Dr. Connett told The DO. This is how they can afford to pay enormous amounts of money for student rotation positions, displacing thousands of osteopathic and allopathic medical students who are enrolled in U.S. schools from desirable slots, he said. Previous articleIn Memoriam: July 6, 2012 Next articleInsurers should cover all treatments for severe obesity, AOA House says.