DeVry Wants to Train its Caribbean Med Students in Texas Hospitals. But Is That Legal?

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Devry's dermatology seminar gets rave reviews from students.
If you're like me, you associate DeVry with grainy daytime TV advertisements from the mid-1990s hawking cut-rate degrees in things like medial records and mechanical drafting. But the for-profit college has apparently been moving up in the world, now training not only your stenographer but your doctor.

DeVry entered the med school business in 2003, when it acquired the Caribbean-based Ross University School of Medicine. That school had made waves a few years earlier when it sought to become the first for-profit medical school in a century to operate on U.S. soil. DeVry continued its foray into medical education when it purchased the American University of the Caribbean late last year.

Now AUC is attempting to place up to 20 students per year in Texas hospitals for their third- and fourth-year clinical rotations. I contacted but have not heard back from DeVry, but Dominic Chavez, a spokesman for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, said there are no plans for a campus, just permission to do the medical rotations. That requires a permit of approval from THECB.

A THECB committee has recommended approval, but legislators and leaders of the state's nine existing medical schools have expressed concern that allowing a Caribbean medical school to operate in the state might deprive Texas med students access to an already short supply of medical clerkships. That's already been an issue in other states.

Medical schools negotiate their own contracts with individual hospitals for medical clerkships, and because AUC can't really do that without permission from the state, it's difficult to know if granting the school a certificate of authority might negatively impact Texas medical students, Chavez said.

THECB is working to provide an answer, but first, a more fundamental question about AUC's proposal in Texas: Is it even legal?

"As far as anyone's institutional knowledge is concerned, this is the first time a foreign medical school has requested authority to do this within the state of Texas," Chavez said.

THECB thinks it can legally issue a permit to AUC, but to make sure, Commissioner Raymund Paredes recently asked Attorney General Greg Abbott to settle that question.

Chavez expects an answer in five to six weeks months. The quality of training at for-profit Caribbean medical schools, often a haven for students rejected from U.S.-based institutions, remains an open question.

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21 comments
Saleem Sully Azad
Saleem Sully Azad

You are right to be very concerned with this turn of events. An influx of subpar Caribbean pseudo-medical students can only severely impair the ability of the Texas Health System to adequately care for Texans. We need to organize legislation to protect Texas from wasting resources on foreign trained pseudo-doctors. 

Saleem Sully Azad
Saleem Sully Azad

I am not trying to be offensive but it is true. I can only speak from experience as I know several students with MCAT scores below 20 that matriculated at St. Georges, the supposed "best caribbean medical school." This school blatantly falsifies it's MCAT entering scores to imply that it is somehow on par with any medical school, a notion that is patently absurd. I had a friend tell me the other day how their anatomy class is taught by watching videos from YouTube (You read that right). 

Tim
Tim

May I ask why you would say that? Our first 2 years are spent being trained by the same Professors that teach at US hospitals. My physiology and anatomy teacher was the chair at Temple Med School ( is he not qualified to teach us or are we still sub par?) Also, the last 2 years of med school are spent being taught side by side US Students at American Teaching Hospitals!!! That's right. What i should ask you is if your okay with the person operating on you being an amazing test taker and good at books but has trouble talking to you or working with their hands but since they did so amazing in their scores they "win" the opportunity to be your surgeon.... Thank you for lumping all of us together into one ball and not researching anything about this article. Just FYI, St. George, AUC and Ross are the top 3 caribbean med schools with entering criteria almost as stringent as US schools. 

Tim
Tim

The interesting fact is that we caribbean med students pay for our own education and do not use any of "your" tax money. Instead we influx your economy because our tuition goes to pay the hospitals we rotate at. Did you read the article? 20 students per year.... based on the 300+ med students in Texas, do you really think this is going to take away from your state or instead help because of the extra cash and knowing that many of these students are from texas and want to practice there someday... so isn't it better to have Caribbean Joe or Jane get trained by texas doctors to treat texans than the smart kid from NY or CA at Baylor who will leave first chance he gets?

Very Concerned
Very Concerned

Medical students attemding Texas schools should be the only ones allowed in Texas hospitals. PERIOD. I do NOT want my tax money to pay for any foreign student to be trained in the U.S. I do not want my hospital to be taken over by medical students from other states, let alone to be a dumping ground for people from the Caribbean schools.  

icunurse
icunurse

The sad thing is many people went to the Caribbean to get their MD degree and end up unemployed. The attendings where I work said their success rate matching into residency is horrible. The Caribbean schools just take their money and fail them out. Many of their students over there are Indians hoping to get in the U.S. through a residency.  It's a money making racket. DeVry is hugely profitable, and they pay no income taxes on their Caribbean schools. Texas should take care of Texas medical students first.

Saleem Sully Azad
Saleem Sully Azad

The vast majority of Caribbean medical students are people you wouldn't even want in the same room as your surgeon, let alone the person with the scalpel. We need to really come to terms with how the influx of these students is undermining the quality of our whole system. 

4th year IMG
4th year IMG

 Poor training? To be honest I've never felt my training was substandard in comparison to my American trained counterparts. To make it out of a Caribbean school and onto US soil means you have the be the best of the best there. Some of those "Dr. Nicks" are some of the best physicians out there.

IMG in TX
IMG in TX

You already have Caribbean medical students doing rotations in your state.  Why don't you do some research into the Match lists at hospitals in your state also.  

David Ruffin
David Ruffin

It is a well known fact that most people who go to the Caribbean medical schools could not get into a US allopathic school. It is also well known that most of those same people would rather not be in the healthcare field than be a filthy osteopathic physician. It is laughable that D.O.'s think they can cure hypertension by simply massaging one's kidneys. They also believe they can make someone smarter by massaging their head.  Despite the poor training they receive in the Caribbean, many of these doctors go on to complete an ACGME accredited residency as well as pass their respective board exam(s). These are the exact same requirements that any domestic graduate must meet to practice medicine. This article forgot to mention that pertinent detail.  

pleasedon'tshockmymonkey
pleasedon'tshockmymonkey

So what. I went to ITT tech and am now one of the U.S.' most prominent rocket scientist and have actually sent this post from the future; using the iPad500(it composes your thoughts automatically, can change the vegetable oil from your flying Prius and its hemp constructed tires, and many other wonderful things!). Also, Dallas is still not World Class. Longview actually beat it to World Class status....ironic, right?

Juan Valdez
Juan Valdez

This is all about keeping the medical cartel. Totally agree with you.

For Your Consideration
For Your Consideration

From the above link link: Charles R. Modica, chancellor of St. George's University School of Medicine, in Grenada, contends that there are plenty such slots in New York, and that medical deans are using the training issue as an excuse to limit class sizes and deny New Yorkers access to medical education...... As for the argument that offshore students are crowding out onshore students, "these are ridiculous assertions of a group of hysterical medical-school deans who should be ashamed that they didn't accept these students years ago," he says. "These same deans have for years kept the enrollment of their own institutions down to a bare minimum using the excuse of quality."......... The proliferation of medical schools in the Caribbean in recent years—now up to 55—has created headaches for schools like St. George's. "They want to lump us all together, and I'm not going to let them do it," Mr. Modica says. He welcomes the recent push to require a uniform accreditation process for foreign medical schools that train students in the United States. --------- Require uniform accreditation. Don't let US schools have a monopoly on supply to maintain high costs. We can't afford the quality care we are receiving and still are ranked down the list in quality. Time to breakup the medical cartel: http://wallstreetpit.com/5769-the-medical-cartel-why-are-md-salaries-so-high

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

I bet the Deal is made and has been approved. We are just now being told about it .

myspamaddress86
myspamaddress86

Nobody at SGU got below a 20 on their MCATs. I am currently enrolled at St. George's and I got a 30 MCAT and 240 step 1 score. And as for the "YouTube" anatomy class, that is just an outright lie. We have plenty of human cadavers. Please stop spreading lies. SGU is a fine school and your "experience" is nothing but a bunch of BS.

MedStu
MedStu

@Saleem Sully Azad You're an idiot. MCAT does not directly correlate with your ability to treat patients.

TX_Med44
TX_Med44

what about non traditional students who are texas citizens that attend caribbean med schools. They have paid taxes to the state of texas their entire life, don't they deserve a chance to do their clinicals in the state in which they too call home and wish to practice. And for those on here who want o criticize Caribbean Med Schools, some of the best doctors I have ever known graduated from there! maybe they didn't score high enough originally to get into a good school in the states, but going to the caribbean says to me that they were not willing to give up their dream of becoming a doctor just because someone on some board who thinks they are GOD said they weren't good enough. most of these students have worked twice as hard as American med students to get where they are! Sounds to me that most individuals on here bitching about them taking American clinical and residency spots are just scared of the competition and are worried they will lose out to the caribbean guys. I say suck it up compete! competition breeds winners! So for all of you from Texas who are bitching, all I can say is COWBOY UP and work harder! The ones like my brother who gave up everything to follow their dreams are busting their asses!

icunurse
icunurse

David Ruffin: Your ignorance is laughable. I work in a hospital and half of the docs are DOs. If you get in a car wreck, chances are the doc working on ya in the ER is a DO - most people don't know this. The president of the Texas Medical Board is a DO. Tell him he's not a doctor. LOL.

Saleem Sully Azad
Saleem Sully Azad

It is well known that the Caribbean institutions graduate Pseudodoctors, not real Physicians. While there are outliers here and there, the vast majority of residency programs usually only fill spots with Foreign medical grads as a last resort. DO's on the other hand in practice are not judged that differently from American trained MD's. You're anti-Osteopathic bias is really limited to a few people such as yourself and not seen often in practice. Caribbean Pseudodoctors on the other hand are highly stigmatized. 

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