Posts Tagged ‘foreign medical schools’

Selling Seats

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Like a lot of government-supported institutions in the United States, Dalhousie University Medical School in Canada is facing a budgetary shortfall. A cut in provincial funding eliminated 8% of the school’s budget.

To make up the shortfall, Dalhousie will sell 10 first-year seats to students from Saudi Arabia for an annual payment of $75,000 each. The Saudi students will still have to go through an interview process and will take residencies in their home country.

My initial reaction was outrage, but reading more, it seems that Nova Scotia does not have as great a demand for doctors as Saudi Arabia does. This is not the kind of diversity that many medical schools aim for, but it will certainly enrich the experience of the Canadians in next year’s incoming class.

Foreign Medical Schools

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The Government Accountability Office released a report this week on the role of federal student loans in supporting foreign medical schools. Like the recent Congressional hearings on for-profit undergraduate education, foreign medical schools claim billions of dollars in federal aid from students with little evidence about return on the investment.

One of the GAO's findings, as reported in Inside Higher Ed is that 97% of U.S. medical school graduates pass the Step 1 licensure exam on the first try, but only 64% of foreign medical school graduates do. If foreign medical schools, some of the largest of which are for-profit, receive taxpayer money, then they should produce competent doctors.

At the same time, foreign medical schools help meet the need for physicians in this country. And no doubt many of their graduates are outstanding doctors. The larger issue may be the high cost of medical education at home and abroad, which requires students to go deeply in debt to pursue their dreams.