Albany Times Union: Letter – Schools in state address shortage

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Schools in state address shortage

By Letters to the editor on October 19, 2016 at 2:36 AM

In the commentary “Shortage of doctors treatable,” Oct. 4, the author gets the facts wrong. No New York-based medical school has called for a ban on foreign medical schools’ paid clerkships. But, to be clear, by buying slots, these foreign, for-profit schools are pushing New York students out of their clinical slots. And New Yorkers aren’t better off for it.

When foreign, for-profit schools pay for clerkships, they pass the costs to their students, who graduate with much more debt than graduates of U.S.-based schools. And those students are much less likely to become doctors – only 53 percent are accepted into a residency program, according to the National Residency Match Program.

On the other hand, New York medical schools are addressing the physician shortage by expanding class sizes – 19 percent over the past 10 years, as demonstrated by 2005-15 data from the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. We train more medical students in New York than in any other state.

According to the Center of Health Workforce Studies’ Resident Exit Survey, New York students who graduate from New York medical schools are more likely to practice medicine in the state than those who graduate from foreign medical schools. And U.S. medical school grads are more likely to practice in underserved areas than foreign medical school grads.

We cannot and should not rely on foreign, for-profit medical schools to address our physician shortage. Thankfully, New York schools are doing their job.

Jo Wiederhorn

President and CEO

Associated Medical Schools of New York

New York City