St. James School of Medicine is NOT Disapproved in California

I go through these medical student forums and I see that people say that if you don’t go to the “big four” medical schools then you won’t get a residency; it’s not true. I’m going to clear up some things with evidence so prospective medical students will know the real deal. First, for those of you who don’t know what the big four are in detail, they are St. George University (SGU), Ross University, American University of the Caribbean (AUC), and Saba University. Graduates from the big four can practice in all 50 states; the most important state is California. The state of California does her own on-site inspections in order to approve foreign medical schools.
Now coming down to St. James School of Medicine; the school is on its 11th year after its establishment so, it’s already 10 years old. The state of California only approves schools that are 10 years old or more, but other criteria are included for approval. I looked on the Medical Board of California website and found that St. James School of Medicine is not on the approval or on the disapproval list. Because SJSM is not on the approval list the school is not thought about. And on California’s Medical Board’s website, it says:

If a medical school is not on this list of disapproved schools, it is either a recognized or an unrecognized medical school. Please check California’s Recognized Medical School list to determine if your school is recognized by California. If a school is not on either the recognized or disapproved list, it may be a school that has not requested recognition by the Medical Board of California. Please be aware education obtained at a disapproved school is not acceptable for licensure in California.

Therefore, there is a chance SJSM graduates can practice in California in the near future because the school just turned 10 years old and it’s not on the disapproved list of foreign medical schools.
However, you may wonder why some other Caribbean medical schools are on the disapproved list. I read through the disapproved report of St. Matthews Medical School from the medical board’s site and found out that the location of the school is the problem. The report states that basically due to natural disasters which damaged St. Matthews School of Medicine’s campus presents as the main point of disapproval. The site inspection report does state that school does prepare their students for the USMLE tests.
Will St. James School of Medicine get approved for California licensure?
I‘m not planning to move to California but I’m guessing it could be approved because Bonaire’s population is 15,000 and growing. It also has the best site for diving in the world so it attracts many tourists year around. And SJSM is already 10 years old, plus the school has a second campus on another island, in Anguilla. So, basically it could get approved in the near future; we just have to wait and see.
Why am I researching this?
Like I said, I’m not planning to settle in California, but I want to know what my options are.  I just want to know what’s going on currently; therefore, just in case SJSM is approved in California then I can apply for residency there to broaden my options.  In applying for residencies a medical graduate should apply everywhere.

Nationalized Health Care Affecting Caribbean Medical Students in America

This nationalized health care kind of gets me to think, will physicians become government workers? No more private facilities, like in Canada, will ruin the independent quality health care physicians provide for people. However, my mindset is set with the perception of Canada’s healthcare system. In countries with nationalized healthcare, just like in Canada, there are no such things as private hospitals. Even though the healthcare bill in America is not related to what I mentioned earlier, it could be beneficial one way and bad in another. Our President Obama recently signed the healthcare bill, while 13 state attorneys general from the republican parties are trying to claim in unconstitutional, according to The Hill.

The new healthcare bill will put the private insurance companies out of business. Physicians have a hard time getting reimbursed for treating patients with insurances. After the patient has been treated, the patient’s payment is the co-pay, while the rest of the payment for the treatment should come from the insurance companies. Sometimes the insurance companies don’t want to pay for the treatment, and they find excuses to try to get out of paying the physician. I’m not exaggerating on what happens; I personally talked to a doctor and she told me first-hand of how things are. And if physicians now have to call up the government for reimbursed money then I hope physicians gets their money without trouble. I’m not being the advocate for any side but I expressed my viewpoint as a medical student.

So how does this affect medical students, especially foreign medical students? In a way it could be seen as a positive view or it can be seen as a negative view. In the positive view it works out for us Caribbean medical students but it’s bad for the average American tax payer. It may cost more from Medicare to train more and residents which will be a necessity to keep up with the nationalized health care. American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges are pushing to add 15,000 residency spots.

Currently, the federal government pays for 100,000 residencies through Medicare; the groups are pushing for an additional 15,000. They point out that such a move will help address a looming physician shortage which is expected to worsen with the impending healthcare overhaul. –Citytowninfo.com.

Also, in several states new medical schools are opening up, such as the one in the University of Georgia. In an association with the Medical College of Georgia, UGA will have a medical college adding to the 5th medical school to the state of Georgia. Georgia’s other medical schools, other than the Medical College of Georgia, are Morehouse School of Medicine, Mercer University, and Emory Medical College.

If you read through some the rumors in medical student forums they say residency spots will be filled up with the openings of new medical students. A great number of residency spots are unfilled every year and increasing residency spots due to national healthcare will only give more opportunities to foreign medical graduates.

Dr. Atul Grover, AAMC’s chief advocacy officer, agreed. “We’re going to have a really hard time taking care of everyone if we don’t produce more doctors,” he was quoted as saying in Dedham, Massachusetts’ Daily News Transcript. –Citytowninfo.com.

So, what should you do after reading this? Basically don’t worry about studying in a Caribbean medical school, just revuew your best after basic sciences and score as high as you can in the USMLE Step 1.


Picture Source: The Alter Group

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