DeVry Lures Medical School Rejects as Taxpayers Fund Debt

Enjoy it now young DeVry med student, because you're never going on vacation again.

Enjoy it now young DeVry med student, because you’re never going on vacation again.

The Devry medical school business model works like this according to the attached article:

1. Sub-par med student is rejected by stateside medical schools.

2. Student can’t give up on the dream of becoming a doctor.

3. Student is accepted to one of DeVry’s carribean based med schools.

4. Student takes out huge amounts in federal loans even though the chance of working stateside as a doctor is only 20%

5. Federal loan funds go to DeVry’s bottom line.

6. The would-be doctor is saddled with massive debt, twice what one would have on average coming out of a stateside school.

7. Student gets degree from the non-accredited school and works as a flobotomist for $30/hour, while paying on $400,000 in debt.

8. Debt follows the student to the grave.

Surely these people are making their own bed. Once it became clear that their doctor dreams would likely remain dreams they should have come to terms with reality. It is the student’s fault that they pursued this debt ridden route. They buckled the ball and chain right around their own ankle.

However, this would never have happened in a true market economy. If loans were based on the prospect of being paid back at a reasonable rate of interest DeVry’s entire business model would not work. It is the easy credit, the dishonest money, that the federal government makes so abundant which creates the atmosphere needed to create this particular type of misery.

(From Bloomberg.com)

Adams, now 31, moved with his wife, Jessica, and their two young children to a two-bedroom apartment that smelled of dog urine and had a broken stove on the Dutch part of St. Maarten on Jan. 1. After financing his first two semesters with $67,000 in U.S. government-backed loans, Adams expects to leave medical school with as much as $400,000 in debt — and about a 20 percent chance of never practicing as a physician in the U.S.

”I understand that I am coming from behind a little bit, attending a Caribbean medical school,” Adams says, standing on his apartment’s terrace, watching sailboats glide by on the deep-blue waters of Simpson Bay Lagoon.

Click here for the article.

9 comments
PhillLA
PhillLA

Here is what one of the medical schools wrote to the editors of Bloomberg.  Sorrentino- you should research a bit before perpetuating baseless information. 

Charles Modica of  the world renowned
Saint George’s University School of Medicine responds to Lorin & Durbins irresponsible
and flawed article and probe on students studying at international medical
schools utilizing the Title IV US Loan Program.

Sir or Madam:

As the Chancellor of St.
George’s University, I had the privilege of being the co-founder of the
University that started it all in the Caribbean.  At this date, over 1% of
all doctors practicing medicine in the US are graduates of St. George’s
University, and many of them have become faculty members and prominent
researchers at US medical schools over the past almost 40 years.  

I am quite surprised, and
considerably dismayed, by your editorial which accepted the misleading facts
and dubious conclusions in Janet Lorin’s article on medical students who attend
international medical schools utilizing the US loan program.  Ms. Lorin’s
lengthy article attempts to make a point about US tax dollars being wasted on US
students studying medicine abroad.

As the editorial board of a
world-recognized global business communication platform, you should have
checked the facts and questioned the nonsensical conclusions of what can hardly
be viewed as a credible news article.  Instead, you concluded a facile and
weak editorial with the words,  “What doesn’t make sense is to continue
providing federal money for subpar results.”

Unfortunately, the case for
labeling students at international medical schools – and of international
medical schools themselves - as “subpar” is completely unsubstantiated.  
Ms. Lorin misuses the phrase “Medical School Rejects” in both the body and
headline of her article and your editorial echoes it. 

We believe that attacking
all students at foreign medical schools as “rejects” is mean-spirited and
unfair.  Virtually all students attending medical schools at this moment
were rejected by at least one medical school.  In 2012, the average
applicant applied to 14 medical schools.  How unfair would it seem for
this reporter to have referred to an entering class of a US medical school as
being filled with “medical school rejects,” just because they had not been
accepted by every other medical school to which they had applied?

The AAMC has called for a
30% increase over 2002 in the first year medical student intake at US schools.
  This will result in 4,888 new US medical school students in 2017. If we
were to follow Ms. Lorin’s logic, then we would have to conclude that all 4,888
new medical students would have been “subpar” in 2002.

The reality is that an
admissions committee does not decide who is qualified to study medicine, but
rather is charged to choose the best students from the applicant pool that fit
with the mission and demographic goals of its particular institution.
 Their decision is in no way a final judgment on the candidate’s ability
to study and practice medicine.    This is a basic principle of all
institutions of higher learning.  How could you all have missed this? 

As for the concept of
“subpar results”

In 2012, St. George’s
University’s medical students achieved a 97% first-time taker pass rate on the
USMLE I.  First-time takers at US and Canadian schools (the way the USMLE
posts results) in the same year achieved a 96% pass rate.  Do you suggest
that students at US schools are subpar?  We are confused.

Another one of Ms. Lorin’s
misguided assumptions is that the international medical schools whose students
are taking US loan dollars are not accredited by the LCME and are therefore
“subpar.” 

The LCME does not review or
accredit medical schools/programs outside of the US or Canada.  Like St.
George’s, neither Oxford nor Cambridge’s medical degree programs have LCME
accreditation - but they have comparable accreditation/registration recognized
by the USDOE.

SGU, and the other schools of medicine that have been approved for
US loans, have gone through a rigorous accreditation process.  Grenada’s
accreditation standards and process has undergone a review by the USDOE.
 The US Department of Education’s National Committee on Foreign Medical
Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA) reviews the standards used by countries
other than the US to accredit medical schools and determines whether those
standards are comparable to standards used to accredit medical schools in the
US (i.e., comparable to LCME standards). Grenada was one of the first four
countries whose accreditation standards were deemed by the NCFMEA to be
comparable to those used in the US.   The other three were the UK, Australia,
and Canada. 

The ludicrous title of the
article insinuates that medical students of international medical schools are
being funded by the US taxpayer.  US taxpayers fund unpaid student loans.
The fact is that the US across the board default rate in 2010 (latest published
two-year default rate) was 9.1%.  SGU’s default rate, also published by
the USDOE, during the same period, was less than 1%.  

The editorial board of
the Bloomberg Markets magazine utilized the term “subpar” in a
reckless fashion, damaging the reputation of thousands of practicing physicians
around the world as well as students currently studying at international
medical schools.  

Although St. George's
University wasn’t the focus of the article or editorial, we are concerned that
the stigma it conveys will negatively impact our dedicated and hard-working
students and graduates unjustly.  

If there is anything subpar
in all of this, it is the shoddy reporting and irresponsible editorial
oversight of the Bloomberg Markets magazine.

Yours faithfully,

Charles R. Modica, JD,
Chancellor

St. George’s University

Grenada, West Indies

CaribbMD
CaribbMD

Will soon have my MD degree from Ross and I scored in the 250 range on my STEP-1 (93 percentile of ALL MEDICAL STUDENTS). I have received nothing but A's, or high pass, in my clinical rotations (all were in the US) and I intend to have no problem obtaining my residency of choice. But I guess I'm sub-par, and all those patients I will treat will just be easy cases.... The government is clearly throwing their money down the drain investing in someone like me who will likely spend the rest of his days in a high tax bracket and have to pay off these loans (US med student average ~176,000; Carib med student average ~211,000) with interest. If Nick would have done his own research on the article he is citing, he would have quickly realized that Janet Lorin (the author of the other article) is in a sh!t storm right now for misrepresenting the facts. I can go to any school on the planet and make a one-sided article by talking to the dropouts. But what do I know, I'm just a "sub-par" reject. Better hope I'm not the doctor you get when you get to the ER, there might be a US grad right around the corner with lower standardized scores, but at least they came from a US med school.... 

Aidan Haggerty
Aidan Haggerty

I'm glad I'm not paying any kind of student loan debt. If you're going to college, you need to make sure that you can finance it yourself because the student loan industry is run by the US government. The federal government shouldn't subsidies my loan.

CaseyStott
CaseyStott

I only wish that liberals would get this. Government-guaranteed loans do nothing to help kids get a good education that will lead to a good future. They do two things instead; load kids with debt that they can't pay back and fuel the "degree-mill" industry while causing tuition to increase exponentially.

Manuel Alvarado
Manuel Alvarado

Not DeVry, check Phoenix University, similar, if not identical system.

Benjamin Stockton
Benjamin Stockton

We need more doctors in America. Unfortunately, "the market" approach to medicine in America is that, if you're too poor to afford health care, sucks to be you. If we had a Nordic-style system, people could get health care and these students could be employed as doctors. But there'd be no role in such a system for the Right's beloved Big Insurance fat cats, so it's a non-starter.

Sharon Arrington Smith
Sharon Arrington Smith

This is below average students taking on debt they have no hopes of paying off and DeVry is making money on them. This is wrong all the way around.

Mercedes Burtle
Mercedes Burtle

Conress needs to get off their butt and do something about it. That will be a miracle if they do.

PhillLA
PhillLA

@Sharon Arrington Smith

Here is what one of the medical schools wrote to the editors of Bloomberg.  

Charles Modica of  the world renowned
Saint George’s University School of Medicine responds to Lorin & Durbins irresponsible
and flawed article and probe on students studying at international medical
schools utilizing the Title IV US Loan Program.

Sir or Madam:

As the Chancellor of St.
George’s University, I had the privilege of being the co-founder of the
University that started it all in the Caribbean.  At this date, over 1% of
all doctors practicing medicine in the US are graduates of St. George’s
University, and many of them have become faculty members and prominent
researchers at US medical schools over the past almost 40 years.  

I am quite surprised, and
considerably dismayed, by your editorial which accepted the misleading facts
and dubious conclusions in Janet Lorin’s article on medical students who attend
international medical schools utilizing the US loan program.  Ms. Lorin’s
lengthy article attempts to make a point about US tax dollars being wasted on US
students studying medicine abroad.

As the editorial board of a
world-recognized global business communication platform, you should have
checked the facts and questioned the nonsensical conclusions of what can hardly
be viewed as a credible news article.  Instead, you concluded a facile and
weak editorial with the words,  “What doesn’t make sense is to continue
providing federal money for subpar results.”

Unfortunately, the case for
labeling students at international medical schools – and of international
medical schools themselves - as “subpar” is completely unsubstantiated.  
Ms. Lorin misuses the phrase “Medical School Rejects” in both the body and
headline of her article and your editorial echoes it. 

We believe that attacking
all students at foreign medical schools as “rejects” is mean-spirited and
unfair.  Virtually all students attending medical schools at this moment
were rejected by at least one medical school.  In 2012, the average
applicant applied to 14 medical schools.  How unfair would it seem for
this reporter to have referred to an entering class of a US medical school as
being filled with “medical school rejects,” just because they had not been
accepted by every other medical school to which they had applied?

The AAMC has called for a
30% increase over 2002 in the first year medical student intake at US schools.
  This will result in 4,888 new US medical school students in 2017. If we
were to follow Ms. Lorin’s logic, then we would have to conclude that all 4,888
new medical students would have been “subpar” in 2002.

The reality is that an
admissions committee does not decide who is qualified to study medicine, but
rather is charged to choose the best students from the applicant pool that fit
with the mission and demographic goals of its particular institution.
 Their decision is in no way a final judgment on the candidate’s ability
to study and practice medicine.    This is a basic principle of all
institutions of higher learning.  How could you all have missed this? 

As for the concept of
“subpar results”

In 2012, St. George’s
University’s medical students achieved a 97% first-time taker pass rate on the
USMLE I.  First-time takers at US and Canadian schools (the way the USMLE
posts results) in the same year achieved a 96% pass rate.  Do you suggest
that students at US schools are subpar?  We are confused.

Another one of Ms. Lorin’s
misguided assumptions is that the international medical schools whose students
are taking US loan dollars are not accredited by the LCME and are therefore
“subpar.” 

The LCME does not review or
accredit medical schools/programs outside of the US or Canada.  Like St.
George’s, neither Oxford nor Cambridge’s medical degree programs have LCME
accreditation - but they have comparable accreditation/registration recognized
by the USDOE.

SGU, and the other schools of medicine that have been approved for
US loans, have gone through a rigorous accreditation process.  Grenada’s
accreditation standards and process has undergone a review by the USDOE.
 The US Department of Education’s National Committee on Foreign Medical
Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA) reviews the standards used by countries
other than the US to accredit medical schools and determines whether those
standards are comparable to standards used to accredit medical schools in the
US (i.e., comparable to LCME standards). Grenada was one of the first four
countries whose accreditation standards were deemed by the NCFMEA to be
comparable to those used in the US.   The other three were the UK, Australia,
and Canada. 

The ludicrous title of the
article insinuates that medical students of international medical schools are
being funded by the US taxpayer.  US taxpayers fund unpaid student loans.
The fact is that the US across the board default rate in 2010 (latest published
two-year default rate) was 9.1%.  SGU’s default rate, also published by
the USDOE, during the same period, was less than 1%.  

The editorial board of
the Bloomberg Markets magazine utilized the term “subpar” in a
reckless fashion, damaging the reputation of thousands of practicing physicians
around the world as well as students currently studying at international
medical schools.  

Although St. George's
University wasn’t the focus of the article or editorial, we are concerned that
the stigma it conveys will negatively impact our dedicated and hard-working
students and graduates unjustly.  

If there is anything subpar
in all of this, it is the shoddy reporting and irresponsible editorial
oversight of the Bloomberg Markets magazine.

Yours faithfully,

Charles R. Modica, JD,
Chancellor

St. George’s University

Grenada, West Indies