Sign in usually tranquil St. Martin, where medical students stand by to help in disaster.
Heidi Chumley, M.D., executive dean and chief academic officer of the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, on the island of St. Martin, criticizes the “pernicious idea” that American medicine is speeding to a “residency cliff” of a “severe shortage ” of residencies.
One could guess that she says that in part because less-selective medical schools like hers would like to be seen as a good source of young physicians to meet this challenge, though some hospitals are leery on hiring students from them.
“Having led medical education programs for a decade, I want to reassure aspiring doctors: It’s not that bad. It is certainly not a reason to abandon a dream of becoming a doctor, especially not when the country faces a growing shortage of physicians.”
“Though the number of residencies per graduate may be decreasing, it is not worsening as rapidly as the ‘cliff’ metaphor implies. Overall, the number of U.S. allopathic medical students is growing by about 2 percent. Comparing this to the 1-2 percent growth in first-year residency positions, we can see that there is a squeeze, but by no means an imminent drop-off. ”
“Schools like AUC are doing their part to address this imbalance by providing a pipeline of mainly primary care physicians to care for underserved U.S. populations.”