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Uber driving MD's - the new trend

By Al_Sharpton_for_President follow Al_Sharpton_for_President   2019 Jul 11, 9:37am 366 views   3 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    

Yet since 2011, Dr. Doug Medina has been forced to string together minimum wage jobs and unpaid research positions that barely put food on his table or a roof over his head. The graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine may have earned a doctorate in allopathic medicine, but he has yet to be selected for a residency. Without that training, he cannot be licensed to grab his piece of the American Dream – a lucrative career in medicine that will allow him to pay down a $300,000 student loan.

“I haven’t been able to pay anything yet, and interest rates are killing me,” says Medina. “It’s very stressful. You begin to give up hope that you’ll ever be able to own a home or a new car in this lifetime,” he says, adding, jobs in a butcher shop and unloading trucks at a big box store won’t retire his debt.

If Medina’s elusive quest seems more Greek mythology than hard-luck tale, that’s because his odyssey has entangled him in one of this nation’s hot-button issues – immigration.

In the seven years since Medina graduated from medical school, data from the National Resident Matching Program reveal that, from 2011 to 2018, 14,759 U.S. seniors and previous graduates did not matriculate into residency training. In that period, there were 27,866 foreign trained physicians [FTPs, non-U.S. international medical graduates (IMGs)] on H-1B and J-1 visas selected for residency.

A J-1 visa is a nonimmigrant document issued by the U.S. government to research scholars, professors and others participating in programs that promote cultural exchange, especially to obtain medical or business training within the U.S. An H-1B visa is used to employ international workers in specialty fields.

Federal dollars from Medicare annually underwrite residency training positions for about 3,700 non-U.S. IMGs. This leaves about 1,800 American-trained medical students without a job each year. Reducing the number of IMGs who receive residencies, and prioritizing American grads, would help correct the problem.

“I don’t want to completely exonerate the student. We must go after these jobs and interview well,” says the Colorado native who has applied to hundreds of alternative careers since returning in 2013 from Floating Doctors, a nonprofit medical group that provides healthcare to developing nations worldwide. This has included positions ranging from Psychiatry Aide, Research Assistant and Lab Technician to Health Inspector, Ecologist and Epidemiologist.

“When I followed up with various positions that I had applied for, I was told I was overqualified or lacked specific qualifications,” says Medina. With the large debt load in student loans from medical school, he says he simply would not qualify to take out more student loans for additional training to seek specific qualifications for these alternative careers.

“To date,” Medina continues, “the only career I’ve found that requires a doctorate of allopathic medicine without resident training is an international Health Scientist for the Centers for Disease and Prevention, and I applied to every position from Albania to Yemen.”

Making the Grade

Nationwide, about 94 percent of medical school graduates are placed in residencies each year, with a 6 percent deficit. So, what happens to those U.S. graduates (more than 1,000) who don’t make the cut? Medina passed all of his courses, never failed any clinical or course work during medical school and in his final year earned honors in five courses. “I am not the problem. The problem is a serious flaw in policy that is not protecting vulnerable medical students trained in the U.S.,” he says. He believes that schools should help graduates matriculate into residency training or find an alternative career.

For this reason, Medina chafes when it is suggested that a non-U.S. IMG is more qualified (higher test scores) and therefore deserves a residency denied an American-trained doctor. He was surprised and angered to learn that FTPs who had failed multiple courses were chosen over him in some instances.

Misinformation is also a barrier. The immigration debate assumes FTPs are filling positions in rural outposts unattractive to U.S.-trained doctors. Yet data show that doctors with J-1 visas are regularly placed in New York, Michigan, Texas, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. Further, according to a story in Time, one internal medicine program reported that 60 percent of its incoming residents are on, or are supposed to be on, H-1B visas.

“These data indicate that the rural argument does not justify hundreds of U.S. medical students – who invested a quarter-million dollars, or more, for an education – losing jobs to FTPs who don’t have huge school debts to pay,” says Medina.

His disappointment also reveals why he is haunted by a joke told by educators during his orientation to medical school: What do you call a medical student who finishes last in his class? The punch line – A doctor – suggests that anyone capable of surviving the rigors of an American medical school education is worthy and qualified to aid the sick and pursue a career in Medicine. Medina is not laughing any more.

Medina has filed formal grievances with the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. But, so far, his lone voice has not been recognized.


1   Shaman   ignore (2)   2019 Jul 11, 9:50am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Love that Scrubs clip!
2   Tenpoundbass   ignore (14)   2019 Jul 11, 10:00am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

That's what happens when you only have a few networks and every Doctor is out of network.

Bring back upfront pricing and private pricing. Use the Anti Trust laws on all of the Clinics in almost every State in America that are owned by the local Hospital conglomerates. They fix and control the prices in those clinics as well.
3   Ceffer   ignore (5)   2019 Jul 11, 10:37am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

In these articles, there are always an editorial slant and 'untold' associated stories that provide a different insight into the how and why.

I would say some of this stems from the admissions process, where political correctness and quotas generate students who didn't belong there to begin with, and wind up being 'post-culled' after the fact of attending the schools and being pushed through. I have witnessed this myself. It doesn't work to just say that the educational process rectifies this, because it doesn't. Even mostly free competition does not eliminate a scheming, connected or hapless 5 percent of candidates who should not be there.

I have watched programs struggle to 'over train' candidates who just didn't get it, or were the foolish errors of the politicized admissions process.

I would suspect there is a segment of these students who are graduated and rather than embarrass or subject the parent institution to lawsuits, they are in various ways red-tagged to warn off post graduate programs from admitting the train wrecks.

Yeah, even Harvard, Yale and Stanford produce mighty duds. Now, with the government and public demanding over-production of degrees, the degrees themselves are no longer magic tickets, even in medicine it seems.

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