U.S. medical schools are facing growing competition for limited clinical training resources, notably slots for the core clerkships that students most often complete in the third year of their undergraduate medical education. In particular, medical schools in the Caribbean (often referred to as offshore medical schools) are buying clerkship slots at U.S. hospitals for their students, most of whom will be U.S. citizen international medical graduates. For hospitals, especially those that are financially stressed, these payments are an attractive source of revenue. Yet, this practice has put pressure on U.S. medical schools to provide similar remuneration for clerkship slots for their students or to find new clinical training sites. In this Perspective, the authors outline the scope of the challenge facing U.S. medical schools and the U.S. medical education system. They outline legislative strategies implemented in 2 states (New York and Texas) to address this issue and propose the passage of similar legislation in other states to ensure that students at U.S. medical schools can access the clerkships they need to obtain the requisite clinical experience before entering residency. Such legislation would preserve the availability of clerkships for U.S. medical students and the educational quality of these clinical training experiences and, therefore, preserve the quantity and quality of the future physician workforce in the United States.
ASJC Scopus subject areas