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The Origin and Future of Offshore Medical Schools in the Caribbean

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The Flexner Report of 1910 concluded that there were too many medical schools in the United States of America (USA). In the wake of this conclusion, Flexner recommended higher admission and graduation standards for medical schools, the expected impact being fewer medical schools and graduates. One unintended consequence of this recommendation was a male-only policy by some universities to accommodate the smaller numbers of males.
There were privately owned medical schools, unaffiliated to any college or universities which were run primarily for profit. Degrees were usually obtained after only two years of study and laboratory and dissection exercises were not part of the training.
The adoption of Flexner’s recommendation resulted in medical education becoming more expensive; it also created opportunities for persons without the financial means or the matriculation requirements to find alternative training programmes among those “medical schools” which did not adopt Flexner’s recommendations.
This paper traces the further development of these “medical schools” to facilitate the need for more doctors in the context of global maldistribution of doctors which has resulted in many medically underserved
areas, more so in developing countries (1).

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e-Published: 21 Aug, 2013
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