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Friday, March 21st 2008

Stewart University Deserves Mockery

This Is An Apparent Stewart University New Scotland School of Medicine Lecture

There’s a weird for profit “allopathic” medical school which has apparently opened up in California. The New Scotland International School of Medicine.

2 years and ten months total program length
3 starting classes per year: January, May, September
No MCAT – NOT required for MD licensure
No Bachelor’s Degree – NOT required for MD licensure
No Minimum Undergrad Credit Hrs -NOT required for MD licensure
No AMCAS Application, Apply Directly via School Website
No Age Limit

The school apparently has no clinical partners (no hospitals or clinics for students to do rotations at) but instead says that you can go find your own rotations at various Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics around the country. And I say: What?

The school isn’t accredited by the LCME, but claims a loophole in that it will be listed in a World Health Organization Directory. It is true that for foreign medical school graduates most states use the WHO directory as a starting point for accreditation. But this almost certainly only applies to foreign graduates. For U.S. graduates you have to be a graduate of an LCME or AOA accredited school.

The school has been roundly mocked on the web and rightly so. Over My Med Body! (side note: congratulations to Graham for his great match in Emergency Medicine), on Student Doctor Network, and on other blogs throughout the web. Over My Med Body! in particular did some actual detective work and uncovered something far sketchier than even Stewart Unviersity’s crappy website might imply.

In response, defenders of the school have made some biazzare claims. Over My Med Body! reports a conversation with someone at the school,

I just spoke to a man who answered the phone, who was very confrontational when I asked “Where is the school located?” He started rambling about how ValueMD and StudentDoctor have been harassing and stalking people from the school. He admitted the address on the website is a PO Box, and said the school does not release the address or location of the school until an applicant has been accepted. (”Fine by me,” I said, “But it seems a little weird that a medical school wouldn’t be visitable or even map-able.”) He then noted that “members of Al Queda have been in contact” with the school, and the school had to file a “400 page document with the FBI” because of this. Yowsers.

Such claims of being targeted by terrorists are echoed elsewhere. Check out this comment on Wikipedia,

We have experienced a flood of stalking behavior from students concentrated at a small number of schools (particularly Wayne State University) who have created a fictitious group on Facebook, and stolen copyrighted material from our website repeatedly at www.stewartmed.org and posted it illegally on other websites including www.studentdoctor.net. I suspect that these same individuals, some likely related to Al Qaida, have misled you regarding our school because it seeks to give US military veterans admissions preference to the school.

I seriously laughed out loud while reading that. The entire idea of Stewart University New Scotland International School of Medicine is just too stupid to take seriously, otherwise I might be concerned about the school’s encroachment onto the turf of legitimate medical education.