April 25, 2016
In April 2016, highly regarded healthcare website KevinMD.com published an editorial by Heidi Chumley, MD, executive dean and chief academic officer at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC). The editorial provides an important perspective on clinical training, which is an essential part of medical education. As students progress to their third and fourth years of medical school, clinical rotations at hospitals and other healthcare settings provide valuable hands-on experience with patients, interdisciplinary teams, and various medical conditions. Dean Chumley's editorial makes a strong case for compensating hospitals for the important service of teaching and mentoring medical students at a critical stage in their learning, when they are learning how to provide patient care and preparing to enter residency.
READ: Why Paying Hospitals for Clerkships is Good - and Necessary
AUC has a network of US and UK teaching hospitals where students complete their core clerkships and electives. These sites provide clerkship directors who devote time to overseeing students' clinical experience, organizing and giving lectures, and managing student evaluations in addition to other responsibilities that require significant resources and planning. Many teaching programs face resource challenges. As Dean Chumley points out at KevinMD.com, clinical affiliation agreements between AUC and partner hospitals can provide funds to support needs such as clerkship director service, expanded residency programs, facility renovations, technology upgrades such as simulation labs, and improved learning spaces -- which benefit not only the hospitals but also the students and residents training there.