Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Florida shuns Cuban med schools but won't clean up its own act

There's so much corruption in Florida's Republican machine that it's no laughing matter.

A couple weeks ago, the GOP-controlled Florida House passed a bill punishing doctors because they studied in Cuba. About 150 medical students from the U.S. are enrolled at a medical school in Havana after receiving scholarships to study there. But if the Florida bill becomes law, prospective doctors who receive their medical degree in Cuba won't be allowed to practice medicine in Florida. (Ooh, an Allowed Cloud!)

Is this even legal? When Massachusetts adopted a policy barring the state government from buying products from companies that did business with authoritarian regimes, global greed merchants stamped their little footsies until a federal court overturned this policy. So why should Florida be allowed to punish medical students based on the country where they study? Mind you, Florida's bill wouldn't restrict what a state government can do by enacting selective purchasing but would penalize prospective physicians who have a legitimate degree - which is a completely different matter.

Honestly, do Cuban medical schools teach anything different from what U.S. medical schools teach? Let's hope they teach something better than what's taught in Florida. Med schools in the Sunshine State teach that you can get ahead based not on merit or hard work but on political connections.

Usually, to get into the University of Florida's College of Medicine, you have to take the Medical College Admissions Test. But recently the med school's dean - over the objections of the school's selection committee - admitted a student who hadn't taken this exam. Not only that, but the young man waited until February to submit his application - even though all application materials were supposed to be sent in by January 15.

It turns out that the student who was admitted despite not taking the MCAT or sending in his application on time is the son of an important Republican fundraiser and contributor.

The corruption never ceases, does it? And nobody's allowed to speak out against it, because if they do, they're targeted.

So while Florida eschews grads of Cuban medical schools, the state lets well-connected individuals breeze through Florida med schools without even following all the rules. This should also shut up those who believe school systems are honest and free of favoritism. All through middle and high school, I saw kids who had connections coast through school. Apparently, UF's med school is no different.

(Source: http://www.wflxfox29.com/Global/story.asp?S=8194809&nav=menu98_3;

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