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Comment & Response
July 18, 2017

For-Profit Medical Education

Author Affiliations
  • 1Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, Las Cruces, New Mexico
JAMA. 2017;318(3):301. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.7821

To the Editor The Viewpoint by Dr Adashi and colleagues discussed the rise of for-profit medical schools in the United States.1 Although the authors alluded to the standards of the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), they neglected to note that these standards are identical for both for-profit and not-for-profit colleges. The standards address educational quality, institutional accountability, and student outcomes, including board pass rate, residency placement rate, and success in meeting a stated mission. The COCA does not comment on the business model of medical schools and the LCME has completely eliminated element IS-2, which had stated that a school should not be for profit.2 The rationale is clear; if a college meets all accreditation standards, then the business model is irrelevant. As the authors noted, the for-profit model allows the creation and operation of medical colleges to meet an important public health need when other models may not be feasible.

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