Four Nevada Universities Likely To Partner With Mexican Medical School To Produce More Spanish-Speaking Doctors in U.S.
Four Nevada universities are considering entering a partnership with the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine in Mexico to train more Spanish-speaking U.S. medical students to practice in the U.S., the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. According to the Review-Journal, Nevada has a physician shortage, particularly in doctors who are bilingual and are ethnic or racial minorities. Under a proposed partnership, students over seven years would attend classes first at the Community College of Southern Nevada; then at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas or Nevada State College; and finally at both the University of Guadalajara and the University of Nevada School of Medicine. They would receive an associate's degree from the community college, a bachelor's degree from UNLV or Nevada State College, and a medical degree from the University of Guadalajara. Students then would complete a one-year residency in Southern Nevada. Once the deal is final, Nevada and New York would be the only states that offer the "Fifth Pathway" program, which allows U.S. students to receive a medical degree in a foreign country and then complete their residencies in the U.S., according to the Review-Journal. Although some officials believe the program should target students of all races and ethnicities, University of Nevada School of Medicine Vice Dean James Lenhart said he would support it only if it focuses on Hispanic students. Lenhart added that the school and the University of Guadalajara have not agreed to anything formal yet. He said, "This is about developing a bicultural, bilingual Hispanic health care work force," adding, "It's very important to understand that good health care is all about the ability to process the language and understand the cultural differences" (Mower, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.