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any medical schools/hospitals in financial trouble?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by SuperGrover, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. SuperGrover

    SuperGrover Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2002
    New England
    I'm sure we all have plenty of details to worry about in terms of choosing one school over another (should we be so lucky!), but I'm wondering how much the financial problems of a school or hospital system should play into our decisions. Also, I wonder if anyone even knows how to investigate the stability of med schools.

    For example, sometime in the fall I think I heard something about UMASS considering closing its liver transplant center due to financial strain. I was alarmed because it made me fear that the med school might be in trouble, or that (since I think the ctr. didn't actually close after all) there may be penny-pinching to do that may affect students. Is this logical? Also, a young doctor that I know told me recently that she didn't apply to Tufts because at the time, the system there was in big financial trouble. Is this still true, and if so, how do we find out?

    I thought I'd throw it out there for you all. Anyone know anything about this? Anyone else wondering?
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  3. i heard georgetown has a huge debt, and it is near bankruptcy...but it's a rumor and you haven't heard that from me....

    (word has it on the street that mt. sinai and nyu after the merger was dissolved are not too hot either.....) but that is mere speculation on some of my friends....and I doubt what they are telling me is true...

    but you know what happened....georgetown's dental school went bankrupt couple of years before they admit you, they ask for a background check lol <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> guess they learned their lesson hehe
  4. Darwin

    Darwin 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2001
    HMS Beagle
    It's a real exhausting task to try and figure this stuff out. The schools do a really good job at hiding it...if they didn't they might as well lose all hope of recovering as nobody would go to the school. That said, you'd be surprised at the number of schools having financial difficulties - most have to do with the school owning their hospital and it's the hospital that is creating the debt (managed care, etc.). A while back I did one of these searches - search the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Business Weekly, etc. on the internet for things like "medical school finances" or "medical school debt" etc. Then sift through it.

    Georgetown has significantly decreased their debt to managable levels - of course they had to sell their hospital to MedStar to do so. MedStar is a GREAT company and pretty much bought out the the majority of the debt in the sale. They were about 250mill in debt in 1998-1999 and have that down to about 20-30mill now.

    Again, you'd be surprised at which schools are having problems. MCPH had some SERIOUS problems. Harvard is considering shutting down some of it's top institutes (got this one from the Harvard campus newspaper). Stanford recently merged with UCSF to curtail increasing debt, but to no avail. Only time will tell with them. About 10 other med. schools have sold their hospitals for similar situations that Georgetown was in...they just didn't let it get as bad. Look at who owns the hospitals - look at the stock and analyze the projections (Georgetown's looks pretty good by the way). Interesting topic and one definately worth researching. Good luck.
  5. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2001
    They're all in trouble - the state of academic medicine in the U.S. at this time is perilous at best. I wouldn't make this a huge factor in deciding where to go - all med schools will do all they can to keep in business and there is no way to predict who is having more trouble than others. Hope this is somewhat helpful,

  6. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior 7+ Year Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by BeckyG:
    <strong>They're all in trouble - the state of academic medicine in the U.S. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Becky,
    Can you please expand on this?
  7. psyche

    psyche Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2002
    I agree with Becky. Due to a number of factors--managed care, lower Medicare reimbursements and the continuing rise in health care costs--these are tough times for academic hospitals everywhere. Big, for-profit hospital chains have had to bail out many failing teaching hospitals. Tenet Healthcare has bought out hospitals at MCP, St. Louis University and Creighton. George Washington and Georgetown were also forced to sell their hospitals. When such reputable places as UCSF and Stanford, as well as Cornell and Columbia, decide to merge hospitals to save money, you know no place is immune from these problems.
  8. Brian20

    Brian20 Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 3, 2001
    New York

    Albany Medical CENTER just got rid of 100+ doctors. they are trying to get rid of some debt by letting go of these physicians. from what i understand (which could be wrong) is that they are getting rid of these docs and cutting millions out in salaries payed to these docs. however, these docs are still working within albany med (ie using the equiptment and all that jazz) but now these docs are in private practice and "renting" out facilities at albany.

    if that makes sense

  9. yunfat

    yunfat Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 25, 2002
    HK triads
    Check out this article on unhealthy hospitals...

    <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
  10. sorrento

    sorrento Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2001
    This was on my mind when I was applying this year, mainly in order to find out how it would affect me as a medical student (a lot of these changes/rearrangements don't.) I asked my Stanford interviewer about the state of the hospital, because I had heard the usual rumors and true stories, and his view was that the hospital would never be sold to an outside company. His view was that all the millions of research dollars depend on having a hospital in which to conduct and apply the research. He didn't seem to think it would be a horrible thing if the hospital was sold, just that it would be really really unlikely to happen.

    That, for me, raised what I think is the main point to think about. If you're applying for next year and the medical school's associated hospital is in more-than-the-usual strife or is no longer owned by the university, find out how that affects the training and research. Running a medical school is money and time-intensive, and a for-profit company may not have the same priorities. I doubt that any university would sell its hospital to anyone who wouldn't let them continue their mission, but who knows, it must have SOME sort of effect. Ask lots of questions, and be careful not to assume that just because money issues have or have not been resolved, that your education will necessarily be any better or worse because of it.

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