azskeptic

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(Australia) Rent-a-doctor: Medical McDegrees For Sale Under Howard Government
http://www.alp.org.au/media/0205/msedu090.php

Rent-a-doctor: Medical McDegrees For Sale Under Howard Government

Jenny Macklin

Media Statement - 9th February 2005
The Howard Government is allowing Samoan-based Oceania University of
Medicine (OUM) to sell online medical degrees to Australians for a
cost of $133,000.

The Howard Government is allowing the business to trade under the name
'university' despite the fact that it is not recognised as a
university by the Victorian Government.

This is further evidence that the Howard Government is not concerned
with the reputation and quality of Australian universities.

The Samoan-based Oceania University of Medicine (OUM) is a registered
business set up in Victoria. It offers Australians a three year
medical degree almost entirely online for $43,000 per year.
Applications are made through the business's Miami office.

People do not want to be treated by doctors who have bought an online
medical degree and haven't met high academic standards. People must
have confidence that their doctors are properly trained.

The Howard Government must protect Australian universities and
students against unscrupulous fly-by-night operators trying to cash in
on Australia's strong international reputation.

If Education Minister Brendan Nelson follows through with his threat
to water down the definition of a university, he will open the
flood-gates to a sea of fly-by-night degree providers.

Brendan Nelson wants to water-down protection of the Australian
university system:

…one of the things I am determined to do is to re-examine the
definition of a university in Australia.

… we need more choice, more flexibility and one of the things I will
be raising with the states is a re-definition of what is a university.
(Doorstop — 17/11/2004).

Under the Nelson plan, the word 'university' will be robbed of any
meaning and Australia will be awash with McDegrees that aren't worth
the paper they are written on.

Instead of putting Australia's good name at risk and watering down
what it means to be a university, the Howard Government should be
protecting Australia's high standing and international reputation
 

pitman

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azskeptic,

given that you've admitted at valuemd seeing -- and posting, so you claim -- less slanted (er, not written by the political opposition group on a party site) pieces on this, surely you intend to be honest and post them here so that you're respected as a source of info and not considered an instigating troll, hm?

-pitman
 

Purifyer

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Even if you take this piece of 'journalism' at face value.... what is the problem and why is it the Government's fault?

So.. Australians are allowed to hand over huge sums of money to a 'university' registered in Samoa, and in return they get a piece of paper saying they are a doctor.

Wow.

If you want I can give you a similar piece of paper for the measely price of ... say $5000? Good luck trying to get accreditted anywhere in the developed world.
 
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azskeptic

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pitman said:
azskeptic,

given that you've admitted at valuemd seeing -- and posting, so you claim -- less slanted (er, not written by the political opposition group on a party site) pieces on this, surely you intend to be honest and post them here so that you're respected as a source of info and not considered an instigating troll, hm?

-pitman

Feel free.....it is good that you have the other article handy to post.
 

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McDegrees are pretty much what foreigners are getting in the Aussie GEMPs anyway. Now they wont even have to go to Australia.

Perhaps these schools are redefining "medical school". I don't think other countries are going to be so quick to accept their new definition! Especially, now that they have unwittingly encountered some of the products of these factories.
 

pitman

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What azskeptic failed to report (once again), and Insider conveniently failed to critique, is that the political party hack site he pawned off on us failed to mention that this story has nothing to do with PM Howard or the Aussie government, unless they're expected to change Australian laws to outlaw businesses (schools) registered in foreign countries. That would be an interesting claim, but nonetheless one I'd like to here from him personally.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200502/s1298764.htm

If there's a problem with the degree, then it's with a Samoan degree, not an Australian one.

But what's even more interesting is Insider's use of such a mindless post about a stupid article to try to further advance his own obsessive compulsion to denigrate ALL Australian grad med programmes.

Hmm. A rather un-skeptical azskeptic and an opportunistic "insider", keeping each other company. :p
 

Dr.Millisevert

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pitman said:
If there's a problem with the degree, then it's with a Samoan degree, not an Australian one.
Yeah, this school isn't an Australian accredited nor Australian regulated university. So how does reflect on Australia? That would be like me blaming The US and George Bush for allowing some dodgy company from setting up medical schools in the carribean. :sleep:
 
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azskeptic

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pitman said:
What azskeptic failed to report (once again), and Insider conveniently failed to critique, is that the political party hack site he pawned off on us failed to mention that this story has nothing to do with PM Howard or the Aussie government, unless they're expected to change Australian laws to outlaw businesses (schools) registered in foreign countries. That would be an interesting claim, but nonetheless one I'd like to here from him personally.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200502/s1298764.htm

If there's a problem with the degree, then it's with a Samoan degree, not an Australian one.

But what's even more interesting is Insider's use of such a mindless post about a stupid article to try to further advance his own obsessive compulsion to denigrate ALL Australian grad med programmes.

Hmm. A rather un-skeptical azskeptic and an opportunistic "insider", keeping each other company. :p
If you have a competing article post it...let people compare your sources. I've posted the radio interviews that go with this at www.internetmedicalschool.homestead.com
 

banana k

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hang on a tick... i was just planning to lurk this thread, but WHAT?! i chose GEMP because i decided to settle in australia *after* i'd already done the US pre-clinical requirements and science degree, not because i want a degree. frankly i could make the argument that the four-year undergrad science plus four-year graduate entry programs are a damn sight better than other methods of medical education anyway. so PLEASE define this below statement which is really freaking offensive!

Insider said:
McDegrees are pretty much what foreigners are getting in the Aussie GEMPs anyway. Now they wont even have to go to Australia.

Perhaps these schools are redefining "medical school". I don't think other countries are going to be so quick to accept their new definition! Especially, now that they have unwittingly encountered some of the products of these factories.
 

JobsFan

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Somoan degree, somoan scam, I doubt there are any somoans here who'd like to comment - so let's stop feeding the trolls. :thumbdown:
 

pitman

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azskeptic said:
If you have a competing article post it...let people compare your sources. I've posted the radio interviews that go with this at www.internetmedicalschool.homestead.com
um, I did post a (real) article, in fact in the same post you just quoted! It's from ABC, you know, an actual media outlet, w/ real journalism, the same one that you were "interviewed" by! But instead you posted that political hack site's spin. "Competing article"? Is that a post-modernist argument saying your hack site stands against ANY journalism? Nice observation and research abilities. In fact, nice journalism, Dean.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200502/s1298764.htm

btw nice try pretending you had already posted your radio interviews for this forum to see (at your own site that you're plugging). Trying to save face now are we?

But now we know your silly sensationalist political article was chosen just so you could get ppl worked up before you toot your own horn and market your own interview and website...you, an authority on the matter? :laugh:
 
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azskeptic

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pitman said:
um, I did post a (real) article, in fact in the same post you just quoted! It's from ABC, you know, an actual media outlet, w/ real journalism, the same one that you were "interviewed" by! But instead you posted that political hack site's spin. "Competing article"? Is that a post-modernist argument saying your hack site stands against ANY journalism? Nice observation and research abilities. In fact, nice journalism, Dean.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200502/s1298764.htm

btw nice try pretending you had already posted your radio interviews for this forum to see (at your own site that you're plugging). Trying to save face now are we?

But now we know your silly sensationalist political article was chosen just so you could get ppl worked up before you toot your own horn and market your own interview and website...you, an authority on the matter? :laugh:
I am not 100% responsible for posting the news..ha ha....I posted it as it came. But the issue it raises is important....ripoff schools are lurking not only in the carib.
 

pitman

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azskeptic said:
I am not 100% responsible for posting the news..ha ha....I posted it as it came. But the issue it raises is important....ripoff schools are lurking not only in the carib.
Yes, azskeptic. But when you just throw out onto a forum the worst quality story that can possibly be found (and i'd say a party statement on a political hack website isn't "news"), you're asking for trouble, for two reasons:

1) trolls will leap at it, and will associate themselves with you, and you've then left others who value the forum to associate you with them, and to deal with the aftermath by refuting all the ensuing stupidity (keeping in mind that every forum has its resident trolls who seem to lurk, waiting for food). This is the "cut-and-run" problem.

2) ppl come here with honest inquiries about Aussie schools and you will have done them a disservice with such non-critical behavior.

So I apologize for jumping all over your case, but I see your post on this matter (here and at valuemd) as a bit irresponsible, sensationalistic and instigating to say the least -- just look at the dam*ed thread title you gave -- as I know you're an intelligent person who knows how these things work.

Please just keep this in mind, cowboy :)

-pitman
 

DrRockit

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Even if you take this piece of 'journalism' at face value.... what is the problem and why is it the Government's fault?

So.. Australians are allowed to hand over huge sums of money to a 'university' registered in Samoa, and in return they get a piece of paper saying they are a doctor.

Wow.

If you want I can give you a similar piece of paper for the measely price of ... say $5000? Good luck trying to get accreditted anywhere in the developed world.
Well, not really, since this will technically qualify you to work as a doctor in Samoa.

It'll be just as easy / hard to get acredited anywhere as it is from a normal medical school. Countries largely distrust medical schools in other locations, and consequently have an examination system for OS qualified doctors.

I think this is part of a trend started with the Carib schools. The 'real' test of a doctor is now their ability to pass the board exams, and the degree they collect prior to that counts for very little.

*Just to clarify: As easy to get acredited, your chances of somehow scoring an internship that you want after an 'online' degree from Samoa must be very very remote indeed.
 

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People do not want to be treated by doctors who have bought an online medical degree and haven't met high academic standards. People must
have confidence that their doctors are properly trained.
After finding this whole subject of McDegrees (as Jenny Macklin calls em. lol) to wreak of political point scoring, I checked out OUM's website thoroughly to get the actual facts about OUM.

http://oceaniamed.org

And their academic program.

http://oceaniamed.org/docs/OUM MD-MBBS PROGRAM 2005.pdf

The on-line component is taught over 4 years consisting of 10 preclinical subjects (each running for 8 weeks) which is taught on-line as Problem Based case learning by tutors using discussion boards and real-time webcam hookups. At the end of this there is an examination process before students can proceed to the clincial component (US students sit for USMLE Part 1 or Australians/other students sit a preclincal exam). After completion, the students advance onto the clinical component which consists of 8 subjects (8 weeks each) where after 6 subjects there is another exam process (USMLE Part 2 for US students or a final clinical examination for other students).

The examination process to me shows a significant degree of quality control performed not just at the end but after the preclinical stage. In fact it appears that they prepare their students for the USMLE exams. They seem up front that their graduates must sit USMLE Part 1 & 2 as well as pass the AMC exams to practice in the US and Australia.

It seems that there is a significant real-time teaching component. There are 64 clinical weeks containing hospital rotations/rounds and 80 weeks of personal interaction with a local physician mentor. Not to mention the close contact with on-line tutors. That to me is not just an on-line degree. They also offer more semesters than a traditional medical school. I gather this degree is aimed at offering flexibility to working health professionals who can study for medical school at night/weekends during their preclinical component before they begin their more intensive clinical component.

So after a little bit of research into the facts about OUM I am satisfied it is not just a McDegree and has similar offerings that other medical schools may have. The true test will be if the students pass the Licensing exams.
 
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azskeptic

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DrZhivago said:
After finding this whole subject of McDegrees (as Jenny Macklin calls em. lol) to wreak of political point scoring, I checked out OUM's website thoroughly to get the actual facts about OUM.

http://oceaniamed.org

And their academic program.

http://oceaniamed.org/docs/OUM MD-MBBS PROGRAM 2005.pdf

The on-line component is taught over 4 years consisting of 10 preclinical subjects (each running for 8 weeks) which is taught on-line as Problem Based case learning by tutors using discussion boards and real-time webcam hookups. At the end of this there is an examination process before students can proceed to the clincial component (US students sit for USMLE Part 1 or Australians/other students sit a preclincal exam). After completion, the students advance onto the clinical component which consists of 8 subjects (8 weeks each) where after 6 subjects there is another exam process (USMLE Part 2 for US students or a final clinical examination for other students).

The examination process to me shows a significant degree of quality control performed not just at the end but after the preclinical stage. In fact it appears that they prepare their students for the USMLE exams. They seem up front that their graduates must sit USMLE Part 1 & 2 as well as pass the AMC exams to practice in the US and Australia.

It seems that there is a significant real-time teaching component. There are 64 clinical weeks containing hospital rotations/rounds and 80 weeks of personal interaction with a local physician mentor. Not to mention the close contact with on-line tutors. That to me is not just an on-line degree. They also offer more semesters than a traditional medical school. I gather this degree is aimed at offering flexibility to working health professionals who can study for medical school at night/weekends during their preclinical component before they begin their more intensive clinical component.

So after a little bit of research into the facts about OUM I am satisfied it is not just a McDegree and has similar offerings that other medical schools may have. The true test will be if the students pass the Licensing exams.
well, the real test is if states will allow them to license.....there are already many states that won't allow non-physical attendance in the educations of medical students,requiring them to attend the school in a foreign country for the first 2 years.