American Medical School Students Flee Cuba
An estimated 90% of the approximately 80 American medical students in Cuba fled before taking their final exams after the implementation of new Treasury Department rules restricting the presence of Americans on the communist island nation. The students risked fines, imprisonment, and/or revocation of their citizenship had they stayed.
The students were there for a “free” Cuban education and are cramped 8 to 14 students in each small dorm room. The food served to the med school students is often inedible and the water is cut off each night at 11 p.m. The caveat to this education is that the students must agree to practice medicine in underserved communities for a period of time after completing their education.
This writer can’t help but think these students only chose Cuba because they were unable to gain admission to an accredited medical school in the U.S. Given the availability of financial aid and the ability of admitted applicants to finance their educations, one has to wonder what these students had in terms of GPAs, MCAT scores, criminal backgrounds, and so forth.
One should also question just what kind of education they could be receiving given the deplorable conditions in which they live. With all of these question marks, this writer certainly hopes that none of these students ever operate on her or her family. Of course many of these Cuban graduates are unlikely to even obtain a residency in the US.
Add to these personal concerns the fact that these students are helping to support a communist regime and providing hard currency that is delaying the eventual transition to democracy and this writer supports any actions the government takes against these students.