Please support the Lawsuit aganist Medical Board - MUA need to support effort
I encourage everyone on this forum, MUA current and past students to support the effort that AUA's effort in going against the medical board of Arkansas to have to answer for their actions. Please call your school or email and let them know that they should support this effort. I can save our school over $50,000 in trying to get on the CA list. Even if MUA does get on the list, it does no good for those of us that has already graduated or will graduate before we do obtain approval.
Medical school suing board
Graduates denied licenses in state
BY CAROLYNE PARK ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
A medical school in the Caribbean islands is suing the Arkansas State Medical Board and its 12 board members for not allowing its graduates to become licensed physicians in Arkansas.
The lawsuit on behalf of American University of Antigua and four former and current students was filed late Monday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
American University of Antigua is one of 53 schools in Central America, the Caribbean and Africa that are on a list of “disapproved” medical schools approved by the medical board last year. The board developed the list in an effort to identify foreign medical schools so questionable in quality that their graduates shouldn’t be allowed to practice medicine in Arkansas.
But the university claims the board violated its own rules in developing the list “in favor of damaging and discriminating against AUA and other medical schools in the Caribbean region,” according to the lawsuit.
Further, it claims the board is violating the 14th Amendment rights of American citizens who are students at the school by preventing them the “right to practice the professions of their choice and in the right to apply for and to obtain a license to practice medicine in Arkansas without due process of law and without equal protection of the laws.”
The plaintiffs include Ar- kansas natives Amber Milward of Bentonville and Justin T. Harney of Crossett. Both are students at the university and plan to return to Arkansas to practice medicine after they graduate, according to the lawsuit.
Graduates Shreekanth Cheruku of Whitestone, N.Y., and Anjan Patel, of Pennsville, N.J., are also plaintiffs.
The medical board hasn’t yet filed a response to the lawsuit. Bill Trice, the board’s attorney, didn’t return phone messages left with his Little Rock office Tuesday.
New York attorney Leonard Sclafani and the Schults Law Firm of Little Rock are representing the university, its graduates and students.
Sclafani said this is the first lawsuit they’ve filed against a state medical board, although there are other states that deny medical licenses to its graduates.
“We filed against Arkansas because they’re particularly egregious in the way they went about following this trend,” he said. “Other states have done it in a gentler fashion.”
At its June 2008 meeting, the Arkansas medical board voted to use the Medical Board of California’s list of “approved” and “ disapproved” schools as its main guide in deciding which schools should be on Arkansas’ disapproved list.
Arkansas’ list includes schools that either aren’t recognized by California or that are on that state’s disapproved list. Several other states also use California’s list as a guide, including Mississippi, Vermont, Alaska and New Mexico.
At the June meeting, Dr. Trent P. Pierce, chairman of the Arkansas board — who is recovering from injuries suffered in a bomb blast in the driveway of his West Memphis home Feb. 4. — said most states don’t have the resources to review foreign medical schools themselves.
“California is the only state that does its own site reviews of medical schools, and its list in many cases is the gold standard for which schools [state medical boards] will allow and not allow,” he said at the meeting.
The lawsuit argues the board violated its own rules by disapproving the university without conducting its own investigation, or relying on any investigation by a sister state medical board.
“They have no basis to say we’re disreputable,” Sclafani said. “They don’t know anything about us. They haven’t done any site visits, they haven’t asked us for any information.”
American University of Antigua was founded in 2004 by a group of American doctors and medical professionals, according to the lawsuit. It was then sold to Manipal University, a privately owned university in India.
It has no connection to American University in Washington, D.C.
The medical school hasn’t undergone the approval process for California, and isn’t on its approved or disapproved list, Sclafani said. The university was approved by New York’s medical board after undergoing an extensive review process and plans to apply for approval in Florida and California, he said.
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