11 October 2011

This Is My Business Now

On October 3rd, a school of medicine in Puerto Rico, the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine, was punished for its negligence and incompetence by becoming the first U.S.-based institution to completely lose its accreditation.

Fuck Us. No, fuck the administration of that now-disgraced school. More on that in a moment.

The facts seem clear: The San Juan Bautista School of Medicine (SJB) lost its accreditation under circumstances that the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) clearly explained in their Report, product of their extensive investigation of the school's operation. By their own Procedures, and as explained in the withdrawal of accreditation letter, the Report cannot be made public by the LCME; it can only be made public by the SJB. 

Major Point: If the Report were erroneous, the SJB would have cleared its case or at least had a solid reason to counteract the removal of accreditation by revealing what is in it. The same reason applies if the LCME acted hastily, or in some way discriminated against the SJB: making the Report public would fundamentally alter the situation in the SJB's favor.

To think that the LCME would endanger its standing and authority to oversee medical schools in and out of the United States in order to "persecute" or harm the SJB is ridiculous. Some people actually think that. The SJB is not that important for the risk involved.

Further rejection of that "theory" is the fact that the LCME has been transparent about its actions, following its own published Accreditation Procedures. The only non-transparent part of the entire LCME process is the Report, now in the SJB's hands.

Quoting from the LCME's Procedures, page 17, paragraph 2: "Withdrawal of accreditation may occur when (a) there is documented evidence that an accredited program exhibits substantial deficiencies in compliance with LCME accreditation standards, and (b) the deficiencies are sufficiently serious, in the LCME’s judgment, to raise concern whether graduates of the program are competent to enter the next stage of their training. Under normal circumstances, a program will have an opportunity to correct serious problems of noncompliance through the mechanisms of limited visits or probationary status before the LCME takes action to withdraw accreditation. However, rapid and precipitous deterioration in the quality of an educational program may be sufficient grounds for withdrawal of accreditation, whether or not a limited visit or probationary period has preceded the decision to withdraw accreditation." (Emphasis Mine.)

The SJB learned of its removal of accreditation on Monday, October 3rd. It stands to reason that the administration had to know that their position with the LCME was precarious, and yet, despite Procedures that the SJB was obligated to follow, the students and faculty were not told of the process and its potential outcome. New students weren't warned, upper class students were not notified, faculty was not informed; the pattern of lying by omission was established. Let Me state this as clearly as possible: The SJB's administration lied.

In fact, the SJB didn't break the news to the students: they found out "through the grapevine" after the LCME, following its own procedures, placed the notice on their website. The SJB's announcement of the loss of its accreditation was made "formally" on Tuesday, October 4th, with the additional remark that the delay from the previous day's notification was "according to advice from the school's legal advisors." Do tell.

Again, the Major Point: if the LCME's action against the SJB was erroneous, discriminatory or beyond proper procedure, the simple remedy, the clearest remedy, was to present the Report and refute the LCME's position.

The Report has not been released--and will not be for now--because the Report proves that the SJB was most likely negligent and possibly incompetent in dealing with the LCME's findings, thus leading to the sudden fulminating loss of accreditation

To state the conclusion clearer: If the SJB had a competent response to the LCME's actions, they would have made it already. At the very least, an injunction to stop the loss of accreditation could have been presented in hours, if and only if the Report was flawed and the SJB had a clear defense response to counter it.

Even if the Report were accurate, but the SJB had a solid record of competent actions with which to respond and at the very least ask for an injunction, then they would have done so.

Now for a full disclosure: Mrs. Jenius is a 4th year (final year) student at the SJB and was just 3 weeks from completing her accredited medical degree. Her option now is to transfer to another medical school--one that knows how to be and remain accredited--and start over as a 3rd year student. Yes, that means paying for two years of med school that she already completed successfully. And paying for what the SJB did not deliver fully.

I have to say what's on My mind: I hunger for the moment when the shitheads who plunged some 270 students into academic and professional hell die with syphilis in their brains, leprosy on their faces and cancer in their genitals. Twice. Why? Because they are guilty of criminal negligence and incompetence. Period.

Let's not forget that beyond this situation that is unfairly punishing medical students and faculty, the SJB is a revenue-seeking entity: loss of accreditation in this sudden and complete manner and at this time seriously places the institution's future in serious jeopardy. Bankruptcy, an option already exercised by the allied hospital the campus operates, looms likely. And yet, the sorry group of dimwits doing an adult's job with a mushroom's brains simply hem and haw and blither and blather and basically do nothing that a headless chicken couldn't do backwards and with greater grace and intelligence. In short, they are doing nothing but mealy-mouthing: Wait.

Therefore, eight days after the shitty house of cards that was once an accredited school of medicine was flattened, We can state firmly that the SJB is the sole party to blame for this fiasco, and the only question that needs to be addressed at this point is what degree of legal action will be taken against the school.

Without legal action, the students and faculty cannot find out what the LCME Report contained. Given the SJB's lack of information and proven pattern of non-responsiveness, no one will know to what extent the SJB's executive personnel and advisors failed their responsibilities.

The strongest possible legal action would be a class action suit for damages to academic careers and professional careers, where applicable. Legal action will force the Report to be made public. Until that happens, those most affected by this negligence and incompetence are at the mercy of the SJB's "whenever" attitude about informing them, and at their mercy for the already-evident "mercenary whenever" attitude about helping them make the very difficult transitions they must make. Because of their failings, these now-forced transitions could also be ruined by their continued failings, like piling shit on shit.

Is My outrage greater because it touches one I love most? Of course it is. That's natural. What isn't is standing around while pluperfect distaff dimwits with surnames like Brugal, Rivera, Ramos and Márquez cart their uteri around like this whole fucking mess was another stanza in "Desiderata." It is not. Furthermore, the Board of Trustees needs to be exposed for their "Three Monkeys" imitation, only it is obvious by now that the Board stinks much worse that any three monkeys ever could.

There are hundreds of things wrong on My Island. This one had better get fixed soon.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

P.S.: A huge Jenius Thanks to Michelle Kantrow and Lorraine Blasor, of News Is My Business, for tackling this story head-on and publishing an article about it. And another big Thanks to Rafael Matos, former Chief Editor of The Daily Sun, for also tackling the story.


Tanke said...

You will probably enjoy this one:


Written by yours truly.
Long time lurker reader.

GCSchmidt said...