Online Studies and 3-Year MD Courses – GMC Regulations

Online Studies and 3-Year MD Courses – GMC Regulations

Once again, the identical slandering method has been used by the same “so-called” agency trying to desperately mislead and defame the “Online Studies” and the “3-Year MD Courses” offered by SME’s partner medical schools. This strategy is to pull the wool over the eyes of new students diverting them from remembering that two of their partner medical schools; Dnipro Medical Institute of Traditional and Non Traditional Medicine (even with its new name European Medical University), Ukraine and European University, Georgia have ended up on the GMC’s Do Not Accept List with dozens of graduates rejected by the GMC leaving them with no other option but to start a medical degree all over again as they could not use any of the credits obtained from the mentioned universities even to allow them to transfer elsewhere.

Online Studies

1. Majority of studies cannot be undertaken online

According to the GMC, online studies count toward a minimum of 5,500 Clock Hours as long as the online learning does not make up the majority of a course and the online learning is not offered towards the clinical rotations. So, all our partner medical schools that offer online MD programmes meet such criteria. More specifically:

  • The majority of the medical course is NOT offered online; Commonwealth University, Saint Lucia offers 2,316 out of 5,596 Clock Hours online and Victoria University of Barbados offers 1,590 out of 5,510 Clock Hours online.
  • Clinical Rotations are offered in hospitals physically; Commonwealth University offers them in Saint Lucia and Victoria University of Barbados in Guyana. Opportunities for UK and US rotations are also available with an additional charge.

2. Concerns about IUHS, St Kitts and Nevis

The “so-called” agency presented a random example of a medical school called International University of Health Sciences (IUHS), Saint Kitts and Nevis that is on the May Accept List since 2007. However, they purposely concealed that at the time online was offered by the mentioned university, the GMC was not allowing distance learning programmes. Please find the respective GMC regulations Before 2020 and After 2020 where the definition of the Clock Hour is presented in Page 7 (“A clock hour is defined as the time spent at medical school in lectures and completing laboratory work.”) where the older version includes the additional sentence “It does not include any self-directed study or distance learning.” but the newer version does not.

3. CAAM-HP does not accredit medical schools offering online studies

Although it is NOT required by our partner medical schools to register with the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP) as they are registered with their local country’s accreditor and this is acceptable by the GMC, still their regulations do NOT include even a single sentence about forbidding online studies. On the contrary, they mention on their site that some medical schools are misleading students with false information about losing their accreditation in case they do not return to the campus for face-to-face teaching clarifying that “CAAM-HP wishes to make it clear that it has attached no such condition to the accreditation status of any medical school under its remit. The Authority will continue to investigate the matter and is warning schools guilty of this unethical move to cease making this false claim.”.

3-Year MD Courses

1. WDOMS registration of the 3-year programme

According to the GMC, an MD programme is accepted if 5,500 Clock Hours are offered over a period of 3 years as long as the respective Medical School has registered this programme with the WDOMS. Commonwealth University, Saint Lucia is currently the only medical school offering the 3-year programme and has already informed the WDOMS to include it on their respective note. Again, the “so-called” agency is misleading students that this is an “accelerated” 3-year programme where in reality is a “standalone” 3-Year programme.

2. ECFMG accepts only a 4-year MD

ECFMG is the US regulatory body and NOT the UK one which is the GMC. Apparently, every country has its own regulations to accept a minimum duration of a medical degree. For example, the National Medical Commission, India accepts a minimum duration of 5.5 years. This is the reason that the Commonwealth University, Saint Lucia is currently offering 3 types of durations; 5.5 years to undergraduate students, 4 years to graduates that have completed a minimum of 90 credits and 3 years to biomedical sciences graduates that have completed a minimum of 120 credits.

In an attempt to capitalise SME’s highly prestigious medical schools with dozens of graduates registered with the GMC in the past, that “company” is disseminating incorrect and defamatory information once more trying to direct their students to dubious universities that will soon be added to the same GMC’s Do Not Accept List. We have already escalated this matter to our legal department which is about to initiate legal proceedings against them as we would like to restore the truth.