Facebook status rant, September 10, 2013

This is an important story, and you should read it. If you have ANY concern about American medical education at all, you need to know about how the Caribbean medical schools operate, how they buy up residency seats that would otherwise go to (more-deserving?) stateside medical students, and how for those students who fail to win residencies, the American taxpayer winds up footing the bill for the almost inevitable default on debt. (If you don’t know about these things, click on the article and read it. I’ll wait.)

Here’s the thing: I don’t blame the for-profit schools that run these schools. At all.

The OVERWHELMING majority of students who choose to study medicine in the Caribbean would choose an American school – ANY American school – first. They would be retained by American schools better, because it’s HARD to live in a Caribbean nation studying medicine (ask anybody who studied at St. George’s who lived through the Grenada invasion). The reason they study in the Caribbean is because that’s the school that’s willing to give them a shot. The Caribbean schools (particularly St. George’s, which isn’t linked with DeVry, and Ross, which is) know this, educate students who are academically weaker but willing to work harder, and turn out a LOT of very good doctors as a result.

If American colleges and universities (and the public who funds them) actually believe that this is a bad thing, and that students should NOT take the bad deal of pursuing their medical education abroad, then they should put their money where their mouth is. There are not enough medical school seats for the students who would make good doctors, and there are CERTAINLY not enough medical school seats for the doctors we will need serving in primary care. You want to keep money out of for-profit hands? Empower the public sector to serve the people who want to become doctors, particularly those who want to be primary-care providers. (Central Michigan University is the example the article mentions that is actually stepping up, but that’s one example. We need more – a LOT more.)

Until then, even the bad actors in this field will be able to provide seats, and will find MORE than enough students competing for those seats – and the privilege to take on hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt in a third-world country in hopes of being able to take on a career where there is genuine demand for workers. Good job, America. Good job, good effort.

Facebook status rant, September 2, 2013

This. Hurts.

We didn’t have enough history to be upset when Timo Liekoski got sacked. Sacking Tom Fitzgerald and Greg Andrulis was worse, but it’s hard to argue it wasn’t necessary either time. In a perfect world, Sigi would have found everything he ever wanted in Columbus and stayed for the long haul, with a certain free-kick specialist as his loyal lieutenant, but that wasn’t to be either.

But I never stood ten feet away from Timo Liekoski, Tom Fitzgerald, Greg Andrulis OR Sigi Schmid as they delivered inch-perfect corner kicks on a postage stamp of a pitch in Ohio Stadium.

And I don’t know if it’s better or worse that Brian Bliss is taking over to finish the season. There’s this little fantasy I kept in my head, real or not, about Columbus being the family club to MLS’ big boys, in an Altogether Less Fashionable Part Of The United States, and Robert Warzycha being Columbus Till He Dies just like the rest of us.

Whatever might have been real about that fantasy, it is over, just like the Polish Rifle’s career with the Crew.

Professional sports are ruthless. They have to be. If this is about winning a second title, this move is probably as necessary as sacking Fitz and Greg was at the time.

It doesn’t make this any easier to swallow.

Thanks for all the years, Robert Warzycha. In so many ways, you ARE the Columbus Crew, forever Massive.