Private Equity & the Comeback of the For-Profit Medical School

You may be used to hearing about private equity takeovers of medical practices, but you may be less familiar with the recent growth of for-profit (primarily osteopathic) medical schools, two of which are owned by Medforth Global Healthcare Education. Medforth, as you might have guessed, is a private equity firm based in New York, NY.

Given the current osteopathic tilt of these for-profit schools, can this do anything but worsen the unfair stigma already facing DO students and physicians?

Well, here is an excerpt for how a recent proposed for-profit private-equity-backed medical school in Billings, Montana got derailed:

Billings Clinic has had concerns about many aspects of the Medforth project. These concerns, combined with three events that occurred recently, have caused Billings Clinic to cease discussions with Medforth. On two separate occasions an executive representative of the medical school cast aspersions on a proposed medical school in Great Falls, Montana, on the basis of that medical school’s Jewish affiliation. Those statements intimated that a school with a stated Jewish heritage may not belong in Montana and would not be able to assimilate in the state. In a third instance, a different executive representative of the medical school referred to a female Billings Clinic leader as a “token.” These comments are inconsistent with Billings Clinic’s core values, including a dedication to diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging.

Ew. Now, are these clowns really a bunch of abhorrent scummy sexist racist antisemites? Absolutely a possibility, though flaunting that bias would be incredibly stupid.

Is it possible that much of this bigotry display instead reflects some poorly conceived cynical attempt to appeal to others believed to hold bigoted views? Do these private equity jokers just think that Montanans are a bunch of abhorrent scummy sexist racist antisemites?

Maybe it’s a bit of both. Maybe Medforth is just looking for kindred spirits.

When it comes to people running a medical school, neither possibility should be acceptable.

(h/t @jbcarmody)

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