Eight medical schools in China that specialise in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have been removed from the World Directory of Medical Schools, a country-by-country listing of institutions approved by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
The eight delisted Chinese medical schools are Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Guiyang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanxi College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Yunnan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Per a string of emails sent by ECFMG to explain the delisting, BUCM, by definition, is a “TCM school” that can’t be appropriately accredited and thus its graduates aren’t allowed to take the USMLE. Contacted by Chinese blog DeepTech, David Gordon, the president of WFME, clarified (in Chinese) that the decision was made after years of deliberate consideration and internal debates about how to incorporate TCM schools into the list.
In the email response to DeepTech’s questions, Gordon mentioned that there were examples of Chinese graduates from those universities not disclosing their TCM background and successfully becoming doctors in foreign countries, which he regarded as fraudulent.
“The decision has nothing to do with how good these schools are in teaching TCM knowledge or how TCM is perceived in the country,” Gordon said in the reply. “The directory is a reliable source of information in terms of globally recognized medical schools. Therefore, how important TCM is in a certain country is meaningless to us.”
A student from Shanxi university, in conversation with GVS, reported the scam him and other students fell victim too. According to his claim, a local education consultancy continues to route students towards universities without fully informing them of they their expulsion from the list
This move became an issue of particular importance to Pakistani students at these universities. Over 300 Pakistani students now worry about their future as Pakistan has not taken any measures to assist them while other countries are establishing routes for their students to be transferred to other recognized institutes.
A student from Shanxi university, in conversation with GVS, reported the scam him and other students fell victim too. According to his claim, local education consultancies continues to route students towards universities without fully informing them of they their expulsion from the list.
Khubaib, a student admitted to one of the delisted universities, said he has spent 20-22 lac within the last 3 years on tuition alone. There were efforts to contact the Pakistani embassy and ministries of education and foreign affairs but received no response. Khubaib and 25 of his class fellows have migrated to a university in Kyrgyzstan but they have been demoted from 5th semester to 2nd semester at university, he said concerned of the financial implications of the move.
He specific Dr. Adnan and Dr. Muneed at Pak China consultants in G11 Islamabad that pushed him to study at these universities in China. He said the consultancy harassed and ‘mentally tortured’ them through the university staff in China. The consultancy also contracts large sums of money from these students as they misinform them of the consequences of applying to these universities.
Such cases are not rare as the country is riddled with consultancies that push students to make uninformed decisions regarding their future for making an extra buck. Will the Pakistani government regulate education consultancies to protect the future of students handing out large sums of money or will this scandal be swept under the rug like most issues?