Problems at GWU Medical School More Severe Than Described

School was put on probation by its accrediting body last fall.

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Last fall, George Washington University's medical school was put on probation by its accrediting body. The school cited several superficial reasons for the probation—lounge space and administrative paperwork problems—but both the GW Hatchet and the Washington Post (quoted below) report that there have been a number of complaints that point to problems much more severe.

According to a confidential evaluation document and interviews, GWU has done an inadequate job of monitoring students' time with patients and ensuring that those clinical experiences relate to classroom learning. Student debt levels are among the highest in the country, according to the seven-page letter sent by the accrediting agency in June and later obtained by The Post. Students complained of mistreatment. Problems flagged as long ago as 2001 still had not been addressed when the school was put on probation.

The Hatchet also reports that one post-probation complaint alleged that the school violated at least 26 accreditation standards, including the use of a rotting cadaver in an anatomy class.

GW officials maintain that the issues that led to the probationary status can be easily resolved and in some cases have already been remedied. The medical school's officials say that the accrediting agency already has approved GW's plan for improvements.