Session 2013
9:00 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Legislators Want To Deny Licenses To U. S. Graduates Of Free Cuban Medical School

American medical students who get their diplomas in Cuba could forget about practicing in Florida if legislative bills filed by two Hialeah Republicans are passed this session.

HEADED FOR THE BLACK LIST: The Latin American School of Medicine is the world's largest medical school. Republicans in the Florida Legislature want to make sure that American graduates of the Cuban school cannot get Florida medical licenses.
HEADED FOR THE BLACK LIST: The Latin American School of Medicine is the world's largest medical school. Republicans in the Florida Legislature want to make sure that American graduates of the Cuban school cannot get Florida medical licenses.
Credit Toronto Star

State Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. said Americans who overlook human and civil rights abuses just to get a cheap medical degree lack the "moral clarity to serve patients in Florida."

The Senate bill, SB 456, was filed by State Sen. Rene Garcia.

The Cubans offer free medical training that attracts thousands of students to the island every year. Among them are young Americans whose roots in the "humblest and neediest" U. S. communities qualify then for the Cuban scholarships. Some of the Americans attending Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine are blogging about their life there.

According to Sen. Garcia, Americans who take advantage of it are "propaganda tools" who should not be eligible for medical licenses in Florida. 

Garcia was the author of a bill that tried to prevent state government from doing business with companies that had branches in Cuba. The bill passed but a federal lawsuit has kept it from being enforced.