Arkansas Medical board nixes foreign school blacklist

The Arkansas State Medical Board has voted to quit automatically barring doctors from practice in the state if they got their medical degrees from any one of a list of 53 foreign medical schools.

The list of medical schools in 15 countries whose graduates couldn't practice in Arkansas was approved in June 2008. It included mostly Caribbean schools. The list was adopted from California's Medical Board - the only state that does its own on-site reviews of medical schools.

Unlike schools in the U.S. or Canada, foreign medical schools do not have standard accreditation.

The board voted Thursday that, starting June 1, the Arkansas board will decide on licenses based on foreign medical students' performances during their three required years of residency training. Graduates will be limited to three attempts for each of three steps of the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam.