An Arizona anesthesiologist is suing his alma mater, Ohio Universitys College of Osteopathic Medicine, over the schools residency twist on tuition aid.
The Athens, Ohio, medical college was established in the mid-1970s to meet the states need for primary-care doctors. Legislators at the time stipulated that 80% of the osteopathic colleges students must be Ohio residents or out-of-state students with a stated intention of working as doctors in Ohio for at least five years.
For students outside Ohio, the college requires would-be doctors to sign a contract committing them to stay in state for five years after graduation or to complete a three-year primary-care residency in Ohio. Students who leave earlier must pay an amount worth four years of the states yearly tuition subsidy.
Bruce Roth, a 1997 graduate of the college, signed the contract but did not stay the required time in Ohio to practice. When he and his wife left Cleveland for Phoenix, he agreed to pay $682.29 per month for 10 years. Now, Roths lawsuit, filed by his father, Cleveland attorney Daniel Roth, claims the colleges contract unconstitutionally disrupts interstate commerce. It also violates contract law, Daniel Roth said, citing a bankruptcy case in Southern California that said payments by graduates who dont fulfill residency rules are more akin to penalties than loan repayments.
Daniel Roth said Ohio lawmakers are going to have to find something else thats legal to ensure a supply of Ohio physicians. The lawsuit is seeking class-action status and refunds for graduates.
Jack Brose, dean of the medical college, said legislators wanted to guarantee a return on tax dollars that support out-of-state students education.