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New York University makes tuition free for all medical students

19 August 2018

The scholarship will cover yearly tuition costs of $55,018, but students will still have to pay for room and board and other expenses, adding up to an estimated $29,000 annually.

The NYU School of Medicine full-tuition scholarship was made possible thanks to "trustees, alumni, and friends", said Kenneth G. Langone, Chair of the Board of Trustees of NYU Langone Health.

Addressing the affordability issue could help alleviate physician shortages, said Rafael Rivera, associate dean for admissions and financial aid. Now thousands of medical students and the general public, who are in need of a balanced and affordable medical array of services, will be able to take that commitment right to the bank. Professionals from NYU say this enormous debt has influenced medical students to pursue more profitable fields in the profession, rather than less financially generous ones like pediatrics or primary care. According to the Association of Medical Colleges, the median debt of a medical student graduating from a private institution was $202,000 in 2017, though 21% graduated with over $300,000 of debt.

Last December, Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons said that it would be eliminating student debt, and offering full scholarships to students in financial need. Yet by 2030, as the prevalence of chronic disease continues to skyrocket and the population of Americans over age 65 years increases by 50 percent, the primary care physician shortage may end up larger than that of every other specialty combined. Image credit NYU School of Medicine. In 2017, 119 students matriculated from the medical school, which receives well over 7,000 applications a year.

This trend has been more than 10 years in the making.

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While the three-year curriculum was an important beginning, it did not fully solve the problem of overwhelming debt.

The unexpected decision-announced during the annual "White Coat Ceremony" on Thursday-will mean free tuition for all students, regardless of merit or financial need. "The model of medical education needs to address changing scientific, social, and economic circumstances as well as dramatic changes in the healthcare delivery system".

Ease burnout. Educational debt can affect practicing physicians on highly personal level: the 48 percent of students graduating with greater than $200,000 in debt are 1.7 times more likely to experience symptoms of burnout.

"That's too late if we wish to expand the pipeline to bring forth the broadest, most-talented group of students", he said in a statement, "and to give them the financial freedom to choose medicine over other careers".

New York University makes tuition free for all medical students