NYU Response to End Physician Shortage

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Mega Doctor News

As originally published in Mega Doctor News newsprint edition August 2018 

The New York University School of Medicine says it will offer free tuition to all current and future students regardless of need or merit, making it the largest and highest-ranked medical school to make such an offer.

NYU officials said they made the decision in the hopes of attracting a more diverse group of students who will no longer have to fear that medical school is out of reach because they would owe a mountain of debt from student loans. The debt load has also pushed some graduates away from less lucrative fields — such as primary care, obstetrics, and gynecology — toward higher-paying specialties.

“This decision recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians,” Dr. Robert I. Grossman, the Saul J. Farber dean and CEO of NYU Langone Health, says in a statement.

“We believe that with our tuition-free initiative, we have taken a necessary, rational step that addresses a critical need to train the most talented physicians, unencumbered by crushing debt,” he says. “We hope that many other academic medical centers will soon choose to join us on this path.”

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Debt is not the only thing that influences whether someone applies to medical school or, ultimately, what specialty they choose, but it is something NYU can control, says Rafael Rivera, MD, associate dean for admissions and financial aid. “Even anticipated debt loads can add to the anxiety a medical student feels throughout their training,” he says.

The cost of a year’s tuition at NYU is $55,018. Students will still have to cover their living costs, which, at the NYU-subsidized rate and including health insurance, would run about $28,000 a year, Rivera says.