With New York University’s School of Medicine recent announcement that they have eliminated tuition for all current and future students in order to aid in the doctor shortage; many experts, philanthropists, and common populations remain slightly dumbfounded by this decision.
Sally Pipes, President of the Pacific Research Institute contributed an article to Forbes that points the pros and [mostly] cons that come with NYU’s decision.
Simply put – one issue of the doctor shortage does involve tuition costs; but recent surveys show that a majority of the students enrolled on campus come from affluent backgrounds in which tuition is not the issue.
Further studies show that the doctor shortage issues lie within the different areas in the nation – rural, urban, heavily or barely populated.
Most medical students (from wealthy backgrounds as just stated), tend to graduate and service their own community. Another issue is technology. Those students that do come from poor backgrounds are likely to move to areas with advanced or cutting-edge treatments and technologies (so as to be more in line with their personal recent studies).
Pipes suggests incentives to medical students that opt for servicing rural areas. She went on to suggest additional programs to alleviate the paperwork burden that has come from the EHR revolution; one that has tied physicians to their desk for nearly half of their time on any given day throughout their practice. Another suggestion she brings up is expanding nurse practitioner and physician assistant’s scope of practice, so that the common conditions and “busy work” of doctors can be handled and give the doctor time to focus on serious cases. This last idea would theoretically come out as a cheaper alternative to healthcare costs and may be addressed faster than having to book a consultation with a doctor.
For a more detailed read on the original article, click here.
The current cost for the NYU School Medicine’s tuition (not including books and housing) summed upwards of $56,000 per year. Books and housing alone added an additional $28,000 per year. While Pipes’ argument that tuition alone is not the solution, it could be incentive enough for students who cannot as easily afford their studies. Rather than going into debt for a minimum of $84,000 a year, medical students can focus on preserving their passion for medicine and why they chose the field in the first place.
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