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Giving Compass' Take:
• NYU is offering free tuition to medical students in hopes of filling lower-paid medical paths that are currently understaffed, including primary care.
• Is this the right approach to increasing participation in lower-paying medical fields? Should these positions be paid less? How can funders help close the gap?
• Learn how immigration policies are contributing to the doctor shortage.
New York University made a bold move when it said it would offer free tuition to current and future medical students.
The university hopes this will alleviate the financial barriers that discourage many promising high school and college students from considering a career in medicine due to concerns with high medical school costs. Ideally, without looming medical student debt, students will choose to go into less high-earning areas of medicine such as primary care.
There's been a shortage of primary care physicians in the US, in part because of how much less they're paid compared to doctors in more specialized areas of medicine.
The funding will draw from the university's $600 million endowment, which it built up over the past 11 years for this very purpose. While the new plan waives tuition, which is around $55,000 annually per student at NYU, it doesn't cover room and board or fees, which together are an additional $27,000, on average.
Many experts believe that without altering the selective medical school application process or finding a way to incentivize students to go into lower-paid specialties like primary care in underserved or poor regions, not much will change in the field.
Read the full article about NYU's free tuition by Charlotte Hu and Lydia Ramsey at Business Insider.