In the US, only 3 in 10 students choose to practice in the primary care specialties of internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics, which generally have lower salaries than specialties like cardiology or anesthesiology.
Additionally, students who are not saddled with six-figure debt after graduation can pursue fields that may not be as high-paying but still important, such as pediatrics and obstetrics, NYU said in a press release.
For instance, some schools, including NYU School of Medicine, offer programs for students to graduate in three years instead of the traditional four.
The school has launched a $600 million campaign to fund an endowment that will cover the costs of the scholarships. Given that graduating medical students from underrepresented minority groups are 2.5 times more likely than white students to work with underserved populations, the increase in diversity that tuition-free medical school might engender has profound implications for reducing health disparities in this country. The debt is even higher for students who attend private schools. It has raised more than $450 million.
"This is going to be a huge game-changer for us, for our students and for our patients", said Dr. Rafael Rivera, associate dean for admission and financial aid. Those range from around $27,000 to $29,000 per year, according to the medical school.
N.Y.U.'s School of Medicine announced Thursday it will cover tuition costs for all of its students - regardless of their financial standings or backgrounds. Medical schools have tackled medical school debt in other ways.
About 62% of NYU's medical students reportedly graduate with debt; for 2017 graduates, that debt came to $184,000 on average. Debt accumulated during medical school influences decision-making about what specialty to choose. The financial support and commitment it takes for a school to provide such a broad incentive to students isn't realistic for all schools, said Julie Fresne, director of student financial services at the Association of American Medical Colleges. "That kind of career path looks a lot more feasible now".
New York University's School of Medicine announces it is offering full-tuition scholarships to all current and future students in its MD degree program, regardless of need or merit, August 16, 2018. "Medical school is still a great investment", she said.