New York University’s School of Medicine announced last week that it will be tuition-free for all current and future students. Such a prestigious institution addressing accessibility issues in medicine is a huge step forward in the move toward diversifying the medicine field and encouraging dedicated, qualified and passionate individuals to pursue a career in medicine.
The program covers a yearly tuition of $55,018. Relieving students of this burden not only encourages them to go into the profession, but also helps them to remain in the field at a comfortable living rate once they’ve put in their time and done the work.
Three out of four medical school graduates in 2017 graduated in debt, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. This is simply unacceptable. Even though those individuals will be making more money in the long run, they are providing a service to society in the process. They shouldn’t be essentially taxed or penalized for their commitment to service through medicine.
Inversely, the New York Times argued that tuition should only be covered for students who go into fields like primary care, where most of the patients would be on Medicaid. Their argument is that doctors who are willing to serve in places where most would refuse to should be rewarded for their dedication, whereas, those who would like to become plastic or orthopedic surgeons, for example, will be making more than enough money to pay off their debts, and therefore shouldn’t be rewarded on the same level as the doctors who are going one step further by going where not many will.
Regardless, the reality for those who are accepted into NYU School of Medicine is getting to follow their dream of becoming a medical professional without the stress of loans and debt looming over their careers. This would not be possible without donors giving back to the program. Therefore, if you currently receive any type of scholarship or plan to, you should consider giving back to your program — medicinal or otherwise — if you have financial means to do so later in life. Pay it forward so programs like NYU’s medical school tuition package can continue to support students.
Many students at Baylor would not have the opportunity to be here if it wasn’t for generous donors who help students have the ability to come to their dream school. Once those students become graduates, they have the moral obligation to help others in the same way they were helped. Continuing to fund education is the way to pave the path to a brighter future — a future where more and more students are able to embark in their dream careers fully focused on bettering society without a huge financial stress from the get-go.