The current medical school system in the US makes it quite expensive to become a doctor. According to the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) the median current debt of graduating medical students is just under $200,000 and the doesn’t include debt incurred as an undergraduate. Compound this with the opportunity costs, not joining the workforce until many are in their early 30s, and the debt burden truly is substantial.
Consequently, many students seek higher paying specialties rather than their preferred fit when going into practice to address their debt load. It’s understandable when one considers a neurosurgeon annually takes home $662,755, while a pediatrician earns an average of $221,900.
NYU made an announcement that it will become tuition free in its annual white coat ceremony in 2018. The change came after Ken Langone, one of the co-founders of Home Depot, contributed $100 million with another $500 million raised from a variety of donors to fund the tuition free program. This will cover the tuition of 400 students annually. Unfortunately, the program does not offset the room and board bill, which usually runs around $27,000. There are no free lunches.
NYU now joins the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve, which has paid full tuition and fees since 2008, but for only 32 students.
Additionally, Kaiser Permanente is unveiling its own School of Medicine in Pasadena, California, and has announced that its first five classes (48 students will be selected for its inaugural class in 2020) will be tuition free. Details on the application process and what Kaiser is looking for among its applicants can be found at https://medschool.kp.org/homepage.