Fresne added that it is too soon to tell if other medical programs will follow in NYU's footsteps in eliminating tuition, but it could be a trend for medical schools moving forward. Columbia University in New York City offered the most expensive medical education at $66,257 per year.
NYU said it is the only top 10-ranked medical school in the U.S. to offer such an initiative. Now thousands of medical students and the general public, who are in need of a balanced and affordable medical array of services, will be able to take that commitment right to the bank. However, the NYU decision to cover medical tuition opens the possibility for more future doctors to pursue careers in these high demand areas.
The number of doctors graduating with student debt remains high, with 75 percent of doctors graduating with debt in 2017, according to an October 2017 survey from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Student debt across the country has reached crisis levels, with Americans owing about $1.5 trillion in student loans.
"Tuition-free medical education goes beyond the merit and financial scholarships, and debt cancellations that other academic centers have traditionally favored", says Rafael Rivera, MD, MBA, associate dean for admissions and financial aid. "It is very important to provide the best conditions for reception, people do not deserve less", - said the assistant to the Dean at NY University in the admissions and Finance Rafael Rivera.More news: Trump vows to yank security clearance for DOJ's Bruce Ohr
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The medical school announced the news at its annual White Coat Ceremony, where students erupted into applause.
This isn't the first time that a medical school has tried to help the physician shortage - but according to NYU it is the first time that a "Top 10" US medical school has offered free tuition.
"This decision recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians", Dr. Robert Grossman, dean of NYU's school of medicine, said in a statement. That is partly propelled by the fact that almost half of third- and fourth-year students say that their choice in medical specialty is influenced by projected income-or by debt burden. The average amount of that debt was over $190,000. "What's more, 21 percent of doctors graduating from a private school do so with more than $300,000 of educational debt", the release said. The result is a shortage of primary care physicians and researchers, per the WSJ.
The move was made possible because of donations from more than 2,000 trustees, alumni and others.