NYU offers full-tuition scholarships for all medical students

NYU offers full-tuition scholarships for all medical students

NYU offers full-tuition scholarships for all medical students

Low-income and minority students aspiring to become healers may forgo those dreams out of financial apprehension; those who do attend may feel pressure to pursue niche medical specialties that pay higher salaries so they can recoup their tuition costs rather than pursue broader primary care careers. Doctors graduate with crippling medical school debt and it sometimes causes them to seek higher paying specialties instead of lower paying ones that face shortages, like primary care or pediatrics.

Graduates from New York University (NYU) cheer during the commencement ceremony at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York, May 2014.

"We thought it was a moral imperative because it's very hard for medical students to incur the debt burden of medical school, as well as the additional time burden of training", Grossman told ABC News on Thursday. The University of California-Los Angeles's David Geffen School of Medicine has a similar fund to cover costs for students based on merit.

Medical school officials announced the scholarships today at NYU Langone Health's Tisch Hospital in Manhattan. 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. So far NYU has raised $450 million.

"People shouldn't graduate medical school with the equivalent of a mortgage", said Rafael Rivera, NYU medical dean of admissions. Those range from around $27,000 to $29,000 per year, according to the medical school.

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The scholarships, worth about $55,000 a year, will benefit 93 first-year students and 350 other students enrolled in the M.D. program.

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. Medical schools have tackled medical school debt in other ways.

NYU's announcement comes amid ballooning costs for medical education. Tuition and its debt burden may be a factor contributing to the projected shortage of up to 120,000 physicians in the United States by 2030. "It takes a tremendous effort to pull something like this off and it's pretty impressive", she said.

NYU School of Medicine also offers an accelerated three-year M.D. program, which is also covered by the full-tuition scholarship program.

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