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Down with Medical School Debt | LinkedIn

Deal of the Day

August 20, 2013

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Medical education is harder than ever: more competitive, more demanding and more expensive. Medical schools are graduating some of the best-trained doctors in history – and also some of the brokest. The need to pay staggering medical debts drives young doctors into the higher paying specialties, instead of those where there is the greatest need. Research, primary care and family medicine all suffer and the real cost is paid by the sick, the poor and the patient of the future.

Doctors are high-minded people. Young people enter medical school with the intention to work hard, learn as much as possible and to put their skills to use for the good of humanity. They should be allowed to find the specialties that will give them the greatest satisfaction. But ideals and responsibility clash when faced with high debts. Too many are forced to seek careers with the quickest payoff.

Debt is a factor in the shortage of primary care and family medicine doctors. Less-well known is the damage that medical debt does to clinical research. The explosion of biomedical knowledge made possible by the digital revolution is not being applied to patient care at anywhere near the rate it could be. The reason? There are too few doctors going into research. Not enough skilled clinicians with the skills to construct and carry out the kind of studies that are needed to bring the benefits of new knowledge to the patient bedside.

We began addressing this need when we launched the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in 2004. The first new medical school program in 25 years, it had a unique curriculum designed to train medical doctors who were also able to do high quality research. But after several years of operation, we realized that it wouldn’t be enough. Clinical research is not one of the higher-paying career paths. Why simply graduate our students into the same debt dilemma as those faced by all other young doctors?

So in 2008, we put together a package of philanthropic and institutional resources and offered scholarships to pay the full cost of tuition for all current and future students of the Lerner College of Medicine. We want our graduates to make their career decisions based on what is best for the patient of today and tomorrow – not their bank accounts.

Several other medical schools offer or are considering doing away with tuition costs. I hope the trend catches on. Philanthropists and investors who are looking for ways to improve the health of the human race would do well to support full scholarships for medical education. Who knows how much life-saving information is out there, waiting for the right researcher to put it to use?

Posted by:Toby Cosgrove

via Down with Medical School Debt | LinkedIn.

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Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. (http://www.excitingads.com) and blog (https://search.excitingads.com). He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

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