July 21, 2020 | STAT
Lower the cost of producing doctors, not just the price of going to medical school
STAT News Article by David Asch, Justin Grischkan, and Sean Nicholson
Medicine has become a profession accessible mainly to the rich. Just look at the price tag for medical school.
In the 1960s, the four years of medical education needed to earn an M.D. in the United States could be had for about $40,000 in today’s dollars. The price is now $300,000, a 750% increase. About 70% of students take out loans to pay for medical school, graduating with an average of $200,000 in debt. One in five graduates who finance their medical education with loans accumulate more than $300,000 of debt. That average debt is increasingly concentrated in fewer people who individually owe more.
That’s not the right direction to be going in at a time when the U.S. aims to make the medical profession more inclusive. Clinician diversity improves patient care, and access to high-status professional roles in society should be available for all.