A commentary in the latest New England Journal of Medicine, "Mortgaging Our Future - The Cost of Medical Education," [Morrison G. New Engl J Med 2005; 352: 117-119] documented the alarming rise in medical school tuition, up 319% at public schools, and 151% at private schools in the last 19 years (an average of 16.8% and 7.9% a year, respectively). These increases were far more rapid than inflation, (81.8% over that time span, using a web-based calculator) and are associated with a rapidly rising debt load on the average medical student.
This data becomes all the more alarming when juxtaposed with a recent JAMA editorial [DeAngelis CD. Professors not professing. JAMA 2004; 292: 1060-1.] Its argument was that due to financial pressure, medical school faculty are devoting less and less time to teaching. Particularly, "few medical schools provide adequate, if any, reimbursement for teaching time." So this suggests that medical schools are charging students more and more, while less and less money goes to clinical faculty to teach. But what should tuition pay for, if not teaching? And exactly where are all the tuition dollars going? Methinks there is something rotten here, but not in Denmark...
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