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Medical School Debt

The topic of medical school debt was recently tackled by a NYTimes article. In it, Pauline Chen describes the new scholarships offered at UCLA medical school.

Thursday’s announcement from the University of California, Los Angeles, of a $100 million medical student scholarship fund should inspire all of us to question the fact that medical education in the United States is paid for largely by student debt.

The new merit-based scholarships, established by entertainment executive David Geffen, will cover all educational, living and even some travel expenses for a fifth of next year’s entering medical school class, some 33 students. Mr. Geffen and school officials hope that eventually the school will be able to pay for all medical students and free them from the obligation to take out student loans.

The most durable solutions thus far seem to be scholarships made possible by philanthropic donations like Mr. Geffen’s. The University of Central Florida’s new medical school, for example, was able to offer its charter class in 2009, consisting of 40 students, a four-year scholarship that covered tuition and living expenses thanks to several gifts. And the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, established with a $100 million gift from philanthropists Al and Norma Lerner, has been able to educate a small cadre of future physician-scientists while granting all of them scholarships to cover tuition costs.

The full article is at