Monday, May 30, 2011

Raise medical tuition

A NY Times op-ed says:
DOCTORS are among the most richly rewarded professionals in the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that of the 15 highest-paid professions in the United States, all but two are in medicine or dentistry.

Why, then, are we proposing to make medical school free?

Huge medical school debts — doctors now graduate owing more than $155,000 on average, and 86 percent have some debt — are why so many doctors shun primary care in favor of highly paid specialties, where there are incentives to give expensive treatments and order expensive tests, an important driver of rising health care costs.
They have cause and effect mixed up. There is a lot of money in health care for a lot of reasons. Physicians charge whatever the market will bear. They borrow money because they have high earnings potential. Free medical school will have no effect on their salaries. It would make more sense to raise tuition at medical school, since the physicians easily earn it back anyway.

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