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NYU's Decision To Make Medical School Free Really Makes Me Think About My Future As A Doctor

From $55,000 to free, this move is big news.

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This past Thursday, NYU School of Medicine shocked medical students across the country by announcing its decision to relieve all of its current and future students of their tuition by offering them all full-ride acceptance scholarships. The astonishing news broke during the NYU School of Medicine White Coat ceremony for the incoming class of 2022, prompting a wave of exhilaration throughout the assembled new admits and their families.

As a medical school hopeful, I was dumbfounded by the possibility that a full 4-year experience at a U.S. medical school—a fulfilling goal in and of itself that takes nearly 16 years worth of education to achieve—could possibly be paid off through the generosity of the institution one is studying from. At a time when student debt has wracked emerging college and professional graduates alike, NYU's decision to relieve their current and future medical students from the burden of their approximately $55,000 annual tuition rate is a godsend that could save thousands of future doctors from crippling financial obligations, and could furthermore prompt a rising spike of popularity in interest within the medical profession.

What kind of message does this convey to medical schools across the country? Or for that matter, the Association of American Medical Colleges? Is it feasible for them to impose a reduction upon their various financial rates of instruction, those looming behemoths that inspire fear in medical school hopefuls who are doubtful of their ability to afford the expenses of doctoral training? Or is it simply too far-fetched for students like us to believe that there is a simple fix to the daunting quagmire of how to effectively afford a medical education without going financially bankrupt?

There is obviously no denying the fact that graduate and professional education, alongside undergraduate education, are grossly expensive in the United States, and this high cost of academia has raised serious questions about the viability of expanding one's educational background in order to improve their status as viable candidates for higher paying professions.

For the moment, we must contend with the concept that such an enigma must be resolved by empowering the middle and lower classes in order to help them pay for higher education, allowing them to improve their socioeconomic standing, such as through attending medical school and becoming a doctor amongst other highly sought-after professions.

NYU School of Medicine's insightful amnesty towards their students is admirable, as they have chosen to invest in the future of their medical students and soon-to-be graduates, which will undoubtedly help to improve the standings of those who will eventually follow in their footsteps and pave the way for a more robust generation of doctors, free from the financial burdens that constrain their kin across the United States.

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An Open Letter To Those Not Graduating On Time

Graduating college in any number of years is an accomplishment to be proud of.
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To the person that isn't graduating on time,

It sucks, and I won't lie to you and tell you it doesn't. The day you walk out of Advising, head hanging down because you aren't going to finish in four years, makes you feel ashamed of yourself. You did well in high school; you were always told you were smart, expected to be smart, so why couldn't you make it out in four years like you were supposed to?

You know you're going to have to tell your family, so you begin preparing yourself for the worst reactions possible. And telling your friends you won't be graduating with them will only add to that sense of hopelessness.

Soon, you'll see photos and posts from people you left high school with, talking about graduation and the wonderful lives they are about to begin in their new careers. You'll wonder how they did it, and you'll feel like a failure.

But you're not.

Graduating from college is a huge deal. It really is. And it will be no less of an accomplishment in five, six, or 10 years.

"According to the Department of Education, fewer than 40 percent of students who enter college each year graduate within four years, while almost 60 percent of students graduate in six years. At public schools, less than a third of students graduate on time."

Things happen. You might change your major. You might have financial troubles. You may take a year off to figure out exactly what you want to do. That's okay. Take all the time you need. The real world and your career will still be there whenever you graduate.

Guess what else. Your family will still love you, and your friends will still support you. Give them some credit. Your loved ones want you to be happy and successful. Don't get me wrong, they may be upset at first, but give them a chance. Odds are, when the emotions settle, they will go right back to asking how classes are going. And when you do get the news that you'll be graduating, they will celebrate with you, and they will be there in the crowd, waiting for you to walk across that stage.

Graduation will happen. If you attend your class and study hard, it will happen. There is no reason to rush. Just do your best. Try your hardest. Take classes when you can. Just by doing that, you're doing more than so many others are able to do.

"Among 18 countries tracked by the OECD, the United States finished last (46 percent) for the percentage of students who completed college once they started it."

You'll get there. Take your time. Enjoy your classes. Find new interests. Study what you love. Embrace opportunities. Study abroad. Take that weird elective class. This is your time to take in everything the world has to offer. Take advantage of that. You'll graduate when you graduate, filled with pride and wisdom. And when they call your name, and you walk across that stage, hold your head up high, because you've earned every bit of your degree.

Graduating from college takes countless hours of studying, long hours in the library, and a tremendous amount of dedication. Don't add pressure to yourself by setting a timer. It is completely okay to graduate when you graduate, and it is still something to be proud of.

Best Wishes,
A woman who is finally graduating

Cover Image Credit: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/120417041415-education-graduation-cap-story-top.jpg

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Crossroads

Trying to figure out what to do in life.

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I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]


[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

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