The New York University (NYU) School of Medicine announced Thursday that its MD degree program will be tuition free for all current and future students.
NYU said the move was to address the rising costs of medical education -- which can leave new physicians swamped with debt -- and still attract the best and brightest students to careers in medicine. The university added that medical school debt is "reshaping the medical profession," encouraging graduates to choose more lucrative specializations to pay off their educational debt rather than choose primary care.
Areas doctors are being steered away from include primary care, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology.
The United States could see a shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
This isn’t the first time that a medical school has tried to help the physician shortage – but according to NYU it is the first time that a “Top 10” U.S. medical school has offered free tuition.
According to an article in U.S. News and World Report, medical schools have said that an applicant who expresses genuine interest in a medical field where doctors are scarce stands to get more favorable consideration than an applicant who does not express such an interest.