Expensive medical education ? Future may be “free medical education”: NYU offers free education for all its medical students


     At a time when students, parents and even doctors are uncertain whether opting for medical college along with the vulnerability and risk associated with   becoming a doctor is worth it or not, some are naive enough to pay millions as fee for medical education and for securing a seat of MBBS.

Truth  cannot remain hidden for long.  It has  to be realized that getting into medical college is a minuscule component of the process of becoming a good doctor.  Once they opt for this profession, the real tough and prolonged battle begins. Quite a few successful candidates may eventually feel that the money spent and the hard work may not be worth it, especially those who may have invested in heavy fees and in debt.

Although the whole effort and huge expenditure to become doctors in this way may be really worthless in today’s scenario, considering the difficult times and vulnerability of medical profession

Paying the irrational fee of medical colleges may be an unwise idea for the candidates, who are not from strong financial backgrounds. But at the same time unfortunately, it may be a compulsion and entrapment for students, who have entered the profession and there is no way forward or fail to get residency.

The New York University School of Medicine will provide free tuition for all present and future students, the university announced.

Citing the risk of “overwhelming” debt, it says every student will qualify regardless of merit or financial need.  NYU said financial worries were driving graduates to more lucrative specialities, pushing doctors away from more general positions. The scholarship covers annual tuition costs of up to $55,000 (£43,000). A study produced by the Association of American Medical Colleges estimated that in 2017 75% of medical students graduated in debt. The university has reportedly been working for more than a decade to accrue the necessary funds to pay for tuition, and hopes to raise a total of $600 million (£472m) to make the scholarships available permanently. NYU School of Medicine made the surprise announcement at its annual White Coat Ceremony on Thursday – when new students receive a white lab coat as they begin their studies. In their statement, the university said debt is “fundamentally reshaping the medical profession in ways that are adversely affecting healthcare”.Graduates move towards higher-paying areas of medicine over paediatrics, primary care or gynaecology due to their “staggering student loans”. Aspiring physicians and surgeons should not be prevented from pursuing a career in medicine because of the prospect of overwhelming financial debt”. Robert Grossman, dean of the medical school and chief executive officer of NYU Langone Health, said: “This decision recognises a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians.”To date, only a handful of institutions have tried to make medical education tuition-free, according to Julie Fresne, senior director of student financial services of the Association of American Medical Colleges, a nonprofit organisation that represents medical schools. At UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, a $100m (£79m) fund announced several years ago pays for the entire cost of medical school for all four years, including tuition, fees, books and living expenses for about 20 per cent of its students. But that program is based on merit, not need.

Meanwhile, a small medical school affiliated with Case Western Reserve University at the Cleveland Clinic covers the tuition and fees for its five-year programme focusing on research. Most of the roughly 20,000 students per year enrolled in US medical schools take out sizeable federal loans to support their studies. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, in 2017, the median debt for graduating medical students was $192,000 (£151,000).The median cost of medical school attendance, including living expenses, was $60,945 (£47,906) a year for public medical school and $82,278 (£64,675) for private medical school.

This may be a indicator of the future days to come, the need for medical education   to be cheap or made free,  to encourage young generation to become doctors. Society has the choice to encourage and nurture good doctor for itself or discourage them by financial exploitation and subjecting them to debt trap. NYU has wisely decided on its choice.

 

Expensive dream or a disaster self bought: Pay millions to be a doctor (#NEET)


Reluctance of candidates to wrap up  expensive medical college seats is just an indicator of aspiring medical student’s   better understanding of  the cruel reality about medical education. Becoming a doctor is not easy these days. Paying crores is like  getting into a trouble zone and getting yourself entrapped into a system of exploitation. It  may be alright for candidates who are from rich backgrounds.  But for the candidates whose families are not  strong financially, it may be self bought disaster. Steep rise in fee of medical colleges has been huge, beyond logic and is injustice to the meritorious.  One advantage of inappropriate media bashing of doctors, recent assaults against doctors has  given some wisdom to  innocent students, who  used to just enter into a system of entrapment unknowingly. Choosing medical career and then trying to place your feet into post graduation, spending crores in all these situations is akin to  falling victim to  a system of entrapment.  Some one paying for it in millions and  crores is an absurd thought  and  highly ill advised. For the candidates who are not financially strong, it may be difficult to even recover the money spent, what to say about the time and youth wasted in  getting a degree which may or may not be that worth.

Therefore it may become  dream turning into nightmare  for the people who can not afford.  Lower merits combined with not so good medical colleges   may produce thousands of degree holders but not good doctors.  Recent sporadic campaign of stray cases projected as generalization  by media has definitely diminished respect for profession. Individually most of the doctors may be working hard honestly but they are uniformly painted in the same colours due to misplaced priorities of the media. Society has already developed a prejudiced mind towards doctors.   Since these projections are created by outside agencies, doctors even with hard work and doing work honestly  may not be able to change the perception that has been created. Damage to profession has been immense and it is nearly impossible  task to reverse the mistrust generated and  undo the damage. If individually doctors are doing good and media continues the negative projection, the sad situation will persist. All efforts by doctors  in this direction are like oil  on the sand.

In  nutshell, this toil and trouble for years, buying a seat, paying millions or crores and becoming a doctor does not save you from vulnerability of court cases and wrath of public. Rather suboptimal training and capabilities makes them  more vulnerable to problems. It may be alright if some one with strong financial background  decides to be a health manager or administrator.

Real problem of mediocrity remains as such. Candidates with higher merit will be left behind as candidates who can buy and pay more will get in. This process  will be called as “lawful selection” along with diluted merit .This process makes count number of degrees distributed under various conditions attached to it other than merit.  But  just number of   degrees will not provide better doctors for future.

“NEET – NOT So NEAT” : Courtesy switch to Percentile system?


Imagine, an opportunity is available to a patient, to decide the doctor as based on his route or marks for entry into medical college. Whether patient will like to get treated by a doctor, who   secured 20% marks, 30 % marks or 60% marks or 80% marks for medical college.  Even   an illiterate person can answer that well. But strangely for selection of doctors, rules were framed so as to dilute the merit to the minimum possible. So that a candidate who scores 20 -25 % marks also becomes eligible to become a doctor. What is the need to dilute and shortlist around half a million for few thousand seats. Answer to that is simple.  To select and find only those students from millions, who can pay millions to become doctors.  

      Although the whole effort and huge expenditure to become doctors in this way may be really worthless in today’s scenario, considering the difficult times and vulnerability of medical profession. By allowing a intentional dilution of quality  can be advantageous only to  few and detrimental to others.

  • Beneficiaries are rich candidates, medical colleges who collecting fee and may be public who will get numbers of doctors. Surplus of doctors is thought to be an advantage to society. But here quality is least of the consideration.
  • Disadvantage to students, who are meritorious but can’t pay, and possibly society in long run, who is deprived of good quality doctors.

 

 

  •      A lower eligibility cut-off would mean that students with even lower percentage       of    marks will be eligible for MBBS
  • Last year, 11,114 students who scored 270 or less out of 720 got admission into medical colleges, mostly in private colleges
  • By the percentile system, last year, a student scoring 270 was within the 80th percentile

 

NEW DELHI: The results of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for MBBS admissions for 2018 announced on Monday showed even lower cut-offs than last year. The cut-off for the unreserved category is down from 131 out of 720 marks last year to 119 this year, while the one for the reserved categories has dropped by a similar margin from 107 to 96. Over 7 lakh students from the 13 lakh plus who appeared for the exam have qualified to join medical college.

A lower eligibility cut-off for NEET would mean that students with even lower percentage of marks will be eligible to get admission for MBBS. In case you thought just being eligible would not allow those with poor scores to get admission, here’s what happened last year. Over 4,300 students who scored 180 or less in NEET actually got admission to MBBS. The overwhelming majority of them in private colleges, where high fees make it difficult for those with meagre means to join even if they have the marks.

A score of 180 out of 720 is the minimum mark a student would get if they got 40% of the answers right, even if they got all the rest wrong, with the negative marking scheme in place in NEET. Of course, 40% is the pass percentage in most exams. In terms of percentage, 180 out of 720 is a mere 25%. But going by the percentile system of NEET, 180 in 2017 meant the student was within the 64th percentile, well above the 50th percentile cut-off for the unreserved category.

Last year, 11,114 students who scored 270 or less out of 720 got admission into medical colleges, once again mostly in private colleges. If a student got half the answers right, he could not have got less than 270. Before NEET, the minimum eligibility criteria for MBBS admission was 50% through various entrance exams though the quality of some of the exams conducted by colleges themselves was dubious. By the percentile system, last year, a student scoring 270 was within the 80th percentile.
Incidentally, because there are no cut-offs specified for individual subjects within NEET, there were several cases last year of people who qualified and got admission into medical colleges with scores of zero or even negative marks in chemistry or physics. With the cut-offs dropping further this year in terms of percentage marks (though remaining the same in percentile terms), chances are we will see a repeat of worse this year.

If the society continues to accept such below par practices, it has to introspect, whether it actually deserves to get good doctors. Paying the irrational fee of medical colleges may be unwise idea for the candidates, who are not from strong financial backgrounds. But at the same time unfortunately, it may be a compulsion and entrapment for students, who have entered the profession and there is no way  forward.  So children have to be careful while choosing medical careers from the beginning.

A famous axiom “as you sow so shall you reap” has an application to health system in this scenario, so people should not rue scarcity of good doctors.  

NEET Scams: Is unfair selection at medical college seat, root cause for poor health system?


A famous axiom “as you sow so shall you reap “  has an application to health system. As NEET has been implemented and there has been some effort to find out information about  admissions to medical colleges, at least tip of the  iceberg is getting visible.  More you know or read the news items about NEET, more one is convinced that industry  selling medical college seats has been quite powerful and practically every technique to sell seats is prevalent to by pass the merit and deny seat to deserving candidates. These meritorious children, who are denied seats could have been   good doctors and   real custodian for the health of people.  But  if for some reason, business prevails and government fails to prevent this cruel and corrupt selling of medical seats,  an Einstein brain is not required to  guess the whole malaise prevalent in health system.  Foundation  of  medical system is suffused with sand rather than touch stone of merit. It is the business and fraud which is rampant.

Astronomical fee of medical colleges  without proper facilities and medical education can be born only by investors and not good candidates.   It is the people and society, who will be the real sufferers in future. Therefore resentment to such system should come from the society. If every one is happy by the arrangement , then one has to introspect, whether they really deserve  kind of  doctors, they wish.

 

Following may be MEAGER TIP OF THE  ICEBERG

 

Sitting, retired HC judges under scanner for MBBS admissions scam http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/sitting-retired-hc-judges-under-scanner-for-mbbs-admission-scam/articleshow/60772522.cms

As medical education hit by scams, planned reforms remain in backburner

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/as-medical-education-hit-by-scams-planned-reforms-remain-in-backburner/articleshow/60787796.cms

How NEET high scorers, pvt institutes colluded to make a quick buck | HT Special

http://www.hindustantimes.com/education/some-neet-top-scorers-blocked-seats-that-were-later-sold-to-low-rank-holders-by-pvt-institutes/story-UgVXOeOZ5xgIAWkRj3s6fO.html

 

 

 

 

Medical college education: NEET cut off variation: any moral questions by society, celebrities and media?


Going by selection of candidates as doctors, If given a choice, by whom  a patient will like to get treated? A candidate who scored 20 % marks or a person getting 60% or 80%  marks.   NEET eligibility getting lower and  a  candidate getting around 20 % of marks  may be able to secure a degree to treat patients.  What will be the deciding factor? The criteria as to why a person with 60%  marks will  not be given a seat and with 20% marks will be able to secure. It will depend upon, whether  a student  is able to pay the exorbitant fee or not. Present system and mechanism of admission permit and accept such huge  variation! That strange equation is acceptable in lieu of money paid!

In this whole process, who will be the sufferer?

Is it only the  meritorious  and honest candidate. children who has worked hard are going to lose faith in system, besides irreversible damage to career.

– the people and society, who wish for best doctors.

– in general, honesty and hard work and merit is a causality.

– But in the long run candidate, who purchase degrees with money  may also suffer. As in the times of consumerism and risk associated with less desirable medical services. Candidates may themselves be at risk. Rich candidates may be capable of becoming health investors and health managers by money power, so as to evade  the increasing litigation. But  those from average family backgrounds ,who practice as doctors, will  be at some risk in today’s  difficult environment   for doctors.

 Exit  exams from these paid colleges  need to be better regulated. These colleges are minting money for distributing degrees. Likely is that, ultimately  most of the  students will pass and try to recover  their investments.

Infrastructure ,  number of teachers and investment on training is unlikely to be uniform in such colleges.   It is a matter of speculation, how much facilities a student gets, specially at a time uncertainty  about uniformity of medical education is a matter of great debate. It is also doubtful that money charged  from students as fee, is spent on medical education of the aspiring doctors.

      National exit exam may solve uniformity issues to some extent, but like NEET, its correct  implementation is a big   uncertainty itself.  Doctors have to listen comments about quality of doctors everyday. Rather than doctors themselves, it is the system to select them  needs improvement, which permit and accepts such huge variation in marks and fee.  Someone will definitely ponder, why one should not get best available candidate as doctor?  

 

 

Expensive medical college seat:Is it worth it.


 

At a time when students, parents and even doctors are uncertain whether opting for medical college along with the vulnerability and risk associated with   becoming a doctor is worth it or not, some are naive enough to pay millions as fee for medical education and for securing a seat of MBBS. The noble intentions of NEET were to minimize wastage of seats due to multiple admission procedures running concurrently and to do away with the variable criteria for selection used for admissions. But this time there has been unregulated steep increase in fees of private medical colleges. 

(http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/education/news/under-new-rules-less-than-50-private-mbbs-seats-filled/articleshow/60200421.cms).

Isn’t it surprising  that a coveted course, with more than a million  students vying for it, ends up with vacant seats especially in private colleges?  The answer is not difficult to guess. There has been a huge increase in fees by private colleges, which along with disillusionment about medical profession has lead to change in mind of candidates.

It is ironical that the medical profession is regulated, but medical business or medical education is not.  Such business of producing doctors based on their paying capacity should be clearly trounced for the benefit of public. Foundations of healthcare should be on touchstone of merit, ethics and character and not based on business deals. Therefore meritorious students, especially from average backgrounds, who opt to become doctors feel cheated when they pay massive fee to buy a seat. It is an insult to the very virtue of merit which should have been the sole criteria for these admissions.

Truth  cannot remain hidden for long.  It is to be realized that getting into medical college is a minuscule component of the process of becoming a good doctor.  Once they opt for this profession, the real tough and prolonged battle begins. Quite a few successful candidates may eventually feel that the money spent and the hard work may not be worth it especially those candidates who may have invested in heavy fees or bought a seat in medical colleges with hefty amount. Some of them, who invested millions for becoming doctors, will be even probably unable to recover their investments. The students with strong financial backgrounds may be more benefited as they can become investors or health managers. But for others, it could be a dream turning into a nightmare.

Those who invest heavily for getting medical education would eventually try  to recover their money after securing a degree. This definitely clouds their judgement in any future decisions that they make as doctor. On the other hand, meritorious students may not be able to get a seat. These will eventually have an impact not only on the quality of doctors but also on their attitude towards this profession.

The government should regulate these fees and also ensure that if a heavy fee is charged, then it should be spent on medical education of students only. It  should not take a form of just any another money minting industry to be used for other purposes.

The foundation of  medical education should not be based on principles of business but should be on pure merit alone. There is a need for uniformity,  proper infrastructure and regulated standards for these heavily priced medical colleges. There is a need to set up quality medical colleges instead of launching lot of inferior institutions every year who just work for minting money rather providing good doctors to the society. Our society needs good doctors, selected on the basis of merit and their medical education has to be cheap and good. If the society continues to accept such below par practices, it has to introspect, whether it actually deserves to get good doctors.

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