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August 20, 2018/Opinion

Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine Has Offered Free Tuition Since 2008

Each year, 2,000 applicants apply for 32 positions

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As medical educators, we applaud the decision by NYU’s School of Medicine to provide tuition-free medical education to all its medical students. As the enlightened architects of that policy are well aware, the costs of medical education and the high debt burden born by many medical students often condition students’ choices, forcing consideration of indebtedness in their choice of specialty and practice setting after graduation. At its best, this decision by the leadership at NYU will allow students to follow their passions unencumbered by loan repayment considerations; students inclined to do research or less highly paid specialties can now follow their passions to those choices.

At the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, we also subscribe to this philosophy. Indeed, in 2008, the Cleveland Clinic too offered all CCLCM students tuition-free medical education and have begun to realize the benefits of this philosophy shared with NYU.

In keeping with its commitment to train physicians with special competence in research, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine students spend a fifth year of medical school conducting research. Graduates of its 10 classes to date have pursued research and the full spectrum of medical specialties in their graduate medical training. In addition, tuition-free status is an attractor of the best and brightest medical students.

Each year, some 2,000 applicants apply for the 32 positions in the CCLCM entering class and matriculants’ performance on the Medical College Admissions Test are among the nation’s highest.

We are delighted to be joined in this mission by colleagues at NYU and are hopeful that this increasing trend will drive others to consider this possibility as resources permit.

Cleveland Clinic and Case Western University’s new health education campus is scheduled to open in summer 2019, offers state-of-the-art technology; innovative interprofessional education.

Written by: James Stoller, M.D., Chairman of Education Institute, Cleveland Clinic; Bud Isaacson, M.D., J.H., Interim Executive Dean, of Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University; James Young, M.D., Chief Academic Officer, Cleveland Clinic

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