Reduce the Out of State Tuition for medical students in the Classes of 2018/2019/2020

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The Wayne State University Board of Governors has recently approved a tuiton reduction for incoming medical students from 2017 onward, from the current rate of $66,256 to $57,400, to be more in line with the national average. For years, Out of State (OOS) students at WSUSOM have paid one of the highest tuition rates in the nation. Thus we applaud the decision by the Board of Governors to reduce tuition for incoming students so that the School of Medicine may continue to attract high quality applicants from other States and Canada as it has done in the past.

However, we feel that the issue of medical student tuition and student debt has implications far beyond that of recruitment. At the current time, there is a wealth of peer-reviewed publication on how student debt impacts specialty choice, the decision to pursue fellowships after residency, practice location (students with higher debt being less likely to practice in underserved locations), stress levels, feelings of empathy, and personal decisions such as when to get married or start a family.(1)(2) High student debt negatively impacts our ability to serve our community and our future patients in the areas where we are the most needed and may constrain us from pursuing the fields we are most passionate about. For these reasons, we feel that it is appropriate to ask the Board of Governors to apply the tuition reduction to all OOS students in the Classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020 from 2017 onward, so that we may better accomplish the WSUSOM's mission of transforming equal health into a reality for all.

Thank you

(1)Rohlfing, J., Navarro, R., Maniya, O. Z., Hughes, B. D., & Rogalsky, D. K. (2014). Medical student debt and major life choices other than specialty. Medical Education Online, 19, 25603.

(2)Bazemore, A., Peterson, L., Jetty, A., Wingrove, P., Petterson, S., & Phillips, R. (2016). Over Half of Graduating Family Medicine Residents Report More Than $150,000 in Educational Debt. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 29(2), 180–181.

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