Free medical tuition alone isn’t enough to close gaps in primary care

In 2018, New York University became the first U.S. medical school to offer tuition-free programs, inspiring others to follow suit. However, the hope that this would increase the number of students pursuing lower-paying medical careers has not been fully realized. Factors such as prestige, earning potential, and the shortage of primary care physicians play a significant role in specialty and location choices. Ezekiel Emanuel and Matthew Guido discuss the limitations of tuition-free programs in influencing these decisions and advocate for a payment system that values improvements in health through primary care. Their research suggests that simply offering free tuition may not solve the shortage of primary care physicians as intended.

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