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Opinion: NYU medical school students are getting free tuition. But everyone will reap benefits

Here are four ways in which NYU's decision to offer free tuition to its medical school students will have ripple effects across the U.S. health care system.
Thomas Jefferson University's Jefferson Medical College first-year students during a White Coat Ceremony in Philadelphia. Source: Matt Rourke/AP

Three years ago, at my class’s white coat ceremony during the first week of medical school, the photographer told us to smile and yell “Tuition-free!” rather than “Cheese!” We were horrified: The notion of tuition-free medical school — admittedly something that had been circulating in the pre-orientation rumor mill — seemed imaginative at best, delusional at worst, and thoroughly inconsiderate on day four of probably the most debt-accumulating pursuit in our adult lives. The following week, the photographer issued an apology.

At yesterday’s white coat ceremony for, regardless of their financial situation. The announcement (which I certainly wouldn’t have minded coming three years earlier) isn’t just great news for NYU medical students. It could also help shape the landscape of health care in the United States in four key ways.

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