More Than Half of Our MD Students Are Graduating Without Medical School Debt
On May 18, 2022, NYU Grossman School of Medicine celebrated its 181st commencement at the Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, marking the first in-person ceremony since 2019. The 107 graduates received their Doctor of Medicine degrees and recited the Hippocratic Oath as they set out to begin their careers as physicians.
The Class of 2022 entered medical school in 2018 when, at the annual White Coat Ceremony, the historic, surprise announcement was made that NYU Grossman School of Medicine would award Full-Tuition Scholarships to all current and future students in its MD degree program. Most recently, the school announced it would provide additional need-based Debt-Free Scholarships, helping to eliminate the need for medical school loans among students with financial aid needs beyond tuition.
As a result, 61 percent of NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Class of 2022 is expected to have no medical educational debt following graduation. For students graduating in the accelerated three-year MD pathway, the first of its kind at a nationally ranked academic medical center, 69 percent will finish debt-free. Of those with medical educational debt, the projected average for the 4-year MD students is $78,516, and the average debt for 3-year pathway students is projected at just over $40,000. These figures stand in stark contrast to an estimated 69 percent of medical students across the nation who graduated with debt in 2021 with a median amount of $200,000, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
“We are proud of the many steps we’ve taken to improve the affordability of medical education,” says Robert I. Grossman, MD, chief executive officer of NYU Langone Health and dean of NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “Our groundbreaking tuition-free and debt-free financial aid programs help improve the financial wellbeing of our students, allowing them to graduate unencumbered by the significant financial burdens that typically impact graduating physicians nationally.”
About the Ceremony
The graduation itself was a celebration of the Class of 2022’s accomplishments and their proven ability to adapt and excel despite much of their training taking place amid the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. During the ceremony, Dr. Grossman encouraged the new physicians to remain aspirational, saying, “Face the future with optimism and energy. Be humble, for without humility there is no learning and learning is essential to happiness, success, and fulfilling your aspirations.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams was the keynote speaker. Also addressing the graduates at this year’s commencement were Anthony J. Grieco, MD, associate dean for alumni relations and academic events, and Oluwatunmise A. Fawole, MD, who delivered the student address. Additionally, Laurence D. Fink, chair and chief executive officer of BlackRock, Inc., was recognized as the honorary alumnus.
About the Class of 2022
The Class of 2022 comprises 107 students, all receiving Doctor of Medicine degrees. Seventeen graduates participated in the three-year MD pathway, an accelerated track to medical education, providing conditional acceptance into any one of NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s residency programs. Also of note, 34 students completed dual MD/master’s degree programs:
- 14 students in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD)
- 9 students in the MD/MBA in general management program with NYU Stern School of Business
- 3 students in the MD/MPA in health policy and management program with NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
- 3 students in the MD/MS in biomedical informatics program with NYU Langone’s Vilcek Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences
- 5 students in the MD/MS in translational research program with NYU Langone’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute