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 its class of 2022, New York University School of Medicine announced it will cover tuition for all medical students, 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. ….more