The accreditation scam – a costly scam for future professionals

Melanie Hansen :: Education Data Initiative

When I went to medical school 40 years ago, the annual tuition fee was $ 5,500. Taking inflation into account, it would be $ 20,000 today. Still, the tuition fee for state residents at the University of Connecticut Medical School is $ 47,673 and $ 81,753 for those coming out of state. The annual tuition fee for the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University is $ 60,210. And these tuition fees are typical across the country.

Joseph Bentivegna MD

Since medical school is a four-year program, the result of these outrageous tuition fees is an average medical school debt per student of $ 215,000. Mine was $ 27,000. And this problem extends to other professionals, many of whom do not have the same earning potential as doctors. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “… dentists earned an average of $ 164,000 and chiropractors earned an average of $ 71,000, which is not enough to cover most of the debts of senior professional degrees. to $ 200,000. “

Much of the discussion on this issue centers on the ease of access to loans coupled with their inflationary impact on tuition fees. Thus, the policy solutions revolve around capping the loan amount while allowing the loan to be canceled, with taxpayers bearing the bill.

But another factor is overlooked: accreditation committees.

Unbeknownst to the average voter, vocational schools – medicine, nursing, law, optometry, dentistry, chiropractic, etc. – are accountable to the accreditation committees which determine if a school can survive. Without accreditation, students at this school are not eligible for loans and are not entitled to take the licensure tests, which means they cannot work.

For example, the medical school accreditation committee, the LCME (Liaison Committee on Medical Education) requires “that a medical school have in place a sufficient cohort of faculty members with the qualifications and time. required to deliver the medical program… ”

But many courses in medical schools – biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, etc. – could be placed on computerized videos with interactive learning. Why do these students have to be paid tens of thousands of dollars a year for an anachronistic system of classroom lessons based on a time when this technology did not exist? Why should students be shackled with debt to support the high salaries and large pensions of lecturing professors? Many of our young doctors are minorities who do not come from well-off backgrounds. Is it right?

The vast majority of professionals will tell you that they have learned very little in the classroom. They honed their skills with mentors and then repeatedly dealing with the same issues until they mastered their craft.

While there needs to be reform in student loan programs, legislation needs to be passed to prevent these underground accreditation committees from promoting the economic interests of vocational school administrators, bureaucrats and teachers and the costs of the younger generation.

Many baby boomers wonder why so many young people are embracing socialism. I recently had a physician assistant student follow me into my office for a day to learn more about ophthalmology. He told me that he and his wife – who was studying to be a physiotherapist – would graduate with a combined debt of $ 400,000! How can this young couple afford to buy a house? How can they afford to have children? If I had been scammed at this age to buy the older generation miser, I too would be a socialist.

Joseph Bentivegna MD is an ophthalmologist in Rocky Hill.

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