February 11, 2005

If You Build It... (II)

Since I'm feeling the urge to build lots of stuff tonight, let's also build more… medical schools. Seriously. We only have 125 in the whole country, which seems outrageously restrictive, and the country could easily lower health care costs by simply flooding the market with more doctors. And don't worry about quality—if we can just stop those pre-meds from tearing the pages out of review books in the library to get ahead of their classmates, I'm sure there will be enough talent to go around.

Building beyond the current med-school quota would also, in theory, make medical school a lot cheaper, letting bright-eyed young doctors stay idealistic, unburdened by intolerable debt loads. No joke: I was listening to a few soon-to-be-doctors the other night strongly consider giving up their dreams of working in understaffed rural communities, or working as family pediatricians, in favor of becoming an dermatologist, because that was the only way of paying off their ungodly student loans. Don't get me wrong, bad acne's a scourge of the earth, but that seems like an f'ed up incentive structure. No?
-- Brad Plumer 2:11 AM || ||