The Talk of the Town: NYU

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Recently, two major announcements came from New York University that got people talking. For starters, the news about free tuition at the School of Medicine spread like wildfire. The second bit of news was NYU’s partnership with Facebook to help speed up MRI’s with artificial intelligence. Let’s take a dive and learn more about these two latest stories.

Free Tuition

The NYU School of Medicine announced it would be offering full tuition scholarships to current and incoming students in the MD program. The scholarship cost will cover about $55,018. This is an extremely significant move in medical education. The Association of Medical Colleges discovered that in 2017, student’s medical education debt from a private institution was $202K and 21% of students graduated with over $300K of debt. There were some schools, including NYU School of Medicine, that even started offering a fast track three year curriculum in order to try and help the student debt crisis for current and future students. Right now, NYU is the first top-10 ranking medical school in the US to offer this type of scholarship, which may help the state of our doctors in the US.

“…high tuition rates don’t just affect current students; fear of lifelong debt has deterred many students from even considering the medical profession. This has led to a shortage of doctors in the United States.” Kristin Moon

If it weren’t for these changes, this problem may have gotten even worse. Another thing we must consider in this doctor shortage is the underrepresented demographic profiles in medical classes. African Americans, American Indians and Hispanics make up 33% of the US population, to be exact. This group only represents 18% of medical students and tuition could be a contributing factor of this lack of representation. We’ll be curious to see if other schools decide to hop on board with this idea.

Facebook and AI

NYU recently announced its collaboration with Facebook to make MRI scans up to 10 times faster. The university’s interest lies in Facebook’s advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence to solve issues in healthcare. The research will take place at NYU’s Department of Radiology where Facebook’s lead AI researcher will find ways to speed up MRI’s.

“A few missing or incorrectly modeled pixels could mean the difference between an all-clear scan and one in which radiologists find a torn ligament or a possible tumor. Conversely, capturing previously inaccessible information in an image can quite literally save lives.” Daniel Sodickson

Facebook has been hoping to enter the healthcare world for a while, so now is their chance. If this collaboration could reduce scan times, this may even help the fact that we do have a shortage of scanners. More patients could be imaged faster and potentially even replace X-rays and CT scans.

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