In Sacramento, most medical students in need of tuition money take out loans to pay the costs of going to medical school. For example, locally, the University of California Davis School of Medicine each year costs $44,766, which is 4.5% more expensive than the average for all Medical Schools. See, How to Go to Medical School for Free – US News and World Report.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the USA median tuition in 2010-2011 was $28,685 at a public institution and $46,899 at a private institution. Note that tuition does not include books, lab fees, and other education-related expenses. In 2010-2011 the median total cost of attendance was $49,298 and $66,984 for public and private universities, respectively. In 2010, the median debt at graduation was $150,000 at public institutions, $180,000 at private, and $160,000 combined.
In the UK and in Europe, medical school tuition used to cost less money than it costs in the USA. Some European countries offer free tuition. Perhaps medical school tuition should be free.
See, Why Medical School Should Be Free – NYTimes.com. Now costs are rising. And with the rising costs come news reports asking whether too many medical students are turning tricks in the occupation of prostitution to pay huge medical school tuition fees? See, Real life example of medical school debt. In the USA currently, another figure for the average medical school debt, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges is $156,456.
The question arises whether this is a gender issue. Are women turning to prostitution to pay medical school expenses or even college costs whereas men are taking out student loans? Why is there an increase in the number of medical students turning to prostitution to pay tuition and living expenses in Europe?
Is the same thing happening in the USA but with fewer news reports about it in mainstream media locally here in Sacramento? Or is it a phenomenon largely relegated to the UK and blamed on tuition rises?
Check out the February 28, 2012 news release based on a study published in the BMJ-British Medical Journal, “Worrying rise in number of medical students in prostitution over last 10 years.” The latest study focuses on medical schools’ attitudes towards student prostitution. Also see the article, Medical Students May Increasingly Turn to Prostitution to Pay Bills. Check out the article, Vitals – Are med students turning to prostitution to pay tuition?
In Sacramento or San Francisco are medical students sometimes working as prostitutes but hiding behind their white coats and working in massage parlors? If so, the news doesn’t report such investigations, only that prostitutes were found working in massage parlors, usually females from other countries, but whether they were students was not reported, only that they were trafficked and were more victims than students looking for sugar daddies to pay tuition expenses, which is another story.
Or are prostitutes working for tuition money charging high fees because they are medical students? And who are their johns–wealthy men or sugar daddies? See, On the Legality of Sugar-Daddies – Law Blog – WSJ and check out the uTube video, SeekingArrangement: College Students Use “Sugar Daddies” To Pay off Loan Debt.
Over in the UK, one in ten students now claim to know someone who is using prostitution to pay for university fees, a medical student writing for the Student BMJ claims. See the document, Is prostitution acceptable as a means of supporting one’s studies? Check out the article, Student BMJ: Medical schools’ attitudes towards student prostitution.
Although the numbers are still small, this figure as a percentage, is two and a half times larger than 10 years ago when just 4% of students claimed to know a peer placing themselves in the sex trade. This figure rose to 6% in 2006 and now stands at just under 10%.
The author, a final year medical student at the University of Birmingham, writes about the obvious correlation between rising tuition fees and the prevalence of prostitution among students. She argues that it is due to the rising costs of both tuition and living that students are finding themselves in huge amounts of debt.
The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) has noticed an increase in the number of calls from students considering sex work. A spokesperson for the ECP says that many medical students think “prostitution is the only means of financial survival. […] Jobs in shops and pubs that students usually take up are increasingly scarce and low paid”.
Medical schools do not believe that prostitution among students is widespread. They have no specific rule on this matter but do suggest that medical students act within the General Medical Council’s guidance for medical practice, “Duties of a doctor”. However, this does not necessarily state that a doctor cannot be a prostitute. Furthermore, no case has been recorded in which a patient’s health has suffered because a doctor also worked in this trade.
The author concludes that because there is no official guidance on the issue, there is no clear answer for students. What is worrying, she writes, is when students think “they have no choice but to resort to prostitution” and questions whether the “hike in fees” will lead to an increase in students entering the sex trade.
An accompanying editorial looks at the case of a medical student who faced either prostitution or “dropping out of medical school”. The author, who wishes to remain anonymous, argues that “if studies are not grossly affected by how they are funded […] then it doesn’t matter how we make a living”. His opinions have, however, been met by some criticism from older students who had feelings of “condemnation” and “disgust” towards a medical student using prostitution to pay off his debts. See, Are med students turning to prostitution to pay tuition : msnbc_health.
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