Archive for October, 2009

And The AWARD Goes To…

October 10, 2009 7 comments

TUFTS University for leading the way with the highest tuition amongst all medical schools in the entire United States. A whopping $51968 per year! Congratulations are in order for being the first institution to cross the 50K barrier!  Surely, others will be taking your lead.  Honorable mention goes to Colorado for raping their out of state students for tuition.

 TUFTS Estimated 2009/2010 student budget

As you can see this does not include everything else from room, board, health insurance, books, transportation, loan fees, etc. After your four years you will be staring at over 300K in debt!!! And with the loans locked at 7% interest, your debt will be climbing to the tune of 21 thousand smackeroos a year. Don’t call me an alarmist. The numbers are right there before you in black ink.

Year 1: $73,336

Year 2: $73,625

Year 3: $84,451

Year 4: $82,966


Grand Total: $ 314378 (God forbid you have undergrad loans to add!)

The current bleak student loan issue is nothing compared to what lies right down the road. With the economy in the toilet, why is it that tuitions keep spiraling upwards when everything else has come crashing down? Just when you think practicing medicine couldn’t possibly get any worse. It always….well…….just does. Should be really interesting to see all this unfold-Got popcorn?

You can watch the acceptance speech below-

Way to go Tufts!!! You are so well deserving of this award.

Categories: Uncategorized

Reigning in Private Student Loans

October 8, 2009 3 comments

Today I received an email from regarding a hearing in Washington on Sept 23 concerning the toxicity of private student loans. A very thorough and interesting testimony by Lauren Asher, President of the Institute for College Access and Success can be read here

The Obama Administration is pushing for the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), which would protect consumers from risky financial products and services, including private student loans. A strong CFPA could help protect private loan borrowers from deceptive marketing and unfair loan terms and treatment.

The financial industry is lobbying hard against the CFPA, and consumers need to speak up before it’s too late. Please tell your members of Congress that we need a CFPA with authority over all private student loans to protect borrowers and ensure private loans are only used as a last resort.

Write to Your Elected Officials Here

Please click the link above and write to your elected officials- it took me less than 45 seconds. Hopefully, this will be the first step towards getting private loans put back on the same wavelength as other consumer debts like credit cards. I wasn’t going to take the time to bother but when I read the following excerpt from the above testimony I felt compelled to do something and write-

“Ironically, private loan creditors remain fully eligible for the bankruptcy protection that their borrowers are now denied. Bankruptcy helps failed businesses discharge outstanding debt and make a fresh start regardless of the nature or merits of their product or business model, or the types of debt they carry.

Last year, The Education Resources Institute (TERI) declared bankruptcy with tens of millions of dollars in outstanding debt. TERI guaranteed private student loans for First Marblehead Corporation, which was a major player in the private loan market and a strong advocate for making private loan debt non-dischargeable for borrowers. First Marblehead rode the wave of securitizations that led to the current credit crunch, packaging private student loans from other lenders and selling them as investments. When these loans experienced higher than expected default rates, TERI went bankrupt and First Marblehead’s stock tumbled. Apparently, bankruptcy has enabled TERI to reorganize, and reports of its impending recovery buoyed First Marblehead’s stock last month. Meanwhile, TERI’s website includes this reminder for private loan borrowers:

“The bankruptcy laws provide that, unlike, other commercial debt, a loan guaranteed by TERI can not be discharged or forgiven in a bankruptcy proceeding unless the borrower proves that repayment of the loan will cause him/her undue hardship.”

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Nursing Home Crisis

October 5, 2009 1 comment

Nursing Home Crisis

“A Medicare rate adjustment that cuts an estimated $16 billion in nursing home funding over the next 10 years was enacted at week’s end by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — on top of state-level cuts or flat-funding that already had the industry reeling.”

“And Congress is debating slashing billions more in Medicare funding as part of health care reform.”

“In Washington, D.C., health care interests are resisting President Barack Obama’s plan to pay for his health care overhaul by slowing Medicaid and Medicare spending. Obama wants to trim $313 billion from the two programs over 10 years.”

“A University of Pittsburgh study earlier this year found nearly 1,800 nursing homes nationwide closed from 1999 to 2005, about 2 percent each year.”

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Pay Me Dammit!!!

October 2, 2009 Leave a comment

With the economy in the toilet and unemployment on the uptick again last month, how on God’s green earth are millions of student loan borrowers keeping up with their monthly payments? The answer is they are NOT. Check out the horror stories on this student loan debt forum that I came across- forums

Grab some popcorn and pull up a chair and witness first hand the prologue to our country’s next major financial fiasco.

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Stressed out Doctors

October 1, 2009 1 comment

stresseddoctorAmong Doctors, An Epidemic of Stress

“But whenever one of us experienced additional stress apart from our work, the house of cards in which we functioned would start to collapse.”

“While a lot of attention has been given to the long work hours of residents and medical errors, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., found that distress, and not only fatigue, contributed to errors by doctors-in-training.”

“We need to figure out what is the right amount of stress to develop outstanding physicians, but not so much that it decays their humanity.”

“Most of us got into this profession because of passion for medicine, for taking care of people,” Dr. West said. “But somewhere along the way, it gets drummed out.”

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