236191 Finanical Ramifications of Increasing Class Size: Evaluation of a National Dataset

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Benjamin Azevedo, BA , Health Systems Management, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Danny Schieffler Jr., PhD , Office of Graduate Medical Education, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Richard Culbertson, PhD , Health Systems Management, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Marc Kahn, MD MBA , School of Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Description: Increasing enrollment in medical schools raises the question of the cost of medical education compared to the tuition being charged. Does increasing class size necessarily increase overall revenue to the medical school? Rationale: As a result of recommendations from the AAMC to increase the physician workforce, many medical schools are increasing class size. Few have systematically evaluated the financial effects of class expansion on a national level. The actual cost of educating a medical student is not easily determined given the many variable costs that are associated with that educational experience. Adding to this complexity is the number of ways in which individual schools budget educational costs as a function of applicable revenue sources such as tuition. Methods: Data from the 2009 LCME Part-1-A Annual Financial Questionnaire (AFQ) were used to estimate the average cost of educating a medical student in the US. To estimate cost, three revenue sources were included in our analysis: Total Tuition and Fees Revenue, Total Government and Parental Support, and Total Revenues from Gifts and Endowment. Totals were tabulated for each medical school that charges tuition. These revenues were adjusted following the Wisconsin MAMA model using a factor of 60% of revenue allocated to education. Simple linear regression was used to determine the average fixed costs (y-intercept) and variable costs (slope) for educating a medical student. Results: The best point estimate of the annual cost of educating a medical student is $62,877 which is higher than any medical school tuition. Thus, increasing medical school class size does not increase revenue to medical schools.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate that with linear analysis of published revenue data, a method can be formulated to determine if increasing medical school class size can increase renvue streams to that school.

Keywords: Financing, Medicine

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical student involved in research regarding economic and financial considerations of medical education.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.