The column “Half a century later, med school classmates reflect (Oct. 8)” resonated with me. The author, Dr. S. Amjad Hussain, and I are good friends and he and I have traveled together to Peshawar, Pakistan, to speak at his alma mater, the Khyber Medical College. Just this week I attended the 50th medical school reunion of the University of Michigan. I was the only individual from Toledo in that medical class.
Dr. Hussain notes the high cost of public education, stating that many people mistakenly think the government pays for it. At the University of Michigan, the State of Michigan subsidizes less that 1/4 of 1 percent if its nearly $9 billion budget. The annual tuition cost for in-state medical students is $38,000 and is $57,000 for out-state students. Very few medical schools are tuition-free, but New York University has just declared it will do so. The University of Michigan would like to obtain an endowment of $430 million to pay the tuition for those who cannot afford it. David Bloom, M.D., recent chair of urology at U.M., notes in his blog that just came out, “It is a tough time to be a medical student and entering medicine. Most students have accumulated egregious debt in the form of student loans. This fact is a black mark on our society. There is little excuse for a large medical school tuition bill, student create enough personal debt with living expenses alone during medical school. Society, particularly that of advanced industrialized nations, can afford to teach its next generation of health care workers.”
Dr. Hussain “wondered loudly if there were romances” among medical students, and says Khyber graduates chuckled, laughed and denied any romances. My medical school class began with 226 students, including 26 women, a very large number for the time. Three marriages resulted, and all failed, but I draw no conclusions from this fact. The most recent entering medical class at U.M. of 169 individuals is 65% women and the numbers are similar nationwide. Nationally the number of white males entering medical school in this country has been stable at about 8,000 for over 50 years, while the number of beginning students is about 20,000, counting allopathic, osteopathic, and off-shore schools. The whole class of beginning residents in ophthalmology next year at UM will be women. This is not culture shock, but part of a process that has been occurring for a generation and is having a major impact on the delivery of health care.
Dr Hussain is correct, there are many unresolved moral questions in medical education and its cost.
JAMES G. RAVIN, M.D.
Congressman votes suit interests of contributors
The problem of money and its influence on government has been with us for many years, but I’m afraid it is getting worse. Both of our major parties are involved in raising massive war chests for their campaigns. This is leading our country into a system of rule by and for the rich, and away from democracy.
Consider our local congressman, Bob Latta. He serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Not surprisingly, his top donors include oil, energy, and communications companies, whose interests tend to come before this committee. While Mr. Latta may not profit personally, he typically votes in a way that suits the interests of these companies.
Mr. Latta supported Big Oil with his vote to roll back emission standards for motor vehicles. This will add pollutants to our air, which actively harms children with cystic fibrosis and everyone with asthma or other lung diseases. It’s also bad for autoworkers’ jobs at plants producing high-efficiency cars, like the Chevrolet assembly plant in Youngstown. If you believe in global warming, you can expect this measure to contribute to extreme weather events and forest fires. But it does prop up the demand for oil, so those whose fortunes depend on drilling and burning every drop are well served.
Mr. Latta also voted against net neutrality, endangering equal access to all parts of the internet regardless of sites’ economic clout, or lack thereof. This vote ran counter to the wishes of thousands of voters, but it supports Comcast and Verizon, which gave to Mr. Latta generously. Which donors does his voting record match most closely? That would be Republican House leaders Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy. Their PACs gave him tens of thousands of dollars. Is it any wonder “our” congressman marches to their drumbeat while constituents fend for themselves?
Put yourself in Kavanaugh’s shoes
I wonder how the writer of the letter “Kavanaugh lacks temperament” (Oct. 6) would react if someone attacked his character by calling him a serial rapist, a pedophile, someone who lacks moral character and a host of other unsubstantial assaults.
I would think if one knew deep in their heart that these things were not true, one would be highly emotional no matter what job they were applying for.
FRANK J. ARMSTEAD
Harper map post just fuels the fire
Our country has been going through some rough times; however I don’t think adding fuel to the fire serves any reasonable purpose as our council person, Ms. Yvonne Harper, posted on Facebook! It’s OK to criticize without adding vulgarity to the problem. This really does not even need to be in the press, as it just adds fuel to a fire that should not be recognized. It is possible to disagree respectfully which we hope both sides will do.
Harper the only citizen of political map
There’s only one person in Dumbf-istan, and unfortunately it’s a Toledo City Council Person Yvonne Harper (“Toledo councilman explains post of map,” Oct. 9)!
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