Thursday, November 21, 2013

Provost Approves to Grant In-State Tuition to Service Members and Their Families; CHM Participates In “Joining Forces”

The MSU College of Human Medicine (CHM) was among an impressive list of medical schools to participate in Joining Forces Wellness Week this year, bringing awareness to the unique health care needs facing our military members and their families.

Beginning on Veteran’s Day, the week-long initiative beginning on Nov. 11th saw over 100 medical schools across the entire country addressing those needs by holding various events such as clinics, seminars, and symposia to go along with a national webinar series—hosted by the Association of American Medical Colleges—focusing on a variety of military health-related topics.

At Michigan State University, CHM hosted a Joining Forces presentation by 1st Lt. Stephanie Boltrick on Nov. 12th called “Understanding Our Veteran Population: Unique Considerations for Health Professionals,” which was simultaneously being shown live to Grand Rapids’ Secchia Center contingent.

“Through Joining Forces, medical schools and teaching hospitals are ensuring that today’s medical students—and tomorrow’s doctors—will be well prepared to care for those who have served our country,” said Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., AAMC president and CEO in a statement.

“The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals are conducting important research in the areas of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury that will improve the health and overall wellness of America’s service members, veterans, and their families,” Kirch added.

Beyond East Lansing, many additional Michigan medical schools also participated in Joining Forces, hosting their own respective events. But the Joining Forces initiative was actually the second commitment to veteran’s by Michigan universities in consecutive weeks.

On Nov. 8th, The Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan announced all of Michigan’s 15 public universities would be providing in-state tuition for all veterans, regardless of their state of residency or active duty status.

In the past, in-state tuition was only being offered to active duty military members and their dependents. Now, veterans as well as their family members will be granted similar benefits, “ensuring that all who have and currently serve our nation in the military, from any state in the nation, can attend any of Michigan’s highly regarded public universities at in-state tuition rates,” read a statement by The Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.

The MSU’s Office of the Provost approved the pledge to change the Out-of-State tuition regulations, which will go into effect spring 2014.

So what does that mean for a potential CHM applicant who has served in the military?

Costs for enrolling at CHM are comparable with medical schools across the country, though there can be a considerable degree of varying amounts as it pertains to in-state and out-of-state tuition at MSU.

In fact, the Association of American Medical Colleges recently released a fact sheet titled “Medical Student Education: Debt, Costs, and Loan Repayment Fact Card” regarding medical student debt.

The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition can potentially exceed $100,000 over the
course of acquiring an MD degree. So, the move to allow serviceman and servicewoman in-state tuition is one of great benefit for our veterans and their families.

Twenty states have laws waiving in-state residency requirements for veterans and seven have policies doing so, according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Essentially, the hope for CHM is that more medical students will have the opportunity to participate in Joining Forces down the road and learn how to care for veterans…just like themselves.