• Saturday, April 13, 2024


New York medical school goes tuition-free after woman’s $1 billion donation

The donation is believed to be the largest ever made to a medical school in the United States

Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City gets $1 billion donation (Photo Credit: Montefiore Einstein)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

Tuition fees have been waived at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City following a historic $1 billion donation made on Monday (26).

The donor, Ruth Gottesman, the wife of a prominent Wall Street investor, was a professor at the college. Her announcement was met with emotional reactions from the students and faculty.

Gottesman, who is 93 years old and has a 55-year affiliation with the college, serves as the chairperson of the school’s board of trustees.

The monumental gift aims to make medical education accessible to a diverse range of applicants who might otherwise face financial barriers.

It also addresses the burden of student debt, allowing graduates to start their medical careers without the weight of hefty loans. The current annual tuition at Einstein is $59,458 (£47,011), and the average medical school debt in the U.S. is $202,453 (£160,071).

“Each year, well over 100 students enter Albert Einstein College of Medicine in their quest for degrees in medicine and science. They leave as superbly trained scientists and compassionate and knowledgeable physicians, with the expertise to find new ways to prevent diseases and provide the finest health care,” said Gottesman.

In expressing her motivation behind the generous donation, Gottesman credited her late husband, David “Sandy” Gottesman, for leaving her with the means to make such a significant impact.

Ruth Gottesman

David Gottesman, a Wall Street luminary who built First Manhattan and served on the board of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, passed away in 2022 at the age of 96.

She reflected on the privilege of being able to contribute to such a worthy cause and emphasized the transformative impact on the lives of students entering Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The donation is believed to be the largest ever made to a medical school in the United States, according to Montefiore Einstein, the overarching organization for Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Montefiore Health System.

Dr. Philip Ozuah, President and CEO of Montefiore Einstein, sees this monumental gesture as a catalyst for reshaping the landscape of healthcare education. He emphasized the belief that access is the key to achieving excellence in healthcare.

Gottesman’s association with Einstein dates back to 1968 when she joined the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center. Over the years, she has made significant contributions, including the development of screening and treatments for learning problems.

She also initiated the pioneering Adult Literacy Program in 1992 and became the founding director of the Emily Fisher Landau Center for the Treatment of Learning Disabilities at CERC in 1998. Currently holding the position of clinical professor emerita of paediatrics at Einstein, her impact on the institution is both profound and lasting.

The Gottesman family, through their foundation, the Gottesman Fund, has a history of supporting charitable causes, particularly in Israel and the U.S. Jewish community. Their philanthropy extends to educational institutions, including schools, universities, and cultural institutions like the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

With this transformative donation, Albert Einstein College of Medicine joins the ranks of tuition-free medical schools in New York. Notably, in 2018, the New York University School of Medicine took a similar pioneering step by covering the tuition of all its students.

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