Tuesday, February 27, 2024


You know, now and then I get to put out good news here too. 

An NYT notification popped up on my phone yesterday about a billion dollar donation to a medical school in the Bronx. I was intrigued of course, so I clicked the link

A professor of disabilities and literacy programs made the donation. The money - mostly unknown to her - came from her husband's estate, as he had done well in his career. 

As having worked in healthcare and been on the business end of administering donor requests, almost all donations come with some kind of parameters on what the givers want it to go towards. Some are extremely specific and I've seen some funds never touched, as sometimes they are tough to spend, believe it or not. 

Ruth Gottesman had only one request:  use the money so medical students do not have to pay for medical school. 

Boom. Period. That's it. 

The money is enough to have this go on in perpetuity. 

The money is enough that the medical school could have been renamed for her. Most donations have levels ($1.5 million to have a Chair named for you, etc). As this is Albert Einstein Medical School, Ms. Gottesman figured that they can't do better than Albert Einstein and declined the offer. 

It is horribly generous - though maybe her kids think differently? - and will be a huge help to those who come out riddled with debt. 

Personally, I would have attached a few caveats to this gift. For instance, the forseeable future, fewer and fewer students are selecting certain specialties - neurology, for one. Even fewer (read: almost none) are going into brain health and memory. That is going to be a HUGE issue and very soon, as the population ages and dementia and Alzheimers cases continues to rise. There will be even fewer people to care of these patients. 

I'm sure there are others too that need bolstering. Along with nursing programs. 

I say keep the tuition free, IF someone chooses a certain speciality path. As the needs of medical circumstances changes over time, so can the need on how those funds get dispersed.  Just my $0.02. 

Either way, it might get people into medicine who wanted that career but couldn't take on the debt. 

Good for Ms. Gottesman. Good for Albert Einstein.  The college......not the man. 

Song by: Florence + the Machine


Old Lurker said...

I hope some people who would otherwise not become doctors are able to become doctors, as opposed to people who would have become doctors anyways. But that is too much to hope for.

Forget neurology. Who's going into gerontology these days?

Travel said...

What a great way to leave a legacy.

James Dwight Williamson said...

What a thoughtful Generous Gift which will do so much good