To the Editor.
—I applaud the recent article on costs of third-year clerkships at nonuniversity teaching hospitals.1 The cost of medical education is an important issue and has not been well defined. This study represents a step in the right direction. While I applaud the study in general, I take issue with the section titled "Replacement Costs." In this section the authors analyze the value of the contribution of volunteer physicians to the education of clinical clerks. They impute an average value of $14112 per student per year and then state that this is what it would cost a university teaching center to replace the volunteer physicians. The authors likewise imply that it would cost a university teaching center an average total of $45 888 per student per year to replace the teaching function of the nonuniversity teaching hospitals.The analysis in this section is incorrect for two reasons.
Sperry RJ. Cost of Teaching Medical Students. JAMA. 1995;273(10):771. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520340025014