I am an undergraduate student who is interested in attending medical school. My primary reason for wanting to work in the medical field is to improve access to medical care in underserved further along my career path. However, attending medical school costs quite a bit. While I am fortunate enough to likely be able to pay for med school without crippling debt, I can't help but think that the money going towards my education could go towards better causes, such as improving infrastructure in rural, underserved communities and improving vaccination rates. Would the most moral option here be to donate money going towards my education to these causes or to go to medical school and use my education to improve access to healthcare in underserved populations?
This is a beautiful question-
This is a beautiful question--unanswerable, of course, in any substantive/concrete/objective way. One of the many reasons why it is unanswerable is that even if you are implicitly using some rubric (such as utilitarianism--what will maximize happiness, goodness, etc.), you have no solid way of quantifying the terms. How to weigh donating $100K (say) toward cancer research v. toward your medical education? What if the $100K of research fails to produce anything useful? What if (God forbid) you die on the day you received your MD, thus can't put the education to use? How much good, exactly, is done, by building some infrastructure in rural places? But I think hinted at in your question is perhaps some concern that in spending the money on your education you are somehow wrongly being "selfish." To that I would offer just a couple of thoughts. (1) Being concerned about your own interests and welfare is not automatically a moral wrong. (2) Given how you describe the scenario, it's clear that your own...
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