NEW YORK — Medical students and patients alike were surprised to find the lobby of University Hospital swarmed with executives from some of the world’s largest for-profit corporations on Monday. The executives had been invited to come learn about the School of Medicine’s business model as part of the school’s “Partnership on Profits” program.
“What we’re really excited to learn about is the medical student workforce,” noted Fortune 500 executive Charles Smith. “It’s amazing that the School of Medicine has cultivated a workforce of hundreds that will do absolutely anything and pay the University $60,000 per year. We’ve managed to avoid giving any of our employees benefits by keeping them all part-time — and maximally leveraged our unpaid intern utilization — but we haven’t yet figured out a way to get workers to pay us. That’s the next frontier of business optimization.”
They key — according to the Partnership on Profits program — is to focus on the valuable experience and education these “employees” are receiving. “You can’t put a price-tag on workplace experience,” explained program director Sharon Hopkins. “Unless, of course, that price-tag is $60,000 payable to the School of Medicine by cash or check. Why should we be paying these workers when we’re also giving them the intangibles they’ll need to advance their careers? That just doesn’t make any sense.”
In a seminar with administrators and medical students, the executives learned exactly how the system works. The key, according to administrators, is to make an arbitrary scoring system with which the student/workers are judged. Once they are focused on maximizing these “grades” they will do literally anything and pay the school to do it. When the medical students on the panel were asked if they enjoyed paying $60,000 a year to work in the hospital, one student responded, “Yes, sir. Of course, sir. Thank you, sir. Please tell my attending I told you that so I get honors.”
At press time the executives were excited to bring back what they had learned to their respective companies. Some had even started talking with national banks about their student loan programs, hoping to find a way for workers to go into debt to pay for their jobs.