The expectation of programs paying for exams and fees appears to be a millennial thing. The best solution would be a participation trophy instead.
Grumbling about exam fees might appear to the old farts like a millennial attitude problem, but the real issue is that young docs are much more financially screwed than the generations that went before.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I am drowning in medical school debt and I cringe every time I have to fork over another stack of cash just to jump through another hoop. There are more hoops than there used to be and they cost more and more each year. You can keep your trophy, just stop squeezing the young trainees who are in a much worse financial position than many older physicians. I am upset that they keep adding insult to injury. With things like MOCA and the revision of the board exam schedule (ie, creating a basic exam) the trend is that the ABA is pushing the limit of how frequently they can mug me and empty my wallet. They are in good company with insurance, government, lawyers, and others who have decided that doctors are an easy scapegoat and source of cash to fund their own agendas.
I expect this will continue and only get worse throughout my career. the over-regulation of healthcare is oppressive and our specialty is caught up in the thick of it.
Would I like my program to pay my exam fees? Give me a participation trophy? Nope. I wish they would just tell the ABA to shove it and administer their own exam. How would we be able to compare outcomes across programs? We couldn't, so we wouldn't. Board exam scores are not a comprehensive indication of the quality of training received, so maybe we should stop pretending like they are. At the least, let's move into the modern era and stop making oral board examinees fly to North Carolina when video conferencing technology is literally sitting in our pockets. Or how about scoring a computerized exam in a fashion that returns a result faster than the Pony Express?
So on that happy note, can't wait to get my ITE score. I am just hoping to get the portion of my annual education fund that is held hostage until these scores come out. Get above the 50th percentile or no $$$ for you. Even though we don't pay directly, there are always hidden costs. Such is life.