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Fifteen Years Ago Vs. Today: How Much Debt Do Med Students Accumulate?

The total debt cost of medical school has become obnoxious.  When I started medical school 15 years ago this month, I took out approximately $2,000 a month in loans.  $1,000 a month for all living expenses, including food, rent, utilities and entertainment and $1,000 a month for tuition and related expenses.  I got out of medical school with just under $110,000 in loans for which I am currently paying back at a rate of $500 month for 30 years.

I learned the other day that a family medicine resident recently completed medical school with almost $250,000 in medical school loans. Family medicine?  $250,000?  Are you crazy?  If that resident can lock in a 30 year loan at 3.5%, they’re looking at monthly payments of $1,200 a month for the rest of their lives.  With current tax rates, this family resident will need to earn at least Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

Dating An American Medical Student? Some Financial Advice

The average medical school debt today, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, is $156,456.

The United States is the only country in the world were future doctors have to bear such a financial burden of their education. That places significant strain on any relationship involving an American medical student.

Recently, there was an interesting piece in the New York Times discussing this very issue. The article profiled a female medical student who had amassed $250,000 of school debt:

Still, if she and [her boyfriend] Mr. Kogler are going to move in together and get engaged, she wants their financial arrangements to be clear and fair. But how do you define fair when you’re bringing a quarter of a million dollars in debt to a relationship?

Indeed. It’s an issue that’s rarely discussed, yet frequently encountered by medical students. With that degree of debt, there is little room for flexibility should one’s future plans change. You have to continue working to pay off the loan. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at*

Private Practice Medicine To Be A Thing Of The Past

I’ve written previously that the days of the private practice physician are numbered. A detailed piece from the New York Times confirms the exodus.

Young doctors who are burdened with medical school debt exceeding $150,000 are opting for the financial stability that a salary from a hospital-owned practice, or a large integrative medical center, can bring. Gone are the days where a solo practitioner can hang a shingle and practice in a small office, or in days past, a room adjoining their home.

Read more here: Private practice medicine will soon become extinct.

*This blog post was originally published at*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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