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Physician Education Debt and the Cost to Attend Medical School: 2020 Update

Year Published: 2020
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Physician Education Debt and the Cost to Attend Medical School: 2020 Update

This report summarizes the state of education debt for medical school graduates and the attendance costs of medical schools, with a focus on 2019 data.

Physician Education Debt and the Cost to Attend Medical School: 2020 Update
Year Published: 2020
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Overview:

DESIGNED FOR


Designed for financial aid staff and advisors; students and potential students; leadership, deans, and CEOs; and other audiences interested in trends in medical student debt, cost, and repayment.

OVERVIEW AND BENEFITS


This report summarizes the state of education debt for medical school graduates and the attendance costs of medical schools, with a focus on 2019 data. Education debt is the sum of both medical school debt and premedical, including college, debt; they are combined because the sum is the amount a medical school graduate must repay. Readers will learn about recent trends across a range of debt and cost topics and how medical school graduates manage their education debt repayment.

Key findings include:

  • The median education debt for indebted medical school graduates in 2019 was $200,000, and 73% of graduates reported having education debt.
  • The median education debt of indebted graduates has increased, but at a rate only slightly higher than inflation, and has been stable at $200,000 for the past two years. The percentage of medical school graduates with education debt declined from 86% in 2012 to 73% in 2019.
  • Race/ethnicity is associated with variations in education debt, which are heavily influenced both by the mix of private versus public schools attended and by how students expected to fund their medical education when they entered medical school.
  • Specialty content along with a graduate’s personality and interests, the influence of role models, and the value of work-life balance all have the highest importance in specialty-choice decisions, according to most graduates. Education debt and potential income do not seem to play determining roles in the specialty choice of most graduates. The influence of debt on specialty choice is weaker than 10 other factors, regardless of debt level or family income level. Interest in primary care is consistent across debt levels.

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Number of Pages: 48 Year Published: 2020