Why do medical students have so much debt?

Asked by: Karli Johnston  |  Last update: October 30, 2023
Score: 4.5/5 (14 votes)

The average cost of a four-year med school program is $242,902, and private schools have a median cost of $322,767. It's easy to see why most students have to resort to loans to pay for their medical education – especially given that full tuition scholarships are pretty rare in this field.

Do medical students have a lot of debt?

The average medical school debt is $202,450, excluding premedical undergraduate and other educational debt. The average medical school graduate owes $250,990 in total student loan debt. 73% of medical school graduates have educational debt.

Why is medical school debt so high?

Each year, only 41 percent of applicants are accepted into medical school. Because demand outstrips supply, medical schools have the economic upper hand and, because lenders invariably approve loans to cover tuition, schools can effectively set the price of tuition to be whatever they want.

How much debt does a typical medical student have?

Attending medical school can be extremely expensive: As of 2021, 76% to 89% of medical school graduates leave school with an average of $203,062 in total education debt, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

How hard is it to pay off medical school debt?

And while it may seem like a $300k+ salary would make it easy to pay off $200k in loans, that's not necessarily the case. Between the cost of your mortgage or rent, car payments, utilities, insurances, taxes, and daily expenses, it can take years for borrowers to pay down $200,000 worth of debt on a $313,000 salary.

I Just Got Out Of Med School With $309,000 Of Debt!

35 related questions found

Are med school loans forgiven after 10 years?


If you work as a physician in the government or non-profit sector for ten years, you may get your loans forgiven thanks to PSLF. The key is to make sure they are Direct loans and make 120 (10 years) payments.

How quickly can doctors pay off student loans?

The average medical school debt is over $200,000, a hefty amount of debt to carry at the start of your career. The expected payoff schedule is over 20 years, and during that time, you'll be paying the equivalent of an extra mortgage payment to make progress on the loan.

What is the average GPA for medical school?

Average MCAT Scores and Average GPA for Med Schools

The average GPA for med schools overall is 3.64 for science and a 3.71 overall. Most medical schools require candidates to have a 3.0 or higher GPA to even apply, and many require 3.5 or higher.

Do hospitals pay off student loans?

Some hospitals and other employers will offer student-loan repayment in an effort to recruit physicians. This can be a substantial benefit for a resident with significant residual medical education debt.

How do I pay off medical school debt?

5 strategies for paying off medical school debt
  1. Get on an income-driven repayment plan. ...
  2. Apply for forgiveness. ...
  3. Make payments during residency. ...
  4. Get help through your job. ...
  5. Refinance for a lower interest rate. ...
  6. Learn more:

Do doctors ever pay off their loans?

The survey also found that, on average, doctors pay off their debt within eight years of graduation. While most doctors have some form of debt, the average amount owed is $170,000.

Are doctors rich or in debt?

In fact, according to the latest 2022 Medscape report which surveyed 13,000 doctors, the average physician graduated with $203,000 in debt. Only half of physicians reported a net worth of over $1 million, and not until the age of 55. Today let's review net worth by age for doctors through the decades.

Is medical school a bad investment?

Medical school is still a good investment of both time and money, as long as practicing medicine is what you want to do with your life.

What percentage of medical students take out loans?

Medical School Debt Statistics

Each year, about 75% of medical students borrow federal student loans, amounting to roughly $3 billion borrowed per year. In 2022, 69% of medical school graduates had student loan debt for medical school. The median amount owed was $200,000.

Who is most likely to have medical debt?

People with lower and modest incomes are more likely to have significant medical debt. We find that 12% of adults with incomes below 400% of the federal poverty level report having significant medical debt.

Who has the most medical debt?

Black households have the highest rate of medical debt.

28% of Black households have medical debt, according to the 2018 Census Bureau survey, followed by Hispanic households (22%), white households (17%) and Asian households (10%).

Do doctors struggle to pay off student loans?

Medical school student loan debt can be crippling for early-career physicians. The average medical school graduate owes more than 7 times the amount of the average college graduate. Nearly three-quarters of all medical students graduate with some form of student loan debt.

Can med school debt be forgiven?

Many states offer student loan forgiveness to healthcare professionals willing to make a two- to four-year commitment to serve a community with a healthcare professional shortage. Doing so could eliminate a portion of your student debt while helping your state fulfill a critical need.

How can I become a doctor without debt?

Look for scholarships and grants

The more scholarships and grants you receive, the more you can reduce your overall student loan debt. Medical school scholarships and grants can be based on merit and financial need and are typically offered by universities, nonprofit organizations and private companies.

What med schools use the 32 hour rule?

Consider the “32-hour rule,” where certain medical schools only look at your most recent 32 credit hours to determine your GPA.
  • Wayne State University.
  • Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
  • Boston University Medical School.
  • Louisiana State University – New Orleans.

Is 510 a good MCAT score?

Attaining a score of 510 on the MCAT means you performed in the 84% percentile. An even distribution for the section scores is preferred.

How bad is a 3.5 GPA for med school?

Many admissions officers view a GPA of 3.8 as very competitive, and they like to see at least a GPA of 3.5 or above. These scores will be especially competitive if your major is related to medicine, and it's even better if it's a difficult science major like neuroscience or physics.

How much do doctors pay a month in student loans?

The total represents a 2.5% increase from the averaged med student debt of $196,520 in the class of 2018. With a $201,490 student loan balance, you'd owe $2,288 a month on the standard, 10-year federal repayment plan, assuming a 6.25% average interest rate.

What makes medical school hard?

In short, the amount of course material you need to learn in medical school is huge. For many medical students memorizing and retaining information is the hardest part of medical school. There are different memory boosting techniques that can help you memorize the course material and retain information for a long time.

Can you graduate med school with no debt?

Without her, this article wouldn't be possible.” Approximately 1/4 of medical students graduate debt-free. Some of those have major commitments (like the military commitment I had) that are pretty much the equivalent of financial debt. Others come from a wealthy family.