Average medical school graduate has $183k in student loan debt
In a recent survey of medical students in Georgia and across the U.S., the respondents listed the cost of medical education and their resulting student loan debt as the biggest challenge for med students. With an average student debt load of nearly $200,000, this finding is not terribly surprising. That doesn’t mean that it is any less taxing on med school graduates, however.
More than 1,000 students from 160 medical schools participated in the survey, which sought to determine the greatest challenges facing med students today. In the seven years that the survey has been conducted, medical school costs and student debt loads alike have continued to rise and, accordingly, have presented a continually greater challenge for med students.
Currently, graduates of allopathic degree programs, which award traditional M.D. degrees, have an average student debt load of $162,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Graduates of osteopathic degree programs, which focus on a more holistic practice of medicine, have an average of $205,674 in debt, according to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.
In 2011, 86 percent of allopathic med school graduates and 91 percent of osteopathic med school graduates had some amount of student loan debt.
In the survey, 45 percent of students said that the cost of education was their top med school challenge. In addition, 30 percent of survey recipients said that they were worried about being able to pay off student loans. Because educational debt remains one of the only forms of debt that is nondischargeable in bankruptcy, these concerns are most certainly founded.
Source: American Medical News, “Med students’ biggest challenges: educational costs, workload,” Carolyne Krupa, Sept. 26, 2012