Many physicians are dealing with massive student loans from medical school, according to a poll of Medical Economics readers.
A 2018 Medical Economics poll of doctors of all ages showed that 66 percent were more than $90,000 in debt upon graduating medical school, and 30 percent had more than $200,000 in debt.See the full results of the survey below.
Upon completion of your education how much debt did you accumulate, including undergraduate, medical school, and any other graduate education?
up to $90,000: 26%
more than $200,000: 30%
What was the main source of this debt?
Federal student loans: 80%
Commercial bank loans: 7%
Family members: 4%
(*most common answers were “no debt” and “private loans”)
Did the amount of your debt determine what kind of employment you selected following your residency?
Physicians who said debt levels affected their employment chooses
“I went to a guaranteed income thinking I could pay my debt better that way. I was wrong.”
“Worked in an ED because it paid more. Academic practice paid the least.”
“Moved to smaller town for higher pay and lower cost of living.”
Physicians who said debt levels affected their employment chooses (continued)
“I did not feel comfortable opening my own practice with the debt level I had.”
“I had to find loan forgiveness jobs. These jobs are usually in the worst places, where no other doctor wants to go.”
“I needed to moonlight a lot in fellowship and continue to need to moonlight to supplement my full-time salary.”
How did you pay off your education debt?
Still paying off: 47%
Repaid over time through employment: 33%
Public service loan forgiveness program: 2%
Paid off via personal loan: 2%
National Health Service Corps: 2%
Forbearance (still delaying repayment): 2%
Other forgiveness program (i.e. military): 1%
(*most common answers were “moonlighting” and “use of personal savings”)