Majority of Medical Students Owe Over $100,000

Physician's Money Digest, March 2006, Volume 13, Issue 3

Surprisingly, medical school has outpaced inflation by about 1% per year, accordingto the Association of American Medical Colleges. Private medical school tuitionhas increased 435% since 1960 and 69% since 1982, while public medical schooltuition for residents has increased 387% since 1960. The increasing expense ofobtaining a medical degree has led to more and more students carrying higher levelsof debt, both educational and consumer. Of graduating medical students, 81% carryloans from medical school, and 62% have outstanding loans from undergraduate education.The average education debt incurred by the 2004 graduating class of medicalstudents was $115,218, which includes pre-med borrowing, and 63% owe over$100,000. The average noneducational debt is $7277. According to the AmericanMedical Association, there are several reasons why medical students have more debtnow than ever. Interest added on top of loans significantly increases overall outstandingdebt on medical school loans over the years. Moreover, students entering medicalschool have more debt from undergraduate school as tuition rates skyrocket for bachelor'sdegrees. Finally, more and more nontraditional students attend medical schooltoday, which means paying for education takes a backseat to supporting a family.