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Interest accrual during training is the biggest problem for med students

April 4, 2011

Pierce Hibma on KevinMD providing a breakdown of his med student debt

Take a look at this post and forget the overall figure of this student’s debt. Focus in on the amount of subsidized (interest paid while in school) debt and unsubsidized debt. Only about 1/10th of this interest is subsidized while in school. Think about it another way–med students are paying interest on roughly 90% of their loans while still in school.

Also, pay specific attention to how much interest will accrue while he is in 3 years of residency–$100,000. That is only INTEREST, no new loans.

Not only is the cost of tuition at medical schools exorbitantly high, but the loan system does no favors for young doctors. Med students wanting to go into primary care are being squeezed at both ends–increasing tuition costs and poor loan terms coupled with falling reimbursement rates for “cognitive” medicine and increasing struggles with insurance companies.

How can we expect anybody to go into primary care in this environment?


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