4 of 6
BACKNEXT
'School debt is a limiting factor'
'School debt is a limiting factor'
Stephen Carey
Medical student
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
I am a medical student. I go to a private school where the tuition is currently is $38,500 per year and will next year rise to $40,500.

The amount of total debt just for tuition is about $160,000, with another $60,000 over the four years for living expenses. This totals to $220,000 in debt when we get out. This is completely independent of undergraduate debt which can also be substantial.

This debt affects how medical students practice. When I entered medical school I was almost 24. When I finish four years of medical school and three years of residency, I will be 31 and just starting to pay off an effective mortgage of 220,000.

I know what I am getting into with a career in medicine and would not trade it for the world. At 31, I will be starting my family. It is important to think about where your kids are going to school and being able to spend some time with them all while having a job that lets you pay off your first mortgage and school debt.

Doctors are going to try for the most lucrative positions in the best areas, not because they are greedy but because they are just starting their careers and families, have lost nine years of earning potential, and have debt to pay off.

I would love to choose what type of medicine I practice without thinking about money - but with debt approaching a quarter of a million dollars, money will influence where I end up.

The new bill does provide incentives for primary care but it does not do enough to address the fact that debt still is one of the limiting factors in deciding what and where to practice as physicians.

NEXT: 'I may be out of business'

Last updated April 08 2010: 10:35 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Most 'one percent' moments of 2014 This year was all about more money, more problems. Here's a look at the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the 1% over the last year. More
6 products to keep the skies friendly Plane travel can be stressful, especially during the holidays. These things can help keep the peace among travelers. More
2014: Helluva good year for stocks The bull market has been going for 2,115 days. If you put you're money in stocks, it's been a very happy year. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.