Medical School Debt Potential Impact On Patient Care ???

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Brady Kinesia
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Medical School Debt Potential Impact On Patient Care ???

Post by Brady Kinesia »

Average debt upon graduation from USA med schools now ranges from about $162,000 to $205,000. This is interest-bearing debt which grows even larger with compounded interest over time.

Some observers are arguing that the rising costs of medical education have begun to impact patient care.

http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/2013/03/19/debt-medical-school-bob-hildreth

Do you agree, or disagree, and why ?


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Re: Medical School Debt Potential Impact On Patient Care ???

Post by eliteK »

I could definitely see how debt would impact patient care. I mean, debt is stressful no matter what field you're in, and the debt that medical students incur is just crippling. If doctors have to move into higher paying specializations to justify even attending medical school, then we're losing a solid base of primary care physicians. Costs and risks are getting transferred to patients.

No doubt the debt is a problem, but I wonder how our culture affects newly graduated MDs' attitudes toward paying that debt. I've seen the new car, new house combo take precedent over paying off debt too often. That's not just a doctor thing, but I think we expect doctors to lead a certain lifestyle.

How much do cultural expectations affect the choices that med students and new doctors make regarding their debt?

Brady Kinesia
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Re: Medical School Debt Potential Impact On Patient Care ???

Post by Brady Kinesia »

The general American public, and the patients in particular, probably they see it as typical and unsurprising, but they are not going out of their way to ensure that these young doctors are entitled to a certain standard or living. And they have not much sympathy for doctors in terms of their compensation.

So, the new MD's who are doing that, are mostly the ones who sought the yuppie lifestyle in the first place.

Maybe, in a strange sense, peer pressure from their friends and classmates - and "keeping up with the Joneses", by keeping an eye on their career trajectories. Like, where they got jobs, how much they are getting paid relative to other specialists, etc.

With the economic recession and the mortgage crisis, a lot of the foreclosed homeowners were to blame for their own situation by biting off more than they could chew.

With medical school tuition, it's not optional to borrow that much money, if you don't have it, because it's just how much things cost nowadays. But on the other hand, nobody actually forced them to attend medical school, they always had the original choice, because they could have pursued some other occupation.

The costs of higher education in general have been rising sharply, and the students who do impractical degrees, which don't translate into future earning potential, I think they are worse off than the MD's

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