It used to be mom’s wanted their daughters to marry doctors because the past was pretty sexist but doctors made a lot of money and so it was all okay. But now, as it turns out, doctorhood isn’t the cash cow it used to be.

For instance, there’s this from “Debt for medical students continues to rise.”

Med school will set back new doctors about $170,000. Since most people don’t have $170,000 just lying around for the spending, this means heavy student loan burdens. And while there are programs that pay off, reduce, or forgive those debts in exchange for service in under-served populations — those are limited.

Other key findings of the study were listed as follows:

The median education debt for indebted medical school graduates in 2012 was $170,000. Eighty-six percent of graduates report having education debt.

Graduates from private medical schools are slightly less likely to have debt but typically have higher levels of debt than public medical school graduates. Controlling for type of school attended can be key to understanding some of the debt differences between groups of graduates.

Debt levels for indebted medical school graduates and medical school cost of attendance have both increased faster than inflation over the last 20 years.

There were virtually no differences between men and women graduates in the rate and levels of 2012 education debt.

Pre-medical debt and non-education debt data have been very stable in recent years and the totals are small compared with total education debt.

Grants and scholarships rarely cover the entire cost of attending medical school. Private schools typically offer more in grants and scholarships than public schools, although a wide variance exists among private schools in scholarship resources.

Across all quintiles of self-reported family income, the median level of education debt varies only slightly, although the percent reporting indebtedness differs.

Education debt differences related to race and ethnicity can be largely explained by the mix of public and private schools attended and variance in parental income between racial and ethnic groups.

Education debt and/or potential income may play a role when physicians choose their specialties, but they do not seem to play a determining role for most. Non-financial factors such as personal interest in a specialty’s content and/or level of patient care seem to have more influence in specialty choice.

Several policy changes in recent years have affected the borrowing conditions for medical students.

How the median debt level is repaid depends on physicians’ length of residency and how they manage their debt during that time.

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