Is medical school worth the debt in the long run ?

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A relative was telling me they took the MCAT and had an interview with a medical school in the SE USA. They want to become a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) and I was wondering if medical school without any scholarships be worth it will all the crazy debt they will have upon graduation ? I told this person maybe a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant would be a lot less debt... but obviously the pay is a lot less. They really want the 'doctor' title and might have to take on a boat load of student loans.
 
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Yes, it's worth it if the student or applicant has the desire and is a go-getter. Sure, it costs a lot of money for schooling however the payoff's are huge. Just don't go in a field that doesn't pay well because it's a tough battle. Everyone wants to go to college for a glamorous job. If you spend money for college make sure to go into a field that pays well in order to make it cost effective and enable you to repay the student loans.
 
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I am a D.O. and have been in practice for 20 yrs. I love what I do but I work 30-40% harder for 30-40 %less than when I started. I talked to a 3rd year OB/GYN resident a little while back and she was $487K in the hole and 33 yrs old. The last doc we hired she and her husband were $600K in debt. I did 4 yrs unergrad 4 yrs med school 1 yr internship and 5 yrs residency and was 32 when I got done and not near that much debt. Guys I know that did Engineering or bhsiness where making $75K plus for 10 yrs before I made enough to just scrape buy and several of those guys are retiried or are going to in the next few years - I have at least ten more years before I consider that. The amount of crap and paperwork has increased markedly. Its a tough call but I love what I do and would probably do it again.
 
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Don't they average over 200K a year? So if you struggle and devote half your salary when you start practicing medicine to pay off your student loans, your still better off than most everyone else. The problem with many MD, DO's... is that when they start practicing medicine, they want the rich life style NOW. They don't wanna buy a modest home and keep driving the Toyota Corolla their dad gave them for college. They straddle themselves with a huge house payment and debt on high dollar furniture and a new vehicle.
 
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Income depends on specialty, academic vs non-academic and private practice vs employed. Generally you can make the most with a good busy private practice, usually less for employed, and usually lowest of all academic. If in private practice you usually are joining other older docs who have invested in a building equipment etc and there is usually at least a couple of years as an associate at reduced salary and often an buy in (equity in the practice ) which can be quite large. In my case I had 3 kids and was 35-36 before I could really start to save and participate in the practice retirement plan. You miss out on a lot of the benefits of compounding interest when you get started that late - thats why some of my friends in other fields are retiring they has $ to invest at age 22.
 
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Originally Posted by skyactiv
Don't they average over 200K a year? So if you struggle and devote half your salary when you start practicing medicine to pay off your student loans, your still better off than most everyone else. The problem with many MD, DO's... is that when they start practicing medicine, they want the rich life style NOW. They don't wanna buy a modest home and keep driving the Toyota Corolla their dad gave them for college. They straddle themselves with a huge house payment and debt on high dollar furniture and a new vehicle.
200k minus 80k for taxes = 120,000 takehome Lets use the above example of 487,000 in student loan debt at 8% = 39,000 a year going just to interest Now you're left with 81k to live off of. Throw half of that at the student loan and hope to have it paid off in 12 years. 40k for housing, food, transportation, and other essentials goes quick. This assumes zero consumer debt, no car payment, no mortgage, and no retirement contributions. Like the other guy above said, if you're in it for the money then you're doing it wrong.
 
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Originally Posted by Leo99
If you're just in it for the money, you're not going to make a very good doctor.
Is there another reason? I haven't seen a good doctor in 20 years. Got an ache? Here's an anti-inflammatory. Sad? Here's an anti-depressant. Your cholesterol is a bit high. Take a statin. ( They don't care what you eat, or exercise level.. just gotta get the next patient in the room, I've spent my 8 minutes on you) Sinus pressure, green snot? Can't give you an antibiotic, we don't want to make a superbug. If you think you are really sick, go to the ER. Hey Doc, I went to the ER, and they put my booty in the hospital. The hospitalist will take care of you, I don't see patients in the hospital. What Doctor in good conscience has an elderly patient on 25 different pills? A good friend is an NP. She does very well, 150k plus a year, and all she does is close patients after surgery, and then follow them. Most NP's do very well, and a lot less debt.
 
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Of course it is. One of the best paying careers out there. Unfortunately most want to specialize to make the most $$.
 
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Originally Posted by beanoil
Originally Posted by Leo99
If you're just in it for the money, you're not going to make a very good doctor.
Is there another reason? I haven't seen a good doctor in 20 years. Got an ache? Here's an anti-inflammatory. Sad? Here's an anti-depressant. Your cholesterol is a bit high. Take a statin. ( They don't care what you eat, or exercise level.. just gotta get the next patient in the room, I've spent my 8 minutes on you) Sinus pressure, green snot? Can't give you an antibiotic, we don't want to make a superbug. If you think you are really sick, go to the ER. Hey Doc, I went to the ER, and they put my booty in the hospital. The hospitalist will take care of you, I don't see patients in the hospital. What Doctor in good conscience has an elderly patient on 25 different pills? A good friend is an NP. She does very well, 150k plus a year, and all she does is close patients after surgery, and then follow them. Most NP's do very well, and a lot less debt.
What do you expect a Dr. to do when your symptoms are an ache or sad or high cholesterol? They probably assume you've already checked with Dr. Google.
 
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That may be the amount of the loans, but how much will the student pay themselves? Big employer contributions and discharge after 10-years of working for a non-profit are possible. Worth it? Yes.
 

Nick1994

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I really think they need to be in the right mindset, and not just take the maximum loans and be stupid with money. Should probably spend a little to speak with a financial advisor to put them on a budget and learn how to manage money first. Then with the debt that's required, pay it down really quick once working.
 

Astro14

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Originally Posted by beanoil
Originally Posted by Leo99
If you're just in it for the money, you're not going to make a very good doctor.
Is there another reason? I haven't seen a good doctor in 20 years. Got an ache? Here's an anti-inflammatory. Sad? Here's an anti-depressant. Your cholesterol is a bit high. Take a statin. ( They don't care what you eat, or exercise level.. just gotta get the next patient in the room, I've spent my 8 minutes on you) Sinus pressure, green snot? Can't give you an antibiotic, we don't want to make a superbug. If you think you are really sick, go to the ER. Hey Doc, I went to the ER, and they put my booty in the hospital. The hospitalist will take care of you, I don't see patients in the hospital. What Doctor in good conscience has an elderly patient on 25 different pills? A good friend is an NP. She does very well, 150k plus a year, and all she does is close patients after surgery, and then follow them. Most NP's do very well, and a lot less debt.
Yeah, there are other reasons. Some people want to make a difference. Some want to cure, or fix, problems. Your doctor-bashing is misanthropy in disguise... If you're wasting their time with an ache, or a cold, or because you're "sad", then, frankly, you're part of the problem.
 

Astro14

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Originally Posted by Dudemanmaximus
I am a D.O. and have been in practice for 20 yrs. I love what I do but I work 30-40% harder for 30-40 %less than when I started. I talked to a 3rd year OB/GYN resident a little while back and she was $487K in the hole and 33 yrs old. The last doc we hired she and her husband were $600K in debt. I did 4 yrs unergrad 4 yrs med school 1 yr internship and 5 yrs residency and was 32 when I got done and not near that much debt. Guys I know that did Engineering or bhsiness where making $75K plus for 10 yrs before I made enough to just scrape buy and several of those guys are retiried or are going to in the next few years - I have at least ten more years before I consider that. The amount of crap and paperwork has increased markedly. Its a tough call but I love what I do and would probably do it again.
Your resident acquaintance is a fool. IF you borrow 100% of your undergrad and medical school, you could end up with that much debt. But it's both stupid and unnecessary. Most doctors graduate with far, far less. Given their earning potential, it's a good investment. E.G. - Surgery resident begins residency with $180,000 in debt at $65,000/year. In six years, they can anticipate a salary of $300,000 - $500,000. Make the minimum payments while a resident, knock the debt out during year one and two of working, and bingo: You're 34 years old, with NO debt, making well into six figures...
 
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Doctors are actually most likely people to default on student loans. In some states, doctors that default on student loans lose their license to practice medicine, sometimes even for life.
 
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Well maybe. My daughters tuition is 22-25 $k/ year + $800/month rent + living expenses etc, usually costs me $40k/ yr. Private schools tuition alone often 50-60K. Many med schools now are 40-60K per year. It is not hard to rack up debt.
 

Astro14

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Originally Posted by Dudemanmaximus
Well maybe. My daughters tuition is 22-25 $k/ year + $800/month rent + living expenses etc, usually costs me $40k/ yr. Private schools tuition alone often 50-60K. Many med schools now are 40-60K per year. It is not hard to rack up debt.
It's not hard to rack up debt. The schools and banks make it so easy. But it is not necessary. Not completely. Private school (college) tuition is $50K these days, plus room and board. All three of my children have, or will, graduate debt-free from college. My oldest, my daughter, is going to medical school. Tuition alone is $60K/year. Plus the cost of living. With financial aid, and support from Dad, she will have a total of $180K in debt for all four years. As a surgeon, she won't have any trouble paying that back. She is no fool when it comes to money, and marvels at the willingness of her peers to rack up unsupportable debt, particularly when they intend to go into fields that won't yield the salary necessary to support that debt.
 
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