Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Physicians Unlikely to Ever Pay Off Student Loans
UK physicians can leave medical school up to £80,000 ($120,000) in debt (in the U.S. this is well over $160,000), an amount they may never pay off under the terms of their 30-year loan, according to a new analysis published today in BMJ Open. The investigators also found a wage gap that means women repay more when the debt is low, but less when the amount is high.
Student loan payments, under a program introduced in 2012, are scaled to income (9% of income above £21,000), and the balance is forgiven 30 years after graduation. This describes loans from the Student Loan Company, which accounts for 83% of all medical loans in the United Kingdom.
$1 million mistake: Becoming a doctor
That lost decade of work costs a cool half-million dollars, if you assume this individual could have earned just $50,000 annually, and the typical medical school candidate is smart and successful enough to earn considerably more. Add in the time and cost it takes to pay off medical school debt and a dissatisfied physician may well consider pursuing medicine a $1 million mistake.