About Dr. Jake Groenendyk
Dr. He attended Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, and graduated with a B.A. in Biology, followed https://getbadcreditloan.com/payday-loans-ar/benton/ by an M.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. He is now an internal medicine resident at Northwestern University, and in his free time enjoys reading, running, and cycling.
If you are considering attending medical school in the United States, you’ve almost certainly wondered how you are going to pay for it. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, 76 percent of graduating medical students took out loans in 2017; for those who did, the median level of debt reached $192,000. To put this sum in perspective, it is more than the average American worker makes in four years. With $192,000, you could buy 29,538 chicken burritos at Chipotle or purchase both a Tesla Model S and a Model X, and ride my favorite mode of transportation, a Lime Scooter, for 157 days straight.
Perhaps even more worrisome than this high median debt level is the fact that, according to the AAMC, 16 percent of medical students graduating in 2018 had over $300,000 in educational debt. Concerns about this high debt level cause many potential medical students to be hesitant about pursuing medicine in the first place.
Others anticipate their future doctor’s salary and spend as they please. While the high student loan debt faced by many graduates shouldn’t deter most applicants from pursuing a career in medicine, it is an important factor to consider before entering medical school. In this post, my goal is to provide you with the basic information you need. As you read, keep in mind that I am not a trained financial advisor and recommend that you do your own research before making financial decisions.
Let’s start talking money in medicine.
Most of us enter medicine for good reasons. We desire to contribute to our communities, make the world a better place and stimulate our intellects in the process. We often make talk of money taboo, perhaps out of a desire to perpetuate the image of the beneficent physician solely dedicated to her patients’ health. However, the dollars that move in and out of taxpayer pockets, hospital coffers and insurance companies’ accounts are real, and they make a tangible difference in the world around us. Pretending that money doesn’t exist won’t change that.
The Financial Breakdown:
Let’s begin with the finances of the pre-med period; costs can be a burden even before medical school acceptance. First, expect to spend $315 to take the MCAT. If you wish to participate in formal test preparation, you may fork over an additional several hundred dollars or more, depending on the nature of the course. Submitting a primary application, the first step in the process of applying to medical school, costs $170 for the first school and $40 for each additional school.
After this first round of applications, students can expect to pay a secondary application fee to supply individual medical schools with unique application materials required for that particular school; these can run up to $200 per school. Typically, students foot the bill for travel to schools at which they interview. With the average student applying to 16 medical schools, application costs can easily run up to several thousand dollars.
One bright side of all this is that the AAMC, and many medical schools, have programs designed to reduce the burden on students from low-income backgrounds. The AAMC will reduce the MCAT registration fee from $315 to $125, provide up to $800 for evaluation if a student requires MCAT accommodations (such as extended test time or an adaptive mouse), provide free access to the Medical School Admissions Requirements website, and waive primary application fees for up to 20 schools. Many schools will also waive secondary application costs for students with demonstrated financial need.