If your son or daughter is expressing interest in some day earning a medical degree, Wall Street Physician, MD says it’s going to be very expensive. Costs are rising and so is the debt medical school graduates find themselves in:
The average medical student now graduates with over $192,000 in student loans, but with the cost of attendance for the most expensive private medical schools approaching $100,000, there are some physicians who are finishing residency with $300,000 or even $400,000 in student loans.
The high cost is not deterring college students from applying to American medical schools. Admission is extremely competitive: 51,680 students applied for a little over 21,000 spots in 2017. Attending dental school isn’t any better; in fact, the debt burden is worse:
Dental school is typically even more expensive than medical school because of the increased laboratory and equipment cost associated with dentistry. The average dental student has a whopping $287,331 in student loan debt at graduation, and it is not uncommon to see some dentists with over $500,000 in student loans, and in at least one extreme case, over $1,000,000 in student loans.
Maybe law is your thing:
The typical law student has around $100,000 in student loan debt. Law school is only three years and is generally less expensive than medical or dental school, but the availability of high-paying law jobs is limited. Unlike in medicine, there is no guarantee of at least a six-figure salary in law. There are many practicing attorneys who make resident-level salaries for their entire careers.
This was assuming you could even get a law job after finishing law school. There was such a massive surplus of law students compared to law jobs, particularly following the Great Recession, that many law schools had more than half of their graduates not directly using their law degree after graduation. This eventually led to a sharp decrease in law school applications and some law schools had to close because not enough of their graduates were getting law jobs.
Wall Street Physician reviews the ins and outs of loan forgiveness programs which can reduce the total owed by indebted students significantly. Looking at the bright side, he says, “being a physician is awesome.”
Anyone who wants to make a fortune would be better off finding another line of work. That’s what my father (a physician) told me and what his father (a businessman) told him. So that much hasn’t changed.