I’ve been posting periodically over the last couple of years and am pleased to say that I managed to get accepted to my med school of choice! Now all I have to do is pull off one more loaded semester of undergrad, graduate in May and be ready to start the program come July (after a much deserved vacation first - ie: did my B.S. in 3 years - kinda tired!)
The thing that’s been on my mind is exactly how far in debt I will be when it’s over - yes, somewhere in the 220k range. I’ve done a lot of research and used on-line tools to work up loan & payback analysis with little consolation. I usually don’t qualify for grants or too many scholarships because of my husband’s retirement income, which is o.k. but fixed, and as some of you may know, when you marry later in life, tends to be kept a little more separate, however not in the eyes of donors or the government… anyway, the point is, how do those of you who are starting this path later in life deal with the ramifications of this kind of debt. I’m willing to live on a little and pay back a lot, but I’m looking at Family Practice as my choice which could be concerning. How do you guys view it?
First of all congratulations! What medical school did you get accepted too? PLEASE start a diary and let us know what to watch out for and the excitement you experience.
Now on to your question, I posted something similar a while back (See below thread). In short, if you can live off of 75K a year, you should be able to pay your loans of in around 5 or so years making the avg. 150K of a FP.
Thanks for the thread link, I believe I actually read it a while back and it did help. Clearly it is just going to be a long, expensive road but at the end of it I will have gained a certain knowledge and skill set which is mine forever, and I will hopefully be working with families in ways I can truly believe in. But mostly I’m just wondering how other, slightly older medical students rationalize the financial situation for themselves.
To answer your question, my first choice school was A.T. Still in Mesa because I’ve been watching (and preparing for) their D.O. program here in AZ since they started it a couple years ago and really like their unique approach to teaching medicine. Plus my interest really is in Family Practice, and I enjoy the challenges and rewards of working with under served populations. Since I was fortunate enough to be accepted, I stopped my application process there, but it has been a very intense journey getting to this point (as you well know) and I’m sure it’s only just begun!
Can’t tell you about the cost. However, I can offer a “congratulations”! Thanks for sharing!
Congrats on getting in. There are a couple of suggestions:
- Don’t think about the cost. It is expensive and that is reality.
- If you are 100% sure that you are going into primary care, you can take out primary care loans where the interest rate is very low (2-3%). However, this is not advised for 1st or 2nd year students because if you renig on your promise to do primary care then you are hit with tons of fees, violations, and other not nice things.
- Look into being a National Health Scholar. ( National Health Service Corps If you are accepted to this program your tuition will be paid for, you get a stipend, but you must go into primary care in an underserved part of the country for about 4 years.
- Look for scholarships ( fastweb.com , scholarships.com ) ask your school’s financial aid office, look at professional societies (AMSA, SOMA, etc)
Thanks for the advice - I am trying not to think about the cost… it will all be worth it… it will all be worth it… repeat…
Also, I will look into loans and/or repayment benefits specific to primary care in future years, but I think you’re right about waiting a while to be sure that’s where I want to end up. My next question is, who’s the handsome dude rockin’ out in your profile picture? lol, we must be from about the same generation!