10 Medical Schools Where Students Leave With the Most Debt

USNWR loves its lists, and this one should get the attention of all pre-meds; attending medical school is an extremely expensive experience for many students:


Yes, but I don’t know too many medical doctors that are unemployed and not making a very good living. Do you?

Well, owing a quarter of a million dollars-plus interest compoundng regularly-will definitely inform their successive life choice-as in, because of the relatively low pay, getting new grads to enter primary care residencies is getting to be a tougher and tougher sell. And after residency-yes, the salaries are good, but to carry 250K plus interest on a resident’s salary can be tough.

And I do know doctors who have been laid off, directly as a result of COVID-19, and apparently this isn’t a regional issue. Is that a temporary thing? Like so much COVID related, who knows?



I don’t know about med school loans, but federal student loans are simple interest, and it is not compounded. Helps a little.

In any case, 250K is a lot of money to owe.

Sorry, I just don’t feel bad for medical doctors with the average salary between $200,000 - $500,000, depending on specialty. Most can easily make $7 million over their career and can easily pay their medical school debt in 5 to 7 years.

One (of many reasons) why our healthcare costs are astronomical…

I would worry more about the average debt of a student going to law school. They will have a much more difficult time paying down the average law school debt of 140K and most lawyers make less than 100K a year.

Nobody asked you to “feel bad for medical doctors”. But when that much debt is involved, with UG debt likely for most students, it’s worth thinking about the total costs in time and money in attending medical school.

It is, however, very gracious of you to be concerned about the debt of law school students.

My D and SIL came out if med school with 400k between the 2 of them. @socaldad2002, they wont be making the kind of money you are talking about for MANY years. D is in a 7 year residency and SIL is in fellowship which doesn’t pay more.

The next time you are at the Dr and they are young, please thank them as they are there working for next to nothing.


Drexel used to be 1 in these lists in the past but they have come down (may be they are looking at only med school - some of them in combined program had 500k).

250k in student loan is not the same as 250k mortgage being paid over 30 years. Student loans have onerous payment terms to be paid off in a certain time frame as well as having to pay a percentage of your income when you start making money.

I wonder if it is looking at only medical school debt or total.

Based on my reading of the article, the debt mentioned is for medical school alone.

My D and SIL debt is med school only. IBR $2700 per month.

Medical school is one of the few professions where it almost always makes sense to take on a lot of debt to fund your education. The upside in career earnings is huge…and for many a very enjoyable and worthwhile career choice. In normal times the unemployment rate for medical doctors in less than 1% (0.7%).

The bottom line is they have good paying jobs and can afford the debt.

I was at a resident’s wedding in LA last year where there were a bunch of almost doctors and someone mentioned one person with 500k student loan and what their IBR payments were going to be and how broke they will stay for several years. None of them felt it was worth doing medicine under those conditions.

After deferring starting their career until their mid 30s or later, while their loans are capitalizing and growing. $300K at med school graduation can easily turn into $400K or $500K by the time residency/fellowship is finished.

Also those huge earnings come with 50-90 hour work weeks, night & weekend work shifts or call, and tons of professional liability.

BTW, right now doctors are experiencing sharp decreases in income and some clinics and hospitals are actually furloughing physicians. Those not furloughing physician are reducing salaries, eliminating retirement contributions and requiring physicians to work extra hours without pay.

Being a physician is typically a pretty secure career but right now during the coronavirus pandemic–not so much.

My daughter wants to go into community health care in underserved communities. It will be difficult to pay off $200+K in loans on the salary of new physician working in that kind of clinic environment.

Luckily, for students who are interested in going that route there are loan repayment programs that will make it somewhat less onerous. She’s also looking

Agree… they will have a big shovel to fill in a big hole, but remember, residents are making a teacher’s salary for the next many years, my daughter for instance, 7 years. That means she will be in her mid 30’s before really being able to attack the medical school debt. She will also be in her mid thirties when she can start really investing and saving for the future. I had a sizable IRA/401k at that point. Yes, she will make a lot of money as a surgeon. But she’s giving up her 20’s and 30’s (I know, it’s her choice) but I’m SO grateful to the doctors who choose this. My best friend is a surgical PA… she was furloughed for 7 weeks. The MD’s shared the smaller patient load and all took pay cuts for the rest of the year to make up for the losses.