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Fewer Students Hold Debt as Cost to Attend Medical School Rises

October 15, 2020

The Association of American Medical Colleges released a report Wednesday that details the state of medical education debt for recent graduates and the costs of attending medical school.

Last year, 73 percent of medical school graduates reported having education debt from both medical and premedical education, down from 86 percent in 2012, the report shows. The median medical education debt was $200,000.

Dozens of medical colleges have opened since 2012, and 16 of them have had a graduating class, the report states. The median cost to attend a four-year medical school has grown to $272,000, up from $243,000 in 2012. Dollar figures are adjusted for inflation.

“Medical education has become increasingly expensive, and many students will face the challenges of assuming significant debt during their education,” David Skorton, AAMC president and CEO, said in a press release. “Although the prospect of debt at this level is daunting and may deter some students and families from even considering a medical education, the AAMC will continue to work with students to address this concern with clear information and guidance.”

Debt varies by race and ethnicity, the report shows. More than 90 percent of non-Hispanic Black medical school graduates have education debt. They also have the highest median debt amount of any racial or ethnic group at $230,000. Among Hispanic medical school graduates, 84 percent carry debt, with the median amount at $190,000. Three-quarters of white medical school graduates have education debt, with a median amount of $200,000.

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