The Economics of Med School Debt

From a Reddit thread about med school and student loans:

“400k for a medical education is a crippling, unconscionable amount of debt. That amount will capitalize upon graduation, and then you’ll hardly be able to touch the loan during residency. Here’s four years of $100k/year expenses with 5.4% interest. Holy shit.


(it’s slightly off because the interest does not capitalize until graduation but too lazy to do the calculation otherwise.)

What does that mean? So you will be left with 440-450k of principle right at graduation. Now here’s what happens after 3 years of residency:

Double holy shit.


So you’ve got $537k in debt after residency! You have no house. You’ve got no savings for your kids to go to college. You have no retirement funds. Each kid will probably need at least $100k for college, and you need roughly $1.5M to retire comfortably. Now you get to start over from scratch with a massive debt burden in your mid to late 30’s. Congrats – doctor.

To pay off $537k at 5.4%, you would have to pay $5000 per month for over 12 years! Think about that – writing a check for $5000, every month, for 12 years.”

Full discussion and graphs from





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