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A patient is monitored in an examination room inside the Clinical Decision Unit at Kaiser Permanente’s Capitol Hill Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
The organization also reported that since 2010, 70 rural hospitals have closed.
Still, research shows that debt burden is a factor that persuades medical students to go into more lucrative specialties, where they can earn a higher salary. Specialties like orthopedics and plastic surgery can earn more than two-times the annual salary of a pediatrician, according to a survey by Medscape.
The Association of American Medical Colleges finds 75 percent of medical students in the class of 2017 carry debt, and those who have debt carry a median loan of $192,000.
However, Rosenthal said that while a six figure loan debt might seem scary to a young doctor, it can be paid off.
“What the research shows, what people say, is that actually doctors pay off their loans quite easily even if they are in the $200,000 range.”
Rosenthal says she would have preferred a program would have mirrored what’s currently offered at NYU Law School that’s been in place for more than 50 years.
“There’s a program called the Root Tilden program which says to kids who want to go into public interest law, public service – you don’t pay tuition,” she said.
“It’s interesting because they say ‘hey we know kids change their mind,’ so if you started this program and you decide you want to do corporate law [then] fine – it’s your moral obligation to pay us back,” she added.
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