Group Proposes Measures to Curb Medical School Debt


U.S. medical schools need to improve tuition- and fee-setting processes to help students pay their debts, the Association of American Medical Colleges said in a study.

The median indebtedness of medical school graduates has swelled from $20,000 for both private and public schools in 1984, to almost $140,000 and $100,000 for private and public schools, respectively, last year. Income is relatively flat, according to the study by an AAMC working group

To address rising tuition and debt, the AAMC advised that medical schools offer:

▸ Greater predictability about the student costs of a medical education.

▸ Ongoing financial education for students.

▸ More financial aid, with an emphasis on need-based scholarships, loan repayment plans, and forgiveness in exchange for military service or to underserved groups.

▸ Periodic self-reviews of attendance costs.

Schools should also reevaluate their funding of medical education and innovative methods to generate financial support for financial aid programs that would address current health care needs, the AAMC recommended.

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