Each year, medical students incur more than $166,750 in medical school debt, according to the AAMC. Despite the organization’s conclusion that medical student debt is not a determining factor in choosing a medical specialty, the cost of education is a major concern for the future of health care. Medical students and physicians across the US have made extensive time commitments during their 20s to mastering the foundations of medicine and completing a residency. New physicians today face an exorbitant amount of debt that takes anywhere from 10 to 30 years to repay. We must continue to attract the brightest and smartest students into medicine without deterring them by cost. All Americans and the newly insured 32 million US citizens are counting on my generation to become the future of medicine. We cannot afford to let a price tag deter us from this responsibility.
When a friend and I created our medical school’s first student state lobby day, the solution proposed by many legislators was to find a side job or take out more student loans. As any physician would know, medical students already work and study for more than 70 hours a week, which does not allow for earning a substantial side income.
I propose a unique business model, “Invest in a Medical Student’s Tuition Program,” (IMSTP) to help mitigate student loan debt. I began working on this idea three years ago, after I presented it to the AAMC’s Organization of Student Representatives. My goal is to create a new venture that would eliminate one of the two financial problems facing students: cost of tuition and interest rates. Because the cost of tuition is set by the university, I decided to tackle the 6.8 percent interest rate set by federal government Direct Loans.