Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 143–145

The impact of educational loan burden on housestaff career decisions

Authors

  • Dale Berg
    • the Department of General Internal MedicineZablocki VA Medical Center
    • Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Department of Ambulatory Care (DB, JCB)Zablocki VA Medical Center
  • James Cerletty
    • the Internal Medicine Residency ProgramZablocki VA Medical Center
  • James C. Byrd
    • the Department of General Internal MedicineZablocki VA Medical Center
    • Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Department of Ambulatory Care (DB, JCB)Zablocki VA Medical Center
Brief Reports

DOI: 10.1007/BF02599760

Cite this article as:
Berg, D., Cerletty, J. & Byrd, J.C. J Gen Intern Med (1993) 8: 143. doi:10.1007/BF02599760

Abstract

The past decade has seen declining interest in primary care medicine and a dramatic increase in the cost of a medical degree. Seventy-nine percent of housestaff in an internal medicine residency program responded to a survey to determine whether medical school loan burden was related to career choice in a primary care field or specialty area. Overall mean indebtedness was $45,185 (median $40,000). Thirty-eight percent of residents with debts < $40,000 chose a career in primary care, compared with 10% with debts > $40,000 (chi square =9.44, p<0.01). Fourteen percent of those with debts <40,000 and 59% with debts > $40,000 stated that financial conditions had a moderate to marked impact on their career decision making. Excessive loan burden has a significant influence on residents’ career decision making and a negative influence on choosing careers in primary care internal medicine.

Key words

career choiceeducational debtloan burdendecision making
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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 1993