One Day Away from the Hospital…

And I have been on hold with my loan processor for over 30 minutes. Medical school has become such a financial sacrifice, I can hardly believe anyone is willing to apply. With over $200,000 of loans hanging over my head through the next three years of residency, and with the new laws which no longer allow us to defer our loans, I have been jumping through hoops with Sallie Mae for the last 2 years. If I totaled my phone time with this company, it has eaten away at 3 weeks of my life – and that is a gross underestimation.

As usual, my day off is spent negotiating loan repayments and trying to prevent myself from drowning in a financial hole over the next 3 years. On a salary of approximately $10 an hour, this is a difficult feat.

And Obama, and the rest of the world, wonder why it is that more medical students are not going into primary care. I felt so pressured by this financial burden that I wasn’t even able to let myself consider it – it would require me to be indebted to the US government, and to continue repaying my loans to them, through the entire next decade of my life.

If we want to have more primary care physicians, and better physicians overall, then the government should decrease the financial burden of medical school and residency. This is the least lucrative career one could hope for in their 20s – and as a result medicine is attracting less qualified people to its ranks.

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