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A weight off my back

Today, on my way into work, I did something momentous, something that marks a turning point in my life. It was a small act, but one that has lifted a huge weight from me.

I put a check in the mail to pay off the last of my student loans. Free at last! And it’s only been 19 years since I graduated from medical school, too!

Thinking about it, my overall debt when I finished medical school was relatively small, around $55,000 or so. True, it did balloon up to around $80,000 during the years when I could not afford to make payments due to the low pay of residency and the small stipend when I was in graduate school while interest accumulated, but by today’s standards, even that’s still nothing. I really can’t figure out how these kids finishing medical school today $100,000 or even $200,000 or more in debt will be able to pay off their loans before they’ve become considerably older than I am now that I’ve written that last check.

At the risk of turning this blog into the poll of the day after having asked people to relate their memories of 9/11 two days ago, I thought I’d take the chance and dip once more into the well. Those of you who are presently medical students (or are married to, engaged with, or living with a medical student), how much debt do you anticipate having when you finish medical school. Those of you who have finished medical school within the last five years (or are married to, engaged with, or living with a a young physician who has), how much debt did you have when you graduated?

More importantly, from the perspective of an old fart like myself who was worried that I’d still be paying off my student loans until I was ready to retire, how will you manage to pay off your debts?

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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