By Leah Pierson
Today, the average medical student graduates with more than $215,000 of debt from medical school alone.
The root cause of this problem — rising medical school tuitions — can and must be addressed.
In real dollars, a medical degree costs 750 percent more today than it did seventy years ago, and more than twice as much as it did in 1992. These rising costs are closely linked to rising debt, which has more than quadrupled since 1978 after accounting for inflation.
Physicians with more debt are more likely to experience to burnout, substance use disorders, and worse mental health. And, as the cost of medical education has risen, the share of medical students hailing from low-income backgrounds has fallen precipitously, compounding inequities in medical education.