Cost of Medical School

11 05 2015

Many people dream of becoming a doctor, but only a small percentage actually move down this path.

Those who are interested in this profession must answer a variety of questions, including but not limited to:

  • What type of doctor do I want to be?
  • How long will it take me to complete school?
  • What is the process of applying to medical school?
  • What is the average cost of attending medical school?
  • How long does it take, on average, for a doctor to pay back school loans?
  • What is the average doctor salary and career earnings?

While some people know the answers to each and every question, others are unsure of what the future holds and how they will be impacted if they continue to move forward with this career path.

For the sake of this article, we are going to focus on the financial side of becoming a doctor. This includes everything from the cost of medical school to how to secure financing for tuition to average salaries and career earnings.


Your Time in School and Training

To become a physician in the United States, you are required to complete many educational requirements.

As you get started, you must receive a four year degree from a college or university, typically in the area of science.

From there, you will move onto medical school. Known as an undergraduate medical education, this entails four years of education at an institution accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). Upon completion, a student will earn a doctor of medicine degree.

Once medical school is complete, you will complete a residency program that lasts between three and seven years. From there, a fellowship is completed. This additional training is not required, but is for doctors who want to become highly specialized in a particular field.

As this is a lot of schooling, the cost of obtaining a medicine degree can quickly add up.


What is the Cost of Medical School?



Just the same as an undergraduate education, the cost of medical school differs from one institution to the next.

The Association of American Medical Colleges tracks the average cost of medical school, noting that during the 2013-14 school year, the annual tuition and fees at public medical schools averaged:

  • $31,783 for state residents
  • $55,294 for non-residents

Students who attend a private medical school find tuition and fees much higher, reaching:

  • $52,093 for state residents
  • $50,476 for non-residents

Use these approximate numbers, the average cost of medical school, over a four-year period, ranges from $127,132 on the low end to $221,176 on the high end.


How to Afford Medical School

Even though the cost of medical school can be high, loans, grants, and scholarships are available. Some are merit based, while others are need based.

Most medical students borrow some money to finance their education. The Association of American Medical Colleges noted that the “median debt for graduating students was $175,000.

There are many types of federal loans to consider, including the Stafford loan, Perkins loan, and PLUS loan.

Scholarships and grants are also available, both from the government as well as the individual institution. Any free money you receive will reduce the amount of debt you take on.


Average Salary

There is no denying the fact that medical school is expensive. As noted above, most students leave school with nearly $200,000 in debt.

Here is the good thing: doctors have a high earning potential, meaning that loans can be paid back sooner rather than later. From there, once the debt is gone, it is easy to realize that all of the schooling was worthwhile.

The Association of American Medical Colleges notes that the average salary for a family medicine doctor in 2013 was $161,000.

Forbes outlined the best and worst paying jobs for doctors, with orthopedic surgeons at the top of the list, thanks to an average salary of $519,000.


Final Word

The cost of medical school is extremely high. Furthermore, it takes many years for a student to complete the necessary education to become a doctor.

When everything is said and done, doctors are among the highest paid professionals. For many, this is enough to cancel out the cost of their education.



Article provided by:

Mr Sasha Boyd

Outreach Director [en línea] Seminole, FL (USA):, 11 de mayo de 2015 Disponible en Internet:




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