The Wall Street Journal Health Blog
: "Educational debt is a serious burden for young [and middle-aged] doctors — the median amount owed for both premedical and medical school was $145,000 for those graduating from public med schools in 2008 and a whopping $180,000 for private school grads. And that has consequences, affecting the type of person who can afford to go into medicine [60% of med students come from families in the top 20% of households by income] and the specialties they choose." There has been considerable discussion about how to address this issue. A recent opinion article "has a different approach to the problem." It proposed "that med schools cut out tuition and fees during medical education, then collect a fixed percentage of income for 10 years after a physician has finished training. … Public med school attendees would pay 5% of their gross income per year for a decade, and those who went to private schools would pay 10%. Docs would be paying out of their post-tax income unless tax policy changed" (Hobson, 7/6).
This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.