Unless your parents are wealthy or you get scholarships then yes, this is fairly typical. Probably half of most med school classes would fall into that category. There's no way I could repay my loans if I was unable to finish any of residency (finishing even just internship and getting an unrestricted license gives you a few, albeit limited/lower-paying, options).
Unless I got a high paying job in finance, but my life would be pretty miserable--I'd rather go teach high school or be a park ranger and just pay 10-15% of my AGI for 20-25 years, then likely be forced to declare bankruptcy when the IRS taxes me on all the forgiven loan amount that I'd never be able to afford.
Didn't realize it was that much, i'm already panicking thinking of my 250k+ debt for optometry school. Not sure if it's normal but I also do feel very vulnerable as I am not working part-time or anything else on the side, and pretty much all-in on school right now. Do you happen to do anything on the side or are you completely focused on your studies? It's difficult since most of my friends are already working, making money, etc..
It seems like this is a common anxiety accross many health professions. I'm not entirely sure how I intend to deal with it, but it seems like graduation/board pass rates are generally pretty high at most schools. I would assume that this leads to readily-available gainful employment after graduation, no?