Maliena

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I'm starting medical school in a month, and instead of being excited, I'm really anxious. My biggest worry is loans; my school is 40K per year, which I realize is probably an average cost. I am from a first generation immigrant family, and my parents are unable to work for health reasons. I'm a couple of years out of college, so I've had a decent steady income working in another field. I'm beginning to think that I'm making a mistake, that I should be working and helping them instead going into debt. Of course I'l be able to support them much more if I become a doctor but that's so far away.

I know there are people who attend med school with kids, and they decide to do it anyway. Maybe they are braver...

I love medicine and I worked really hard to get where I am. But I just can't shake off this feeling of uncertainty.

Is anyone else feeling like this? Sometimes it seems that most people going into medicine are from wealthy or at least middle class families.
 

Tori's dad

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I have a wife 2 kids and a dog. No help from the fam. I don't think the majority are from wealthy families, although many may get support. If you are determined there are a thousand ways to save money and make it through med school with the minimum amount of debt. A little research and a little creativity and my family has about $600 dollars each month to play around with, i.e. after housing/utilities/food bills are paid. And that is on a ~1,500 dollar a month budget.

Good luck

P.S. My wife doesn't work to stay home with the baby.
 

burlypie

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I'm in a similar situation -- no parental support, and entered med school post 5 years of income. It's an adjustment. But if you don't do this you will regret it, and worse, maybe even resent your family. And yes. my tuition is ~40K. Fun fun. But when you're done your loans will be less than the cost of a house in many parts of the country. THat's how I justify t :)

I don't know your parents, but most -- especially those from modest backgrounds -- would give their teeth to introduce their son/daughter "the doctor". It's ahrd but you really should concentrate on the future. Even thoug it seems far away it's right around the corner.
 
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Wee Free Woman

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I don't know how I'm going to repay everything either.

There are some programs that can help you out by providing help in repaying loans or some scholarship money. But it usually involves either working in an underserved area, or researching.

I was looking at what my repayment schedule might look like if I tried to pay back my loans over a period of 10 years, and man, it looks like I'll be paying 2000 dollars a month. I'm sure there is a whole lot I do not know about repaying loans, though.
 

Miami_med

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Yeah, I think I'll be paying over $2,000/month. Lots of people have families. Some even have kids. There is always uncertainty. However, if it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. You will be miserable if you give up your future to take a low wage job to support your parents. Help where you can, when you can. Pool resources if you need to. In the end, you'll make the kind of money in residency you'd make if you never went. You can pay the loans of afterward.
 

skypilot

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Instead of getting to anxious about it, look at the picture rationally. You will have $250,000 in debt and an an income of over $150,000.

Many middle class families with an income of $70,000 have debt of over $250,000 due to their morgage. You will be in twice better shape than they are. So as long as you focus on your studies and not your debt, you will be fine.
 

Law2Doc

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skypilot said:
You will be in twice better shape than they are.
Unless you too want a house, in which case you will get a mortgage too on top of your student loan debt. Then you will be in about the same shape as them...
But leverage is the American way. Look at it this way -- if you weren't a good credit risk (by virtue of your degree), no one would loan you this kind of money in the first place. Education isn't cheap, but it is an investment in human capital -- investing in yourself is often the wisest investment you can make (other than Microsoft in the 80s). Just live frugally and do what you can to pay down the debt as quickly as is financially feasible.
 

MD-To Be

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Maliena said:
I'm starting medical school in a month, and instead of being excited, I'm really anxious. My biggest worry is loans; my school is 40K per year, which I realize is probably an average cost. I am from a first generation immigrant family, and my parents are unable to work for health reasons. I'm a couple of years out of college, so I've had a decent steady income working in another field. I'm beginning to think that I'm making a mistake, that I should be working and helping them instead going into debt. Of course I'l be able to support them much more if I become a doctor but that's so far away.

I know there are people who attend med school with kids, and they decide to do it anyway. Maybe they are braver...

I love medicine and I worked really hard to get where I am. But I just can't shake off this feeling of uncertainty.

Is anyone else feeling like this? Sometimes it seems that most people going into medicine are from wealthy or at least middle class families.
What area of medicine are you considering pursuing. If it is in primary care (FP, IM, OB/GYN, Peds, or Psych) then I would encourage you to apply to pursue the NHSC scholarship program to get your school paid for plus a monthy stipend which could be used to help your family. The link is:http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov/join_us/scholarships.cfm
 

Wee Free Woman

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^ I was looking at that, and I don't know how much of a help it will be, since it repays a maximum of 25,000 per year. I mean, that would mean you'll be working quite a few years in the program to pay everything off.
 

vtucci

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The military scholarships pay tuition and give stipends so you are not limited to 25K if you apply before medical school. You will of course be committed for a 1-1 year obligation (i.e., they pay for 4, you serve 4 and that 4 generally starts after residency).

I have a condo, law school loans and med loans (first generation college with blue collar parents) so will come out with about 300K in debt. It is doable. If this is your dream, don't give up on it. There are deferments through residency or reduced payments through residency based on income. Many specialties will have you sitting pretty in a few years after residency.

If you are family practice etc, think National Health Corps Scholarship. I think if you enroll in it before/during school, they have the same payment of tuition etc that the military does. It is only if you decide to join them after you graduate that you get those caps. But someone correct me if I am wrong.
 

Scottish Chap

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Maliena said:
I'm starting medical school in a month, and instead of being excited, I'm really anxious. My biggest worry is loans; my school is 40K per year, which I realize is probably an average cost. I am from a first generation immigrant family, and my parents are unable to work for health reasons. I'm a couple of years out of college, so I've had a decent steady income working in another field. I'm beginning to think that I'm making a mistake, that I should be working and helping them instead going into debt. Of course I'l be able to support them much more if I become a doctor but that's so far away.

I know there are people who attend med school with kids, and they decide to do it anyway. Maybe they are braver...

I love medicine and I worked really hard to get where I am. But I just can't shake off this feeling of uncertainty.

Is anyone else feeling like this? Sometimes it seems that most people going into medicine are from wealthy or at least middle class families.
I, too, am in a similar situation: wife, house, cats, med school, and baby due any day. Both of our families are not wealthy. We never really cared about money and we both left big jobs for me to go to med school. I took a part-time job during the school year and that helped to defray costs. Don't let fear hold you back; take the loans knowing that you will pay it back at the other end. Contrast that to other countries (like the U.K.) where you can essentially only study medicine as a second career if you have independent financial resources or wealthy parents - no such thing as a federal loan to float you during med school.
 
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