Blizzard18

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Ok, I got into medical school a little while back at Univ of TN and have been looking into paying for it. My family can't contribute at all so that is a bust. I have always been elligible for the max financial aid for undergraduate so i ended up coming out on the positive end which is nice. But even getting the maximum federal unsubsidized loans (~41,000 per year), that falls short of the cost of attendance for UT (~66,000 per year). I will be living with my gf so that will cut some cost and I know that the COA is an overestimate anyways, but can someone please tell me how else is the best way to pay for med school. I know there are the gradplus loans but I don't know what the max is on those and how easy it is to get them. Also I am not aware of the other options available. Also, at this point in time the military and rural forgiveness is not an option I am considering. Thanks for any advice for information!
 

Gator7

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Grad Plus will cover the difference and they are really easy to get. I'm sure the financial aid office of your medical school will contact you or have a meeting to go over all of the financial aid options. You will also have the private loan option. I don't know much about them, but the consensus seems to be to avoid at all costs.
 

JJMrK

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Most people at my school use gradplus to cover the difference. They are just as easy to get as the federal unsubsidized, you just pay more in interest. You won't have any problem getting enough loan money to live on.
 
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mvenus929

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Your financial aid package may look rather different than you expect. The COA at my school is $70k, but up until fourth year, I didn't have to take even the maximum allotted to me for unsubsidized loans.
 

RadixLuminogen

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When will people learn not to do things they can't afford? When America's higher education bubble bursts?
 

prolixity29

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When will people learn not to do things they can't afford? When America's higher education bubble bursts?
What makes you think the higher education bubble will burst? For better or worse, people will for the foreseable future always look to America for guidance in higher education.
 

mcloaf

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When will people learn not to do things they can't afford? When America's higher education bubble bursts?
Are you seriously saying that people shouldn't attend med school if they can't afford to pay out of pocket?
 
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Blizzard18

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I hadn't looked at all the responses recently but to Mr. Radix Luminogen, you should make sure you know all the facts before you make such a bold statement. Almost no one can afford to pay for med school out of pocket (if anyone at all), we all require assistance of some sort. As for me, I am the first in my family to go to college and both of my parents work in a car factory back home in my small, poor town that has 1 redlight and no wal-mart. I've hustled and bustled to get where I am today and it has made me a stronger person because of it and a damn-good future doctor. I've overcome one of the greatest obstacles, my background that consists of lack of education and financial stability. I've excelled at my university as the top student in my chemistry department and actually made money off of undergraduate due to scholarships. So yes, I cannot afford med school up front, but neither can my buddy whom is going also and his dad is a doctor and his mother a professor. Hate all you want, it has no effect on my past, present, or future.
To everyone else, thanks for backing me up on such an idiotic post. You guys rock!
 

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This used to be true a decade ago, but is not always this case anymore. Interest rates have been very low in recent years.
You should investigate to see if you can get private loans at a lower rate than GradPlus with or without a cosigner. 6.8% is very high these days.
You need to be very careful with private loans. Most do not allow deferral during residency, cannot be forgiven through service (10 years at a nonprofit etc), and are not forgiven in cases of death or disability. 100k of private loans can make paying the bills during residency hell.
 
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You need to be very careful with private loans. Most do not allow deferral during residency, cannot be forgiven through service (10 years at a nonprofit etc), and are not forgiven in cases of death or disability. 100k of private loans can make paying the bills during residency hell.
This times 1000

Most financial aid offices will make sure you know this. I have never heard a finaid officer recommend private loans over federal.
 

darkjedi

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This used to be true a decade ago, but is not always this case anymore. Interest rates have been very low in recent years.
You should investigate to see if you can get private loans at a lower rate than GradPlus with or without a cosigner. 6.8% is very high these days.
Private loans tend to have very unfavorable terms as compared to federal loans. Even though the interest rates may be lower on private loans, federal loans are almost always the better option. Federal payments can be paid by through IBR, which restricts loan payments to a certain percentage of your salary, which is great during residency. Additionally, after 10 years of working in a hopsital, you can get the rest of your debt forgiven.
 
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RadixLuminogen

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What makes you think the higher education bubble will burst? For better or worse, people will for the foreseable future always look to America for guidance in higher education.
Haha, "always look to America". Typical American arrogance will not get you very far, only far in debt and mediocrity. If you actually visit other countries you see how much cleaner, friendlier and more efficient things are usually. Public schools are also at higher levels with America ranking at around 21st in the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_Index

Universities are slowly losing their financial value as many courses are even given out for free online such as at Harvard https://www.edx.org/ - and MIT among others.

Are you seriously saying that people shouldn't attend med school if they can't afford to pay out of pocket?
Should you buy a mansion if you can't afford to pay out of pocket?

I think this is the root of the problem with low IQ Americans. This is why the banks rule you and make financial slaves out of you. Whether it be buying a house (mortgage), credit cards (paying minimum payments and then extremely high interest rates), car (loan) or education (student loans).

The high IQ Americans understand returns on investments, interest rates, and just the general bigger financial picture. That is why there is a huge wealth disparity in this country.

But sure, blame me, the messenger for telling you the real deal.

As an addendum, if you feel that the return on investment will be worth it and you can predict the economic/healthcare future of this country in ~8 years then by all means stick with it. Personally, I believe that healthcare will become less and less profitable, the education bubble will burst sooner or later and this country will become more like all the rest of the countries in the world with partially subsidized medical schooling but lower wages because of it. So in essence, more governmental interventionism.
 
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circulus vitios

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Should you buy a mansion if you can't afford to pay out of pocket?

I think this is the root of the problem with low IQ Americans. This is why the banks rule you and make financial slaves out of you. Whether it be buying a house (mortgage), credit cards (paying minimum payments and then extremely high interest rates), car (loan) or education (student loans).

The high IQ Americans understand returns on investments, interest rates, and just the general bigger financial picture. That is why there is a huge wealth disparity in this country.

But sure, blame me, the messenger for telling you the real deal.
I know you're going for the whole idiot European master race ****-stirrer angle, but in its simplest terms it's a $200-300k investment to make $200k+ for the rest of your life.
 

RadixLuminogen

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I know you're going for the whole idiot European master race ****-stirrer angle, but in its simplest terms it's a $200-300k investment to make $200k+ for the rest of your life.
Dude the general IQ of Europeans, East Asians and even Canadians is higher than Americans. There is no single "master race", just the fact that the average American isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. If you want I can show you a world IQ map.

Inflation is overshadowing physician reimbursements and reimbursements aren't going up but down so its a double whammy. That $200k+ in 10, 20 years will be worth 15%-30% less. Also good luck paying for your kids future education. In the end, financially, things balance out almost Europe vs. America. Look long term my friend.
 

Aerus

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Dude the general IQ of Europeans, East Asians and even Canadians is higher than Americans. There is no single "master race", just the fact that the average American isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. If you want I can show you a world IQ map.

Inflation is overshadowing physician reimbursements and reimbursements aren't going up but down so its a double whammy. That $200k+ in 10, 20 years will be worth 15%-30% less. Also good luck paying for your kids future education. In the end, financially, things balance out almost Europe vs. America. Look long term my friend.
In general, Americans aren't the best test takers because our education isn't as test taking orientated as some other countries I know (cough Japan and some European countries).

I don't know what you're talking about, but 15% less of 200k+ (keep in mind that for many, this can go up to 300k+) is still a whole lot and the loans and interest that you have to put up with is nothing in comparison to a six figure salary for the rest of your life. Have you ever even tried getting a well paying job without higher education? Not as easy as it used to be. I'm assuming you're one of the low IQ test takers?
 
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Dude the general IQ of Europeans, East Asians and even Canadians is higher than Americans. There is no single "master race", just the fact that the average American isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. If you want I can show you a world IQ map.

Inflation is overshadowing physician reimbursements and reimbursements aren't going up but down so its a double whammy. That $200k+ in 10, 20 years will be worth 15%-30% less. Also good luck paying for your kids future education. In the end, financially, things balance out almost Europe vs. America. Look long term my friend.
Are you familiar with the austerity measures going on throughout Europe....?
 

RadixLuminogen

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Are you familiar with the austerity measures going on throughout Europe....?
Somewhat, but now Eastern Europe is rising faster than Western Europe. Poland for example was the only country in the European Union not to suffer a recession. I don't agree with a lot of the economic policies of Western and Northern Europe with their high rates of welfare, taxation and governmental interventionism but they are on the most part more homogeneous societies so this seems to work better. There was a world financial report that showed more homogeneous societies do better in general economically and happiness wise because most people around you share the same interests and can work better together.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/16/a-revealing-map-of-the-worlds-most-and-least-ethnically-diverse-countries/
• Diversity correlates with latitude and low GDP per capita.
• Strong democracy correlates with ethnic homogeneity
 

mcloaf

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Should you buy a mansion if you can't afford to pay out of pocket?
It must be my low American IQ that makes me think finding equivalence in using loans to obtain a medical degree and using loans to buy a mansion is laughably ridiculous.
 

RadixLuminogen

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It must be my low American IQ that makes me think finding equivalence in using loans to obtain a medical degree and using loans to buy a mansion is laughably ridiculous.
A mansion is an investment just like an elite M.D. degree. Both are assets but one is physical and the other a personal investment. One can be rented out and/or be transferred to your children while the other dies with you and if you do not work then it is useless. Just some food for thought and yea they aren't equivalent but my take home point is that people should only buy things they can afford. Unless of course you want to not really own it until your loans are paid off. Which really you are making money for the banks.
 

Chipster.

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Well it's settled for me. In the face of this undeniable logic I've decided to withdraw my acceptances and not pursue my lifelong dream. I really wish you had told me this before going to undergrad too, Radix. I could be living the dream right now if I hadn't wasted my time! If only my IQ wasn't so low...
 
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A mansion is an investment just like an elite M.D. degree. Both are assets but one is physical and the other a personal investment. One can be rented out and/or be transferred to your children while the other dies with you and if you do not work then it is useless. Just some food for thought and yea they aren't equivalent but my take home point is that people should only buy things they can afford. Unless of course you want to not really own it until your loans are paid off. Which really you are making money for the banks.
You're looking at this from a purely financial view. A lot of people that get into med school want to make a lot of money, but they also want to be doctors. Disregarding even with the loans medicine is probably a better investment than other careers available to most med students in terms of a nice balance between security and potential upside.
 

touchpause13

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In general I follow the rule of not buying anything I can't pay for in cash. However. Med school is not a purchase in the true sense of the word. It's an investment. And as long as you graduate you are damn near guaranteed to get an excellent return on it. Think about it, put down 200k (over the course of 4 years), and you are guaranteed to make that back within 15 years, at which point it pays for itself and you are making money off of it.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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Dude the general IQ of Europeans, East Asians and even Canadians is higher than Americans. There is no single "master race", just the fact that the average American isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. If you want I can show you a world IQ map.

Inflation is overshadowing physician reimbursements and reimbursements aren't going up but down so its a double whammy. That $200k+ in 10, 20 years will be worth 15%-30% less. Also good luck paying for your kids future education. In the end, financially, things balance out almost Europe vs. America. Look long term my friend.
This is wrong. Physician's pay has always kept up with inflation. Take a look at page #3 of this study http://www.turner-white.com/pdf/hp_jan00_phycomp1998.pdf These numbers are provided by MGMA. Compare them with MGMA report of recent years (http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/2010-mgma-physician-compensation-survey.817247/ for 2010) and you'll find that reimbursements have increased, in some cases, at a rate higher than that of inflation. For example, the median compensation for Anesthesiologists in 1998 was $250200 (or $334709 in 2010 dollar). However, in 2010, according to the same source, the median compensation was $423467, a 26% increase after adjusting to inflation.

Use this inflation calculator to help you http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl
 

NickNaylor

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In general I follow the rule of not buying anything I can't pay for in cash. However. Med school is not a purchase in the true sense of the word. It's an investment. And as long as you graduate you are damn near guaranteed to get an excellent return on it. Think about it, put down 200k (over the course of 4 years), and you are guaranteed to make that back within 15 years, at which point it pays for itself and you are making money off of it.
You're definitely right, but people asking this question are typically concerned about medicine in relation to other potential careers. The primary advantage of medicine is that barring in specific interest in working with poor/uninsured patients, the floor salaries for most specialties are excellent (compared to the American median) and job security pretty outstanding. You have a wide flexibility with respect to where you can work and the environment in which you work. There are trade-offs, though: the hours for most specialties suck, even as an attending compared to a "typical" job, and the ceiling as a clinician isn't infinite (versus, say, business; not to say that an infinite salary should be expected or common, but it's possible). You sink a lot of time into your training that is both intense and expensive - time which could've been used for making money, not going into debt, and/or however you want (i.e., not slaving away in the hospital or holed up at home/in the library memorizing a bunch of boring information).

You will have no problem paying off your loans as a physician. In fact, by law you essentially must pay back those loans. The real question is whether you're comfortable the pros/cons of being a clinician as a career. Most clinicians will never become don't-ever-have-to-worry-about-money wealthy, though you will likely have a solidly middle-/upper-middle class lifestyle. Compared to other opportunities for college-trained kiddos, this is a pretty nice situation to be in, but there will always be people who complain.
 
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Temerit

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I don't think there's much evidence to support the view that Eastern Europe has superior social and economic conditions than Western/Northern Europe currently, aside from specific counterexamples like Spain.
 
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RadixLuminogen

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This is wrong. Physician's pay has always kept up with inflation. Take a look at page #3 of this study http://www.turner-white.com/pdf/hp_jan00_phycomp1998.pdf These numbers are provided by MGMA. Compare them with MGMA report of recent years (http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/2010-mgma-physician-compensation-survey.817247/ for 2010) and you'll find that reimbursements have increased, in some cases, at a rate higher than that of inflation. For example, the median compensation for Anesthesiologists in 1998 was $250200 (or $334709 in 2010 dollar). However, in 2010, according to the same source, the median compensation was $423467, a 26% increase after adjusting to inflation.

Use this inflation calculator to help you http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl
True it has kept up in recent decades however physicians are now on the cutting board for reimbursement. Especially specialists. That, coupled with the expansion of medicaid and just a general slow down of the American economy might make you want to second guess your career choice. By the way, I'm sure most of you saw this chart right:
 

RadixLuminogen

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Anyone who thinks Eastern Europe is in a better position or set of conditions than Western/Northern Europe is delusional and should not be paid much attention to.
Except I was just there and the all glass airports, crisp highways with 85 MPH speed limits, wind power generators, low taxes, low crime rates and free kindergarten-university education/health care for all citizens says otherwise.

http://images50.fotosik.pl/9/8aa9a4f7c9ec67cd.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wind_farm_near_Lisewo,_Poland_2.jpg

The only thing that America has over Eastern Europe is the highest rate of incarceration in the world, highest defense spending, and yes a better healthcare system CURRENTLY. Because it is more free market but obummercare will ruin that.
 
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Temerit

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Glad to hear things are well in Poland. I don't think it's very representative of Eastern Europe as a whole though.

This is all beside the point, just like with a house, taking out a loan to invest in a medical education (which will produce ample financial returns to pay back the loans in a relatively short period of time) is perfectly rational, especially if one has a passion for the life and work of a physician.
 
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RadixLuminogen

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Glad to hear things are well in Poland. I don't think it's very representative of Eastern Europe as a whole though.

This is all beside the point, just like with a house, taking out a loan to invest in a medical education (which will produce ample financial returns to pay back the loans in a relatively short period of time) is perfectly rational, especially if one has a passion for the life and work of a physician.
I agree, I'm just telling people to be careful. This financial situation for students has never been experienced before, ever. So be informed and make your decisions wisely.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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True it has kept up in recent decades however physicians are now on the cutting board for reimbursement. Especially specialists. That, coupled with the expansion of medicaid and just a general slow down of the American economy might make you want to second guess your career choice. By the way, I'm sure most of you saw this chart right:
Well, I presented you with FACTS and now you are responding with speculations and opinions. I can't argue opinions and anecdotes, but if you have hard facts that show the decline of physician's pay, then please present them to me.
 

RadixLuminogen

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No, the American residency slots would be filled with foreign-trained medical school graduates. High-IQ graduates from Europe, apparently.
Yeah the ones with no medical school debt because over there its fully subsidized in most nations.
 

Chipster.

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Yeah the ones with no medical school debt because over there its fully subsidized in most nations.
But why would someone from Europe want to come to such a horrible country like America? I was holding on to your every word before this but now I'm starting to get confused, Radix!

Edit: a previous post: "I used to be a troll here on the SDN forums". Let's call it a day guys!
 
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RadixLuminogen

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Well, I presented you with FACTS and now you are responding with speculations and opinions. I can't argue opinions and anecdotes, but if you have hard facts that show the decline of physician's pay, then please present them to me.
Here you go: http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/2014-medicare-physician-fee-schedule-final-rule-summary.pdf (scroll to bottom for reimbursement adjustments and look at column F for combined impact)

Current U.S. inflation rate: 1.2%

So only 5 / 42 physician specialties will see a rise in payments that beat inflation. Every other specialty will lose.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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Here you go: http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/2014-medicare-physician-fee-schedule-final-rule-summary.pdf (scroll to bottom for reimbursement adjustments and look at column F for combined impact)

Current U.S. inflation rate: 1.2%

So only 5 / 42 physician specialties will see a rise in payments that beat inflation. Every other specialty will lose.
I have seen this already, and allow me to say that there's much more to the story than merely looking at the way Medicare allocates its funds. For example, the conversion factor for RVU has decreased by nearly 50% since the 1990's, if you adjust for inflation. However, physicians' income, on average, has kept up with inflation. That's because doctors now are much more efficient that they doctors in the past. They do more procedures in a given period of time. Therefore, looking at raw data can be misleading.

If you read on this site some of the old posts you will come to the same realization. Attendings, residents, med students, and even pre-meds have been predicting the sky to fall ever since SDN was created. For example, anesthesiologist have been predicting a major decline in their reimbursements ever since CRNA's have been given the green light to operate independently. Ironically, the upward trend of anesthesiologists is quite apparent if you follow compensation reports.
 
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Blizzard18

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wow. this got out of hand haha. You guys are way beyond me on this. I'm just a simple country boy trying to better my family and do something I love.