Medical School Student Loan Debt Statistics

Before going to medical school, students need to complete an undergraduate degree. This means the typical med student lives with 8 years of student loan costs before they graduate – loans that are already accruing interest.

Many students enter medical school with significant student loan debt from their undergraduate degrees.

Medical school student loan statistics

  • The average medical school graduate in the USA pays a total of $273,000 to pay off their student loans (including interest)
  • Compared to the average college graduate, medical school graduates have 7 times as much student loan debt
  • On average, medical school graduates owe $250,990 in student loan debt
  • $202,450 of this is from medical school alone
  • The remaining $48,540 comes from undergraduate degrees and the interest accrued on these loans
  • Before even entering medical school, 43% of students have student loan debt
  • Upon graduating, 73% of medical school graduates have student loan debt
  • For comparison, the average debt from medical school for Canadian graduates is $15,820 (in USD)
  • To apply for medical school in the first place costs an average of $2,800 per application
  • Academic counselors recommend applying to 4 or more schools – at a combined cost of more than $10,000 – to have the best chance of being accepted

Average medical school debt over time

  • The average medical school student loan debt was 15 times higher in 2018 than it was in 1978
  • Since 1978, there has been a 1404% increase in the average student loan debt of medical school students 
  • Adjusted for inflation it was 4 times higher in 2018 than in 1978
  • For each of the last 4 decades, the has seen a smaller percentage increase. However, these increases are still substantial
YearAvg. debtDecade on decade % increaseAvg. debt adjusted for inflation

Percentage of advanced degree holders who believe their degree was worth the cost

Degree type% satisfied
Medical degree58%
Master of science49%
Master of art45%
Master of business42%
Law degree23%

Re-paying medical school debt

  • The average medical doctor ends up paying between $135,000 and $440,000 to completely pay of their student loan
  • Between $135,000 and $254,000 of this is estimated to be interest repayments on the original amount borrowed
  • With a 6.5% interested rate, the balance of a student loan can grow quickly despite borrowers making regular payments
  • To pay off their student loan within 10 years, the average medical school graduate must pay $27,360 per year – monthly payments of $2,280
  • The average medical school graduate in the USA pays a total of $273,000 to pay off their student loans (including interest)