Medical School Student Loan Debt Statistics

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)