Student Debt Rising Amongst New Physicians
Newly-released dataÂ indicate that student debt is risingÂ amongstÂ new physicians in Canada. In 2010, 23 percent of medical residentsÂ reported havingÂ more thanÂ $120,000 in education-related debt upon completion of their residency training (as compared with justÂ 17 percent in 2007).
(Note: across Canada, average tuition fees for medical students amount to just over $10,000 a year.)
This appears to have important implications for Canada’s health care system.Â Almost one-quarter of residents report that they plan toÂ “select a specialty with a higher earning potential and 17% plan toÂ select a short residency program to beginÂ paying off their debts sooner.”Â What’s more,Â four percent of residents report “planning to practice in the U.S. to pay off their medical education debt.”
Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant. He has a PhD in public policy.