Medical School Debt May Force Residency Grads out of Subspecialty Training

This struck me as being a little counter-intuitive at first, but it does make sense for those souls who are affected. A small study has found that pediatric residents in training are foregoing additional specialty training after formal residency — and, instead, are heading straight into a primary care practice. The reason? Additional debt incurred during the extra training doesn’t fiscally stack up against the potential for much higher income sooner rather than later, especially if the need for recruitment with fringe perks are applied.

Annual surveys of a sample of pediatric resident graduates indicated a 34% rise in the mean household educational debt, from $104,000 in 2006 to $139,000 in 2010. [...] [T]he biggest independent predictor of heading for a career without fellowship training was being female, and other significant factors were being married to a nonphysician, graduation from a U.S. medical school, and attending a smaller residency program.

These factors certainly explain why the discussion of primary care recruitment, retention, and satisfaction needs to be front and center if the discipline as a whole is able to survive the onsluaght of increased access to care under the ACA. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore this two-ton elephant in the health policy room. | LINK

07. January 2013 by Michael Douglas, MD, MBA
Categories: Knowledge & Medicine, Science & Research | Tags: , , | Comments Off