With the median annual tuition for medical students now exceeding $32,000 at public medical schools and $50,000 at private institutions, rising educational costs and a resulting increase in student debt have emerged as significant barriers for primary care physicians entering the profession.
To meet this challenge, the AAFP has called for expanded funding for federal loan and scholarship programs that target family medicine and primary care. We also support the deferment of interest and principal payments on medical student loans until after completion of postgraduate training. We further recommend that the interest on medical student loans be deductible on federal tax returns.
Separately, the AAFP has continued to support the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), which offers scholarships or loan repayment as incentives for physicians to enter primary care settings that serve Americans in rural and underserved areas. By addressing medical school debt burdens, the NHSC also helps ensure wider access to medical education opportunities.
AAFP Testimony to House Appropriations on AAFP FY2016 Spending Priorities - April 27, 2015(5 page PDF)
AAFP Testimony to Senate Appropriations on AAFP FY2016 Spending Priorities - April 3, 2015(4 page PDF)
Friends of HRSA Letter to Congress on FY2016 Appropriations - March 24, 2015(3 page PDF)
Joint Friends of Indian Health Letter to House Supporting Tax Fairness Act - March 24, 2015(1 page PDF)
NHSC Stakeholders Letter to Congress on FY2016 Appropriations - March 24, 2015(3 page PDF)
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Medical Student Debt