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.
Joint Letter to House and Senate Leaders on the Primary Care Fiscal Cliff - October 28, 2014(7 page PDF)
Testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee on AAFP FY2015 Spending Priorities - April 29, 2014(3 page PDF)
AAFP Letter to Sen. Sanders on Expanding Primary Care Access & Workforce Act - April 8, 2014(1 page PDF)
HSC Stakeholders Joint Letter to Congress on Reauthorization - April 4, 2014(3 page PDF)
Friends of HRSA Joint Letter to Congress on 2015 Appropriations - March 26, 2014(4 page PDF)
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Medical Student Debt