To combat rising student debt, the AAFP has called for expanded funding for federal loan and scholarship programs that target family medicine and primary care. The Academy also supports the deferment of interest and principal payments on medical student loans until after completion of postgraduate training and recommends 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, which offers scholarships or loan repayment as incentives for physicians to enter primary care settings that treat Americans in rural and underserved areas. By addressing medical school debt burdens, the NHSC also helps ensure wider access to medical education opportunities.
The median annual tuition for medical students now exceeds $32,000 at public medical schools and $50,000 at private institutions. The resulting increase in student debt has emerged as a significant barrier to physicians who want to enter the primary care profession.