December 2001

The Impact of Medical School Loans and the Promise of Loan Repayment on Entry Into a Pediatric Academic Career

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences, Memphis.


Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(12):1296-1297. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.12.1296

The decision to choose a career in biomedical bench research, clinical research, epidemiology, or health services research by current medical students and pediatric residents has undergone a decline during the past decade.1 For more than 80% of graduates, the current career choice of individuals finishing a pediatric residency is to directly enter general pediatric practice (ABP). This perceived shift in career choice away from a clinician scientist's career path and into primary care has received extensive comment24 by both pediatricians and physicians in other disciplines. Among the stated reasons for this erosion in interest in a pediatric research career is the burden of medical school and other educational indebtedness that requires the initiation of repayment at the end of residency.5 Debts exceeding $100 000 are not uncommon. For medical students who marry other physicians in training, this debt burden may double.

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