PracticeLink Magazine

Winter 2018

The career development quarterly for physicians of all specialties, PracticeLink Magazine provides readers with feature articles, compensation stats, helpful job search tips—as well as recruitment ads from organizations across the U.S.

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42 W INTER 2018 features p A shared focus and commitment to the end goal helped Caleb Butts, M.D., and his wife, Tricia, pay off student loans in just a little more than four years. · Photo by McCardell Photography See this issue's physicians in exclusive video interviews at PracticeLink Devising a plan It can feel overwhelming when it's time to repay your medical school loans. But rest assured: Most physicians start their professional careers in the exact same situation. Three-quarters of medical school graduates leave school with a significant amount of debt, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The A AMC's survey shows that in the class of 2016, 76 percent of new medical school graduates began their career with loans to pay back, with the median educational debt level for that year's graduates at $190,000. Thirty-two percent of graduates carry debt from undergraduate school, while 73 percent accumulate debt in medical school. "Despite the high cost of education, it is absolutely possible to pay off [medical school] loans and have a perfectly nice lifestyle," assures Julie Fresne, the A AMC's director of student financial services. "There's strong job security and excellent income potential with the career." If you're searching for the best approach, start by brushing up on the programs available to you. The A AMC's website is a good place to begin, and they also offer counseling at many different medical schools. Your medical school may also have financial experts or counselors on site, or provide referrals to trusted advisors. One thing to keep in mind: The best payback options that may have existed for your mentors or even colleagues not much older than you may actually cost you thousands if used today. "The menu of options is much broader than

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