Medical School Students Graduate with Roughly $3 Billion in Total Debt


Average Medical School Debt

The average medical student graduates with $200,000 in debt. Find more stats about medical school debt in our report.

by Christopher Pratts and Lyss Welding
Edited by Jordan Stewart-Rozema, Ph.D.

Fact-checked by Marley Hall

Published October 13, 2022

Data Summary

  • Each year, thousands of medical school students graduate with roughly $3 billion in total student loan debt.[1]
  • In 2022, the median medical school debt was $200,000.[2]
  • Borrowers with medical school debt may take 20-25 years to repay federal loans in income-driven repayment (IDR) plans.[1] Some doctors may repay student loans in less time.
  • Medical specialty (e.g., surgery, family medicine, radiology, etc.) can influence the average time to pay off medical school debt.[1]
  • But, debt does not influence most medical students’ specialty choice.[2]
  • Medical school debt is highest and most common among Black med school graduates.[1]
  • Medical school debt is higher and more common among low- and middle-income students.[1]

Medical school can cost a quarter of a million dollars or more. Students can rarely afford to pay without taking out student loans.

While doctors can end up making a lot of money, many still spend over a decade in debt. And doctors who come from less wealthy families face the highest debt levels.


This report dives into the typical medical school debt and the average time to pay off medical school debt, plus factors that make a difference in the amount of debt doctors owe.

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