Student loan forgiveness programs driving physicians to primary care

Graduating osteopathic physicians are increasingly planning to practice in primary care, a trend researchers say shows that loan forgiveness incentives are influencing new doctors' choice of specialty, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

A 2016 survey of graduating osteopathic medical students showed 33 percent intended to work in primary care. That represents an 18 percent increase from 2007, when only 28 percent of osteopathic medical students indicated a future career in primary care.

During that same time period, medical schools' tuition increased at a rate more than double that of national inflation, and the average medical education debt load for osteopathic physicians went up 54 percent, with the mean physician indebtedness at $240,331 in 2016.

Go to top