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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Study: Medical school debt may prompt hard choices for primary care physicians

Most young doctors who choose a career in primary care will be able to pay off medical school debt of about $160,000, the median among medical school graduates in 2011, within 10 years even as they raise a family in a high-cost urban area. But, a study by researchers at Boston University and the Association of American Medical Colleges found that those with more debt may have to make careful choices to manage their finances.

Primary care physicians with debt of $200,000 or more may have to sign up for an extended repayment program, secure a federal loan, or live in a lower-cost region, the researchers found. While some say that those aren’t bad options and that opportunities for primary care physicians are growing, the study provides “a sobering picture,” said Dr. John Wiecha, senior author and assistant dean for academic affairs at BU School of Medicine.

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