In the August study, 1015 students nationwide were surveyed about their concerns and a heavy weight they seemed to be bearing was the increasing debt they were under in order to become educated. Among allopathic and osteopathic students, they could expect to repay between $162,000 and $206,000 upon graduation. The cost was a concern among 45% of respondents, with the amount of information that students were expected to learn coming in second at 22%. And the worries don't end upon graduation. Looking forward, 53% were concerned about their ability to be a good doctor. This is up from 29% in 2007.
Also of concern was the lack of education in certain areas. The need for PCPs is huge, especially with the widening physician gap, but those who plan to go into primary care might not be well-equipped to run their own practice. Students must be able to balance medicine with running a business, and all the legalities that encompasses.
“When it comes to coding, billing, just hospital business, I am completely in the dark about it. I wish my school had more of the business side of it.” ~ Dan Van Riper, Fourth-Year Medical Student (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine)
It's important that students have their concerns addressed and, if possible, the gaps in their training filled appropriately. By preparing them for the career ahead, and making the costs less restrictive, the future of medicine can be better able to cover the needs of an ever-changing population.
|Being a good physician||29%||53%|
|Balancing work and personal life||53%||47%|
|Paying off student loans||17%||30%|
|Facing medical liability lawsuits/insurance premiums||15%||16%|
|Handling administrative tasks||15%||16%|