KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Study Finds School Debt Keeps Some Young Doctors From Specializing

The research suggests that financial concerns may keep some residents from going into medical specialties that don't offer high compensation.

Reuters: Debt May Influence Young Doctors' Careers Plans
Pediatricians-in-training are more likely to plan to go into primary care -- rather than a specialty field -- if they have lots of debt from college and medical school, according to a new study. Researchers also found the average pediatric resident's debt increased 34 percent between 2006 and 2010. That suggests financial considerations may keep young doctors out of medical specialties, they said, especially those fields that aren't known for paying big bucks but still require extra training (Pittman, 1/7).

Medpage Today: Med School Debt May Push Docs To Primary Care
Too much debt accrued during medical school appears to tip pediatric residents toward primary care or hospital employment rather than a subspecialty career, a national survey found. After adjustment for other factors, residents who owed $51,000 or more were about 50 percent more likely to be planning on a career that didn't require fellowship training, Mary Pat Frintner, MSPH, a researcher with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in Elk Grove Village, Ill., and colleagues reported in the February issue of Pediatrics. That could pose a problem for subspecialty care, as debt levels were on the rise (Phend, 1/7).

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