Zonia S, Stommel M, Tomaszewski D. Reasons for student debt during medical education: a Michigan study. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2002;102(12):669–675. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2002.102.12.669.
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The authors address the need for a better understanding of the reasons for greater indebtedness among today's osteopathic medical students. In May 2000, a survey was mailed to all 219 osteopathic interns at participating institutions in Michigan. The self-administered survey contained 19 questions designed to gather basic financial information, demographic characteristics, and subjective perceptions of student debt loads from participating interns. One hundred seventy completed surveys were returned, for a response rate of 78%. The authors attempted to focus on demographic predictors of debt and found that although there is no indication that such predictors have a significant effect on a student's total debt load, financial support from the student's family remains the single most important factor in predicting low levels of student debt. The authors suggest that the higher debt rate of students entering specialty fields may reflect the fact that students incur these debts with the knowledge that those debts will be more easily repaid once the student has begun to practice medicine.
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