Original Contribution  |   August 2020
Life vs Loans: Does Debt Affect Career Satisfaction in Osteopathic Graduates?
Author Notes
  • From the Departments of Internal Medicine (Dr Richards) and Infectious Diseases (Dr Newman) at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City; the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota (Dr Scheckel); the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale (Student Dr Anderson); and the Division of Community Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona (Dr Poole). Drs Richards and Scheckel share first authorship. 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: Internal funding from Mayo Clinic Department of Internal Medicine, Scottsdale, Arizona, supported the statistical analysis in this study. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Kenneth G. Poole Jr, MD, MBA, Division of Community Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 13400 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85259-5452. Email: poole.kenneth@mayo.edu
     
Article Information
Medical Education
Original Contribution   |   August 2020
Life vs Loans: Does Debt Affect Career Satisfaction in Osteopathic Graduates?
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 2020, Vol. 120, 497-503. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2020.083
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 2020, Vol. 120, 497-503. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2020.083
Abstract

Background: The cost of undergraduate osteopathic medical education continues to grow. It is important to understand how the rising cost of matriculation negatively affects training and career satisfaction of entering students.

Objective: To better understand any association between level of educational debt and satisfaction with osteopathic medical education, career choice, and financial services.

Methods: Responses were analyzed from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine survey of pending medical school graduates from 2007 through 2016 regarding indebtedness and specialty selection.

Results: From 2007 to 2016, the mean educational debt level at graduation rose consistently among osteopathic graduates (from $155,698 to $240,331, respectively). In all years, there was no significant effect of debt quartile on satisfaction with choice of osteopathic medicine as a career. Quartile variable with debt did not show a significant effect on satisfaction with education experience in 2010, 2013, and 2016. Top quartile debt was associated with higher satisfaction with financial service departments in all years.

Conclusion: Although debt has consistently increased for osteopathic medical graduates, it does not affect their satisfaction with either their educational experience or their choice of osteopathic medicine as a career.

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