Educational debt and reported career plans among internal medicine residents

Furman S. McDonald, Colin Patrick West, Carol Popkave, Joseph C. Kolars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Physicians often enter the workplace with substantial debt. The relationship between debt and reported career plans among internal medicine residents is unknown. Objective: To determine distributions of educational debt among internal medicine residents and associations of debt with reported career plans. Design: Cross-sectional survey using data from the annual Internal Medicine In-Training Examination Residents Questionnaire completed by U.S. categorical internal medicine residents. Setting: Categorical internal medicine residencies in the United States. Participants: 22 563 residents in their third (final) year of residency, representing 74.1% of all eligible U.S. categorical internal medicine residents from 2003 through 2007. Measurements: Distributions of educational debt were tabulated. Proportions of residents choosing career plans were calculated for various levels of debt. Results: International medical graduates represented 48.7% of the cross section and had considerably less debt than U.S. medical graduates: 53.8% of U.S. medical graduates had debt of $100 000 or greater and 60.2% of international medical graduates had none. U.S. medical graduates with debt of $100 000 to $150 000 were less likely than those with no debt to choose a subspecialty career (57.5% vs. 63.5%). U.S. medical graduates with debt of $50 000 to $99 999 were more likely than those with no debt to choose a hospitalist career (8.5% vs. 6.2%), and this preference increased with increasing debt level (10.0% for those with >$150 000 debt). These associations are more pronounced for U.S. medical graduates than for international medical graduates. Limitation: The study addressed total educational debt, but not when it was incurred, and did not allow inferences related to causality. Conclusion: Educational debt is associated with differences in reported career plans among internal medicine residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-420
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Internal Medicine
Volume149
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 16 2008

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Internal Medicine
Internship and Residency
Educational Measurement
Hospitalists
Workplace
Causality
Cross-Sectional Studies
Physicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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McDonald, F. S., West, C. P., Popkave, C., & Kolars, J. C. (2008). Educational debt and reported career plans among internal medicine residents. Annals of Internal Medicine, 149(6), 416-420.

Educational debt and reported career plans among internal medicine residents. / McDonald, Furman S.; West, Colin Patrick; Popkave, Carol; Kolars, Joseph C.

In: Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 149, No. 6, 16.09.2008, p. 416-420.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McDonald, FS, West, CP, Popkave, C & Kolars, JC 2008, 'Educational debt and reported career plans among internal medicine residents', Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 149, no. 6, pp. 416-420.
McDonald FS, West CP, Popkave C, Kolars JC. Educational debt and reported career plans among internal medicine residents. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2008 Sep 16;149(6):416-420.
McDonald, Furman S. ; West, Colin Patrick ; Popkave, Carol ; Kolars, Joseph C. / Educational debt and reported career plans among internal medicine residents. In: Annals of Internal Medicine. 2008 ; Vol. 149, No. 6. pp. 416-420.
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