How Becoming a Doctor Works

By: Carl Bianco, M.D.  | 

Cost of Medical School

I thought medical school was expensive when I attended it. Now it is extremely expensive. The average cost of a year at a private medical school in the 2018-2019 school year was $60,000 (tuition, insurance and fees). The average cost of a year at a public (state-supported) medical school for in-state residents in 2018-2019 was $36,000 and for out-of-state residents it was $60,000 [source: AAMC].

The high cost of medical school has implications that are not obvious at first. Most medical school graduates have large financial debts when they graduate. In 2018, the median educational debt of medical graduates who had to borrow money was $200,000. Some medical students don't borrow money because they enter the military, which pays for medical school in exchange for a time commitment. More than 20 percent of graduates of private medical school have financial debt greater than $300,000 [source: Budd]. As a result, many graduates tend to enter high-paying sub-specialties. This trend has left a need for primary care physicians.