Medical Student Loan Forgiveness
WHEREAS, the most commonly cited reason for medical school graduates seeking a specialty beyond primary care is the cost of medical school relative to income; and
WHEREAS, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, the average medical school graduate is $156,000 in debt from medical school alone; and
WHEREAS, if a medical school graduate opts to pursue a specialty, their average starting annual salary increases from $178,000 to well over $200,000, depending on the specialty; and
WHEREAS, these income levels do not include the cost of establishing a practice and the liability insurance required to practice medicine; and
WHEREAS, despite many medical school graduates expressing an interest in primary care, the economics of such a choice does not make sense for them; and
WHEREAS, currently the federal government will provide loan forgiveness to medical school graduates working in qualifying public service jobs, but only after 120 monthly qualifying payments are made towards outstanding federal loans; and
WHEREAS, as is the case with other federally funded forgiveness programs, medical school graduates would still be responsible for loans obtained via private lenders.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP will advocate for additional loan forgiveness to cover government and private loans for primary care doctors who choose to practice medicine in underserved communities; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP will advocate for a long-term solution to level of education debt that forces many people committed to public service from pursing such options.