How much does it cost to become a doctor?
Becoming a doctor is no easy task. It takes years of dedication, hard work, and money. The median medical school debt for the MD class of 2021 was $200,000. While fees and tuition will vary from program to program, its key that you understand how much you will be expected to pay, even if you are planning to use scholarships or fee assistance.
In this blog post, we'll break down the costs associated with becoming a doctor so that you can be better informed about what's involved. Let's get started!
How Much does the Application Process Cost?
The cost of applying to medical school in the United States can also varies depending on the schools you are applying and how many applications you are sending out. This can range from $1000 to upwards of $10,000 depending on your strategy. Here’s how they break down:
1. MCAT: $330
This is the cost for students who do not qualify for fee assistance. The cost is for the initial registration fee for the MCAT exam and includes the distribution of your scores. This does not include the cost of test preparation services which can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
2. Primary Application Fees: $170 for first application, $40 for each additional school
The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is a medical school application clearinghouse for student applying for MD. If you are pursuing the a Doctor of Ostephathy as well, you will have an additional cost of $195 for the first primary application through AACOMAS and $45 for each additional primary application.
3. Secondary Application Fees: $75-130 per application
After your initial application is reviewed, most schools request a secondary application. The requirements of this application (and the fees associated) vary from school to school.
4. Registrar Services: $10 per transcript sent
Most undergraduate programs will charge students a fee to send transcripts to medical schools. This service can cost $10 for each transcript send.
5. Interview Travel Costs: $400-1000+ per interview
This is where the costs really rack up. If you are shortlisted by an admissions program, they will request that you come in for an in-person interview. This requires you to travel to the campus and make a hotel reservation for the nights that you are staying.
Tallying that all up, the minimum cost to apply to just 1 medical school is $985. With each school that you apply to, these costs quickly start adding up.
How Much Does Medical School Cost?
According to the AAMC, the average cost of tuition, fees, and health insurance for medical school in 2022 in the United States is around $41,095 per year for in-state students and $65,744 for out-of-state students. These costs have been rising in recent years, increasing over 10% in the past 5 years.
It is important to note that this does NOT include the cost of living which can vary dramatically depending on the location. You will need to factor in costs like rent, car, food, and travel costs if you plan to travel home.
For many students, these additional costs can tip the scales in terms of which schools are the most affordable.
On average, it costs around $38,266 per year to live in the U.S.
The cost of textbooks and other course materials can also add up - think scrubs, stethoscopes, laptops, and tablets. On average, students spend around $1000 - $3000 per year on textbooks and other course materials.
Ways to Finance Medical School
While these costs are significant, there are definitely ways to finance your aspirations. You can take out loans, work while you study, or find scholarships and grants. There are also many programs available that offer tuition discounts, including military programs and state-sponsored programs. Talk to your school's financial aid office to find out what options are available to you.
Also, it is important to keep in mind that you will be earning a significant salary that can help to pay down any loans that you might take out during your education. Primary care physicians earned an average of $260,000 in 2022. So keep your eyes on the prize and don't let the cost of tuition scare you away from your dreams —there are plenty of ways to finance your education!
What are the requirements for medical school?
The requirements for getting into medical school vary from school to school, but most require an undergraduate degree, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Some schools also require applicants to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).