News in brief: October 2009
As US lawmakers graft away at implementing Barack Obama’s dream of a comprehensive healthcare package, heavily indebted US medical students and doctors in training are worrying that the reforms will damage their chances of paying back the money that they borrowed to pay for their studies.
Students acknowledge that being a doctor will always pay above average and add that the greatest rewards have nothing to do with money. But nonetheless, the debts must be paid, and it is noticeable that the US has a considerable shortage of primary care doctors, who make far less than most specialists.
Peter Steinberg, a resident in New York on the verge of finishing his training, has amassed $215 000 (£130 000; €150 000) in student debt after eight years of university studies, a six year residency, and a one year fellowship.
He says that he is glad that the politicians are trying to make a change,