Medical school grads now carry an average of $179,000 in debt

Of those medical school students who graduate with debt, the average amount owed comes in at $179,000, according to a new study from JAMA.

While the 2016 average debt among those with loans rose from $161,000 in 2010, the study also found that the percentage of students graduating without debt also increased. In 2010, 16.1 percent of students graduated without debt, while in 2016 that number climbed to 26.9 percent.

Those graduates planning to specialize in ophthalmology experience the lowest rates of debt, with only 60.1 percent graduating with debt. Those who plan to practice family medicine were most affected by debt, with 79.9 percent of graduates owing money.

The study notes these costs are not simply a result of inflation. In 1986, the average medical student graduating with debt owed $30,000, which would be $70,000 in 2017 dollars.

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