Medical graduates face debts of £67,000

30 May 2008
Medical students will graduate with debts of up to £67,000 as a result of variable top up fees, a new report has revealed.

The British Medical Association (BMA) says the average student training in medicine will graduate with debts of £37,000 - nearly double the current average of £20,000.

And medical students studying in London - where the cost of living is higher - face leaving university with the debts of around £67,000.

The BMA warns this could put students off becoming doctors and goes against the government's efforts to encourage more people from poorer backgrounds into medicine.

Ian Noble, chairman of the BMA's medical student committee, says: “It's very likely that many able sixth-form students, who want to become doctors, will be put off by the idea of such large debts when they graduate.

“£40,000 or even £60,000 of debt is a huge amount to ask someone that young to take on, particularly because medicine is a less certain career than it used to be.

“Becoming a doctor must not become the preserve of the wealthy, yet if something isn't done, that is the way it could go."

Rising levels of student debt is a real concern for debt charity the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS), as increasing numbers of students borrow on credit to supplement their student loans.

“While the government’s student loans can be a lifeline for helping students through university, the real issue is the other forms of debt that students rack up,” says a CCCS spokesperson. “Credit cards and personal loans are expensive forms of debt and we would urge students to think twice before taking them out.”

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