Pre-Health and Healthcare Students Don’t Like Where Healthcare Is Going, Concerned About Educational Debt
The Student Doctor Network, a non-profit educational organization, today announced the results of its first annual user survey, which covered the impacts of student debt and the future of healthcare, including healthcare reform.
Educational debt, and how it impacts the lives and decisions of future healthcare providers, was a focus of the survey. Some of the key findings:
* Over 25 percent of current healthcare graduate students (including medical, dental, pharmacy, and podiatry students) and those with graduate degrees will have or had debt of over $200,000 upon degree completion. The graph below shows the graduate educational debt incurred or anticipated:
* Debt has a significant impact on the lives of both undergraduates and graduates, with more than a third indicating that it would impact where they chose to live, what specialty they will practice, their pursuit of additional training and their ability to purchase a home. The graph below shows the impacts for undergraduates and graduates (multiple responses accepted):
Respondents were also asked about the future of healthcare in the U.S.:
* On average, most respondents felt that U.S. healthcare is getting worse.
* Approximately half of all respondents felt that universal coverage would make healthcare better.
* Younger respondents view healthcare reform initiatives more positively than older respondents, with more than 40 percent of those aged 18-24 indicating that they thought reforms would make healthcare better versus 36 percent of respondents aged 25-34 and 31 percent of respondents aged 35-44. The graph below shows the number of responses by age:
The survey was conducted in January 2012. A total of 1,191 respondents completed the survey, of which 1,123 met the survey criteria (U.S. resident age 18 or older).
“Our results show that debt has a significant impact on pre-health and healthcare students,” said Dr. Lee Burnett, executive director. “Additionally, students are concerned about the future of healthcare in the United States, though there is no consensus on the best way to address the problem.”
“Our membership is composed of current and future healthcare providers, who have a unique perspective on the changing landscape of healthcare in the United States,” added Dr. Burnett. “We are excited to share their views via these survey results, since they will be working within the structures being put into place today.”
Respondents were recruited for the survey via the Student Doctor Network forums, Facebook postings on the Student Doctor Network pages, Linkedin and Twitter.
2012 User Survey Links