View Full Version : unforeseen costs of med school
03-04-2003, 09:07 PM
I'm planning on applying to med school in 1 or 2 years, and am trying to estimate how much the damage will be, financially speaking.
This morning on CBC's The Current, there was an interview about how few medical students were choosing family medicine as a specialty, and of course I tuned in, as I'm interested in family medicine. Anyway, one interviewee, a graduating med student, said that tuition and other costs in Ontario schools were typically $110,000. (And she went on to say that many students are choosing higher paying specialties to pay off their massive debts sooner.) Now, I know tuition is $14-15,000 at Ontario schools, which comes to $60,000 over 4 years. What are the remaining $50,000 spent on? Is it the cost of living over 4 years (plus x years of residency), or the texts, stethoscope, and other sundry necessities? Is this number of $110,000 accurate? Within that $50 k, are some items optional or do you pretty much need to allow for that?
Thanks for your response, those who are already in the school system, or recent grads.
03-04-2003, 09:14 PM
I'd say that the number is probably pretty accurate. The following is the budget of estimated expenses for a UWO med student as published by the school:
Tuition $14 280.00
Student fees $808.19
Rent $500.00 x 12 = $6000.00
Utilities $100.00 x 12 = $1200.00
Phone $60.00 x 12 = $720.00
Food $300.00 x 12 = $3600.00
Laundry $30.00 x 12 = $360.00
Clothing $50.00 x12 = $600.00
Local transport $70.00 x12 = $840.00
Entertainment $100.00 x 12 = $1200.00
Personal expenses $50.00 x 12 = $600.00
Trip home $600.00
Year TOTAL = $33 000 x 4 years = $132 000
Plus don't forget you need to pay interest on whatever you borrow all through this time (for me right now, this is about $30/month in interest) and it will increase as your debt increases. Also, there are one time costs like buying a car by third year, paying parking at the hospitals for clinical methods, PCL etc, and lots of extras in fourth year like CaRMS application fees, plane tickets to fly around the country to CaRMS interviews, LMCC exam fees, CPSO membership fee.
And to top it all off - a lot of people are starting med school carrying $10-20 000 in debt from undergrad. So, the debt situation is going to get worse NOT better. The class that is graduating from UWO this year only paid $10 000 in tuition each year...we are paying $15 000 and who knows what it will be in the future.
I agree totally with Aneliz. The costs of funding a medical education are rising.... BUT these costs are reflective of ONTARIO schools. Other provinces such as Manitoba, BC, and Quebec have tuitions under $9000.
It is sad that Ontario tuitions are so much higher than that of these other provinces. For example, McGill medical school used to have a tuition of about 4000, and if I remember correctly, that was only 3-4 years ago, while the U of T students were paying ~ 15K. Why is that.... someone tell me, cause I'd like to know.
The monies required to fund such an education usually are not a problem, as any Canadian medical student can walk into one of the major banks and get a med line of credit for ~100,000. Students still apply for OSAP, and these two sources should be more than enough to pay for your education.
03-06-2003, 05:03 PM
wow. Thanks for the detailed rundown, aneliz. One more question: What's the financial situation once you're a resident? Do the specialties pay differently? I understand you do receive a wage ($30 - $40 k?), but do you also pay tuition, since you're kind of both a student and a resident staff member at a hospital?
Basically, I'm asking if you can make some money during your residency years, and chip away at some of that debt.
03-06-2003, 06:40 PM
I think the actual figures for residents pay are posted somewhere on the CaRMS site, but they're roughly $40k to $60k, depending on what year of residency you're in. I don't think this varies at all, with the exception of the longer residencies have higher amounts of pay in later years, though nowhere near what you would make if you completed the residency and started to practice.
I've heard mixed stories about residency and being able to pay off that loan. On the one hand, I've heard that you "essentially have no life. . . so you don't end up spending much money and have some to throw on the debt." That might be a rather macabre way of looking at things, but it is just for a few years. The flipside is the fact all of your debts (including OSAP) are due once you finish med school, so the interest starts to accumulate. . . I've heard of a number of cases where residents had to get additional loans to complete residency.
03-06-2003, 06:48 PM
Hey, did anybody read an article in yesterday's Globe and Mail about the decline in med students going into family practice? They gave a figure for the average physician (specialist included) income in Canada (I think it was $118K, but I'm not sure), and they quoted a fourth year UWO med student, Danielle Martin, I believe.
not rex morgan
03-06-2003, 11:48 PM
As a family physician, you lose roughly half of your income on overhead, and a big chunk of what's left to taxes as well. So considering what you clear, it's understandable why people may be deterred from family med.
03-07-2003, 07:22 AM
There are some new billing clawback rules in Ontario, which FINALLY equate specialists and family docs ! In fact, there will only be a single clawback level, and it is about $120,000 higher than the old cap. Now some of the family docs who were working a ton of hours, won't be as heavily penalized, and this may act as an incentive for other fam docs to (perhaps?) take on/see more patients.
Only time will tell.
03-07-2003, 07:53 AM
Thanks for that insight. I'm really interested in knowing more. Can you provide us more details of this clawback or direct us to a website??
03-07-2003, 10:09 AM
The info came from an internal OMA source (you'd have to be a member to see the actual letter to members). That said, check the MOHLTC website, since they gave the rubberstamped approval (and likely have info there).
Hope that helps !
03-07-2003, 04:10 PM
My wife is a member...and she'd be interested in the clawback...could you provide a link here or email it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org ?
Thanks in advance.
03-07-2003, 05:01 PM
As far as I understand, FPs rarely ever hit the cap. It was set at something like $350,000 for family medicine and about $430k for specialists. I think FPs bill an average of $190K and the 75th percentile bills $240k. So, I don't know if it's clawbacks that are the problem.
Physician salaries in Ontario (http://www.oma.org/econupdt/OHIPBillings.htm)
03-08-2003, 09:51 AM
Peter and others interested,
Here is the link for others (you'll need your OMA # to get into the link):
03-08-2003, 10:24 AM
thanks for the links.
03-08-2003, 01:58 PM
Sorry guys, I guess you need your OMA # for my link too. I'm assuming that 95% of you don't have OMA numbers.
03-12-2003, 01:47 AM
Moved out of the Premed forum into the Med Student's forum...
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