Produced by HuffPost's Eyes & Ears Citizen Journalism Unit as a part of the HuffPost College Student Debt series.
I am currently a third year medical student and already $226,000 in debt because I'm out-of-state and have no other means of funding my education except through loans. I'll graduate with at least $295,000 in debt, an amount that will only increase as interest accumulates during residency training and over my 20-year repayment period.
The thought of starting life with such a huge debt is very frightening, especially since I plan on going into primary care and not a lucrative medical specialty or subspecialty. Primary care physicians are grossly underpaid compared to many specialists, yet they work longer hours and have to deal with the administrative burden associated with insurance companies. As a result, the number of medical students choosing to pursue primary care as a career is declining each year. More and more, students are taking debt load and lifestyle into account when making career choices.
My goal is to help increase the public's awareness of medical student debt and its impact on health care. The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) has implemented legislative proposals for creative solutions to medical student indebtedness and the growing shortage of primary care physicians.
I encourage you to read more about our efforts and join in pressuring our leaders in Congress to act quickly in addressing these issues: