A recent study has found that the type of med school a student attends (public or private) can have a significant impact on her/his career path, with substantially more graduates of public medical schools choosing primary care specialties.
A sampling of the findings:
• In 2010, there 10,946 students graduated from public med schools, vs 9,591 from private schools.
• In 2013-14, the average cost of attendance totaled: public, $187,400 vs. private, $264,000.
• In 2013-14, med students’ average debt at graduation totaled: public, $155,000 vs. private, $180,000.
• Between 1997 and 2006, 28.8 % of public med school graduates chose primary care specialties, while 24.3% of private med school graduates did so.
• Physicians who train in a rural area are more likely to practice in a rural area.
• There are also regional differences: in the South, West, and Central regions, public medical training predominates, while in the Northeast, the majority of medical students train in private schools.
Discussing the findings, the American Academy of Family Physicians highlighted the need for more primary care physicians.