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Related AMA Policies

A selection of the AMA policies related to medical student financing and debt have been included below. These policies have been organized according to topic into the following categories:

  • Tuition
  • Tax Deductibility
  • Deferment
  • Loan Forgiveness and Debt Reducing Incentive Programs
  • Graduate Medical Education Financing
  • Loan Repayments
  • General Medical Education Financing and Debt Concerns
  • Council on Medical Education Reports
  • Additional Policy

Additionally, to view the internal policy of the AMA-MSS, please consult the AMA-MSS Policy Digest.

Tuition

D-305.988 Strategies to Address Medical School Tuition Increases - Our AMA will: (1) monitor proposals for medical school tuition increases and continue to work with the AMA Medical Student Section and other student groups, along with state and county medical societies, national medical specialty societies and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to address the serious issue of rising tuition and medical student debt and to oppose any mid-year or retroactive tuition increases; (2) encourage medical schools to alert students of the probability of escalation of tuition costs and provide entering students with an estimate of tuition costs for the four years; (3) encourage federal and state agencies to review and expand options for financial aid (scholarship and loan repayment programs) for medical students, resident physicians, and young physicians by developing programs that address areas of existing and emerging national and local need; (4) continue to encourage medical schools to provide yearly financial planning/debt management counseling to medical students and the institutions that sponsor residency training to make available similar services for resident physicians; (5) encourage and work with medical schools to broaden their fundraising activities directed at obtaining revenue for medical student scholarships or for capping/decreasing tuition; (6) continue to work for a stable funding mechanism for undergraduate medical education; (7) monitor and report to the House of Delegates at regular intervals, beginning in June of 2004, on progress in limiting medical school tuition and in developing mechanisms to reduce student debt; and (8) help develop specific strategies to address the problem of mid-year and retroactive tuition increases, and report back at the 2003 Interim Meeting. (CME Rep. 2, I-02; Reaffirmation I-03; Reaffirmation I-06)

H-305.934 Medical School Tuition and Opposition to Tax Increases - 1. Our American Medical Association opposes the imposition of mid-year and retroactive tuition increases at both public and private medical schools. 2. Our AMA opposes tuition taxes and any other attendance-based taxes by any government entity. (CME Rep. 2, I-02; Reaffirmed: CME Rep. 3, I-03; Appended: Res. 905, I-10)

H-305.931 State Support of Public Medical School Education - Our AMA (1) opposes any legislation that would require graduates of public medical schools to agree to practice in a particular locale as a condition of matriculation; and (2) strongly endorses and supports voluntary programs involving loan repayment, discounted tuition, or a tuition waiver for medical students who voluntarily agree to practice in particular locales or underserved areas. (Res. 708, I-04)

D-305.988 Strategies to Address Medical School Tuition Increases - Our AMA will: (1) monitor proposals for medical school tuition increases and continue to work with the AMA Medical Student Section and other student groups, along with state and county medical societies, national medical specialty societies and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to address the serious issue of rising tuition and medical student debt and to oppose any mid-year or retroactive tuition increases; (2) encourage medical schools to alert students of the probability of escalation of tuition costs and provide entering students with an estimate of tuition costs for the four years; (3) encourage federal and state agencies to review and expand options for financial aid (scholarship and loan repayment programs) for medical students, resident physicians, and young physicians by developing programs that address areas of existing and emerging national and local need; (4) continue to encourage medical schools to provide yearly financial planning/debt management counseling to medical students and the institutions that sponsor residency training to make available similar services for resident physicians; (5) encourage and work with medical schools to broaden their fundraising activities directed at obtaining revenue for medical student scholarships or for capping/decreasing tuition; (6) continue to work for a stable funding mechanism for undergraduate medical education; (7) monitor and report to the House of Delegates at regular intervals, beginning in June of 2004, on progress in limiting medical school tuition and in developing mechanisms to reduce student debt; and (8) help develop specific strategies to address the problem of mid-year and retroactive tuition increases, and report back at the 2003 Interim Meeting. (CME Rep. 2, I-02; Reaffirmation I-03; Reaffirmation I-06)

D-295.933 Transparency In Medical Schools’ Utilization of Funds From Tuition and Fee Increases - Our AMA encourages the development of policies by Liaison Committee on Medical Education- and American Osteopathic Association-accredited medical schools that ensure information on the use of funds from tuition and fee increases is disclosed in a standardized format and in a timely manner to prospective and current medical students. (Sub. Res. 310, A-08)


Tax Deductibility

H-305.955 Cost of Medical School and Educational Loan Interest - Our AMA encourages legislation to restore the tax deductibility of student loan interest. (Res. 305, I-92; Reaffirmation A-00; Reaffirmation A-01; Reaffirmation I-01)

H-305.997 Income Tax Exemption for Medical Student Loans and Scholarships - The AMA supports continued efforts to obtain exemption from income tax on amounts received under medical scholarship or loan programs. (Res. 65, I-76; Reaffirmed: Sunset Report, I-98; Reaffirmation A-01)

D-305.962 Tax Deductibility of Student Loan Payments - Our AMA will draft legislation allowing 100% tax deductibility of student loan interest. (Res. 232, A-09)

D-305.991 Tax Deductibility for Student Loan Interest - Our AMA will continue to actively lobby for a minimum inflation-indexed gross income phaseout of $115,000 ($165,000 for joint filers),while continuing to advocate for the elimination of all gross income thresholds. (Res. 244 , A-01)

D-305.977 Deductibility of Medical Student Loan Interest - Our AMA will work toward 100% tax deductibility of medical student loan interest on federal and state income tax returns. (Res. 705, I-04)

Deferment

H-305.965 Student Loans - Our AMA: (1) reaffirms its support of legislation that would defer the repayment of loans for education until the completion of residency training; and (2) lobby before the next federal budget for deferment of medical student loans for the full initial residency period. (Sub. Res. 203, A-90; Appended Res. 306, I-99; Reaffirmation A-01; Reaffirmation I-06)

D-305.966 Reinstatement of Economic Hardship Loan Deferment - Our AMA will actively work to reinstate the economic hardship deferment qualification criterion known as the "20/220 pathway," and support alternate mechanisms that better address the financial needs of post-graduate trainees with educational debt. (Res. 930, I-07)

D-305.980 Immediate Legislative Solutions to Medical Student Debt - Our AMA will: (1) endorse and actively lobby for the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, including: (a) Elimination of the "single-holder" rule; (b) Continuation of the consolidation loan program and a consolidator’s ability to lock in a fixed interest rate; (c) Expansion of the deferment period for loan repayment to cover the entire duration of residency and fellowship; (d) Broadening of the definition of economic hardship as used to determine eligibility for student loan deferment; (e) Retention of the option of loan forbearance for residents who are ineligible for student loan deferment; and (f) Inclusion of dependent care expenses in the definition of "cost of attendance"; and (2) lobby for passage of legislation that would: (a) Eliminate the cap on the student loan interest deduction; (b) Increase the income limits for taking the interest deduction; (c) Include room and board expenses in the definition of tax-exempt scholarship income; and (d) Make permanent the education tax incentives that our AMA successfully lobbied for as part of Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. (Res. 850, I-03; Reaffirmation I-08)

Loan Forgiveness and Debt Reducing Incentive Programs

H-200.989 National Health Service Corps - The AMA believes that since a sufficient need for physician manpower is expected to continue to exist in certain areas of the U.S., continuation of assistance from the NHSC is justified. As long as this need continues, the AMA does not think it would be appropriate to deprive residents of certain areas of the U.S. of necessary medical services by diverting NHSC physicians to other countries. (CMS Rep. F, A-86; Reaffirmed: Sunset Report, I-96; Reaffirmed: CME Rep. 2, I-00; Reaffirmed: CME Rep. 2, A-10)

H-200.984 National Health Service Corps Reauthorization - It is the policy of the AMA: (1) to support legislative efforts to revitalize and reauthorize the NHSC; and (2) to undertake efforts to assure that such legislation include increased funding for recruitment and retention efforts and adequate funding for both the loan repayment and scholarship programs. (Res. 120, A-90; Reaffirmed: Sunset Report and CME Rep. 2, I-00; Reaffirmed: CME Rep. 2, A-10)

H-200.985 Increasing Support for Service in America's Inner Cities Through the National Health Service Corps - Our AMA (1) urges the U.S. Public Health Service to earmark a certain percentage of repayment opportunities for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) loans and scholarships for underserved inner-city facilities; and (2) supports increased funding for NHSC. (Res. 78, I-89; Reaffirmed: Sunset Report, A-00; Reaffirmation A-01)

H-200.991 Difficulties in the Fulfillment of National Health Service Corps Contractual Obligations - (1) The AMA strongly urges the NHSC to provide intensive and frequent counseling to NHSC scholars as they enter and then proceed through the NHSC program. Through such briefings, as well as frequent written communications, the NHSC Administration should emphasize: (a) the dynamic nature of the HMSA Placement Opportunity List and the possibility of changes in placement options at any time; (b) the extent of any financial commitments that a scholar may have to incur to develop a Private Practice Option opportunity; and (c) the future possibilities of obtaining a Private Practice Option and/or a federal placement. (2) The AMA urges the NHSC to make particular effort to minimize, to the degree possible, the imposition of changes in assignment options during the last year of the obligee's education, so as to avoid disruption of personal and family plans. (CMS Rep. D, I-85; Reaffirmed by CLRPD Rep. 2, I-95; Reaffirmed: CMS Rep. 7, A-05)

H-305.931 State Support of Public Medical School Education - Our AMA (1) opposes any legislation that would require graduates of public medical schools to agree to practice in a particular locale as a condition of matriculation; and (2) strongly endorses and supports voluntary programs involving loan repayment, discounted tuition, or a tuition waiver for medical students who voluntarily agree to practice in particular locales or underserved areas. (Res. 708, I-04)

D-305.960 Loan Repayment for Physicians in State Designated Shortage Areas - Our AMA: (1) will educate membership about various opportunities surrounding loan repayment through mechanisms including but not limited to: a designated state contact, web resources, and informative meetings, so that residents can make an informed decision regarding employment; (2) will advocate equal tax benefits for physicians who practice in either state-designated or federally-designated shortage areas; and (3) acknowledges and continues to support initiatives that facilitate recruitment of physicians to designated shortage areas. (Res. 328, A-09)

D-295.974 Loan Repayment Program Database - Our AMA shall work with the Association of American Medical Colleges in the expansion of the AAMC’s existing web site to include a comprehensive, searchable database of loan repayment programs run by states, counties, hospitals and similar organizations. (Res. 302, A-02)

D-305.979 State and Local Advocacy on Medical Student Debt - Our AMA will: (1) support and encourage our state medical societies to support further expansion of state loan repayment programs, and in particular expansion of those programs to cover physicians in non-primary care specialties; (2) urge state medical societies to actively solicit funds (either directly or through their Foundations) for the establishment and expansion of medical student scholarships, and that our AMA develop a set of guidelines and suggestions to assist states in carrying out such initiatives; and (3) study the merits of an annual tuition cap (adjusted for inflation) at public and private medical schools within their states. (Res. 847, I-03)

D-200.982 Diversity in the Physician Workforce and Access to Care - Our AMA will: (1) continue to advocate for programs that promote diversity in the US medical workforce, such as pipeline programs to medical schools; (2) continue to advocate for adequate funding for federal and state programs that promote interest in practice in underserved areas, such as those under Title VII of the Public Health Service Act, scholarship and loan repayment programs under the National Health Services Corps and state programs, state Area Health Education Centers, and Conrad 30, and also encourage the development of a centralized database of scholarship and loan repayment programs; and (3) continue to study the factors that support and those that act against the choice to practice in an underserved area, and report the findings and solutions at the 2008 Interim Meeting. (CME Rep. 7, A-08)

D-200.989 Incentive Programs to Improve Access to Health Care Services in Underserved Areas - Our AMA will (1) conduct an analysis of the creative use of tax credits, student loan deferment and loan forgiveness programs, J-1 visa waivers, and practice subsidies as financial incentives to physicians for providing care in identified underserved areas; and (2) work with state medical societies and other appropriate entities to identify, catalogue, and evaluate the effectiveness of incentive programs, including the J-1 visa waiver program, designed to promote the location and retention of physicians in rural and urban underserved areas and, consequently, improve patient access to health care in these areas. (Res. 810, I-05; Reaffirmation I-06)

Graduate Medical Education Financing

H-305.929 Proposed Revisions to AMA Policy on the Financing of Medical Education Programs - It is AMA policy that: (1) Since quality medical education directly benefits the American people, there should be public support for medical schools and graduate medical education programs and for the teaching institutions in which medical education occurs. Such support is required to ensure that there is a continuing supply of well-educated, competent physicians to care for the American public. (2) Planning to modify health system organization or financing should include consideration of the effects on medical education, with the goal of preserving and enhancing the quality of medical education and the quality of and access to care in teaching institutions are preserved. (3) Adequate and stable funding should be available to support quality undergraduate and graduate medical education programs. Our AMA and the federation should advocate for medical education funding. (4) Diversified sources of funding should be available to support medical schools’ multiple missions, including education, research, and clinical service. Reliance on any particular revenue source should not jeopardize the balance among a medical school’s missions. (5) All payers for health care, including the federal government, the states, and private payers, benefit from graduate medical education and should directly contribute to its funding. (6) Full Medicare direct medical education funding should be available for the number of years required for initial board certification. For combined residency programs, funding should be available for the longest of the individual programs plus one additional year. There should be opportunities to extend the period of full funding for specialties or subspecialties where there is a documented need, including a physician shortage. (7) Medical schools should develop systems to explicitly document and reimburse faculty teaching activity, so as to facilitate faculty participation in medical student and resident physician education and training. (8) Funding for graduate medical education should support the training of resident physicians in both hospital and non-hospital (ambulatory) settings. Federal and state funding formulas must take into account the resources, including volunteer faculty time and practice expenses, needed for training residents in all specialties in non-hospital, ambulatory settings. Funding for GME should be allocated to the sites where teaching occurs. (9) New funding should be available to support increases in the number of medical school and residency training positions, preferably in or adjacent to physician shortage/underserved areas and in undersupplied specialties. (CME Rep. 7, A-05; Reaffirmation I-06; Reaffirmed: Sub. Res. 314, A-07; Reaffirmation I-07; Reaffirmed: CME Rep. 4, I-08; Reaffirmed: Sub. Res. 314, A-09; Reaffirmed: CME Rep. 3, I-09; Reaffirmed: CME Rep. 15, A-10)

H-305.971 Discrimination Against Resident Candidates Based on Graduate Medical Education Medicare Funding - The AMA urges hospitals and residency programs to use qualifications as a basis for filling available positions, and not the status of the Medicare component to graduate medical education funding. (Res. 126, I-88; Modified: Sunset Report, I-98; Modified: CME Rep. 7, A-05)

H-310.917 Securing Funding for Graduate Medical Education - Our American Medical Association will: (1) continue to be vigilant while monitoring pending legislation that may change the financing of medical services (health system reform) and advocate for expanded and broad-based funding for graduate medical education (from federal, state, and commercial entities); and (2) continue to advocate for graduate medical education funding that reflects the physician workforce needs of the nation. (CME Rep. 3, I-09; Modified: CME Rep. 15, A-10)

D-305.973 Proposed Revisions to AMA Policy on the Financing of Medical Education Programs - Our AMA will work with: (1) the federal government, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the states, along with other interested parties, to bring about the following outcomes: (a) ensure adequate Medicaid and Medicare funding for graduate medical education; (b) ensure adequate Disproportionate Share Hospital funding; (c) make the Medicare direct medical education per-resident cost figure more equitable across teaching hospitals while assuring adequate funding of all residency positions; (d) revise the Medicare and Medicaid funding formulas for graduate medical education to recognize the resources utilized for training in non-hospital settings; (e) stabilize funding for pediatric residency training in children’s hospitals; (f) explore the possibility of extending full direct medical education per-resident payment beyond the time of first board eligibility for specialties/subspecialties in shortage/defined need; (g) identify funding sources to increase the number of graduate medical education positions, especially in or adjacent to physician shortage/underserved areas and in undersupplied specialties; and (h) act on existing policy by seeking federal legislation requiring all health insurers to support graduate medical education through an all-payer trust fund created for this purpose; and (2) other interested parties to ensure adequate funding to support medical school educational programs, including creating mechanisms to fund additional medical school positions. (CME Rep. 7, A-05; Reaffirmation I-06; Reaffirmation I-07)

Loan Repayments

H-305.980 Student Loan Repayment Grace Period - The AMA supports giving consideration to grace periods in renewals of federal loan programs and attempting to secure the most favorable repayment terms. (CME Rep. I, A-86; Reaffirmed: Sunset Report, I-96; Reaffirmed: CME Rep. 2, I-00; Reaffirmed: CME Rep. 2, A-10)

H-305.982 Student Loan Repayment Defaults - The AMA encourages the HHS Inspector General to pursue all legal avenues within his jurisdiction to withhold Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, research grant awards, and salaries or stipends from physicians who have defaulted on repayments of student loans, unless a physician can prove hardship. (Sub. Res. 69, A-85; Reaffirmed by CLRPD Rep. 2, I-95; Reaffirmed: CME Rep. 2, A-05)

H-305.991 Repayment of Educational Loans - The AMA (1) believes that it is improper for any physician not to repay his or her educational loans; (2) urges increased efforts to collect overdue debts from the present medical student loan programs in a manner that would not interfere with the provision of future loan funds to medical students; and (3) encourages medical school financial aid officers to counsel individual medical student borrowers on the status of their indebtedness and payment schedules prior to their graduation. (Sub. Res. 47, A-83; Reaffirmed: CLRPD Rep. 1, I-93; Reaffirmed: CME Rep. 2, A-05)

H-305.954 Repayment of Medical School Loans - Our AMA will further develop and more aggressively publicize a low interest and extended payment loan program for young physician members of the AMA to assist them in retiring their educational debts. (CME Rep. O, A-93; Appended: Res. 610, I-98; Modified: CME Rep. 13, A-06)

General Education Financing and Debt Concerns

H-200.983 Health Manpower - It is the policy of the AMA to (1) use its influence to convince the Administration and Congress of the continuing need for federal support for the education and training of primary care physicians, including reauthorization of federal programs under Title VII to help meet manpower requirements for primary care physicians; and (2) use its influence to encourage federal funding to promote educational and training opportunities for primary care and increase the field strength of the NHSC in medically underserved urban and rural areas. (Res. 112, I-90; Reaffirmed: BOT Rep. GG, I-92; Reaffirmed: CME Rep. 2, A-03; Modified: CME Rep. 7, A-05)

H-305.988 Cost and Financing of Medical Education and Availability of First-Year Residency Positions - The AMA: (1) believes that medical schools should further develop an information system based on common definitions to display the costs associated with undergraduate medical education; (2) in studying the financing of medical schools, supports identification of those elements that have implications for the supply of physicians in the future; (3) believes that the primary goal of medical school is to educate students to become physicians and that despite the economies necessary to survive in an era of decreased funding, teaching functions must be maintained even if other commitments need to be reduced; (4) believes that a decrease in student enrollment in medical schools may not result in proportionate reduction of expenditures by the school if quality of education is to be maintained; (5) supports continued improvement of the AMA information system on expenditures of medical students to determine which items are included, and what the ranges of costs are; (6) supports continued study of the relationship between medical student indebtedness and career choice; (7) believes medical schools should avoid counterbalancing reductions in revenues from other sources through tuition and student fee increases that compromise their ability to attract students from diverse backgrounds; (8) supports expansion of the number of affiliations with appropriate hospitals by institutions with accredited residency programs; (9) encourages for profit-hospitals to participate in medical education and training; (10) supports AMA monitoring of trends that may lead to a reduction in stipends paid to resident physicians; (11) encourages all sponsoring institutions to make financial information available to help residents manage their educational indebtedness. (CME Rep. A, I-83; Reaffirmed: CLRPD Rep. 1, I-93; Res. 313, I-95; Reaffirmed by CME Rep. 13, A-97; Modified: CME Rep. 7, A-05; Modified: CME Rep. 13, A-06)

D-305.970 Proposed Revisions to AMA Policy on Medical Student Debt - Our AMA will: 1. Collaborate, based on AMA policy, with members of the Federation and the medical education community, and with other interested organizations, to achieve the following immediate public- and private-sector advocacy goals: (a) Support expansion of and adequate funding for federal scholarship and loan repayment programs, such as those from the National Health Service Corps, the Indian Health Service, the Armed Forces, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for comparable programs at the state level. (b) Encourage the expansion of National Institutes of Health programs that provide loan repayment in exchange for a commitment to conduct targeted research. (c) With each reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and at every other legislative opportunity, proactively pursue loan consolidation terms that favor students and ensure that loan deferment is available for the entire duration of residency and fellowship training. (d) Ensure that the Higher Education Act and other legislation allow interest from medical student loans to be fully tax deductible. (e) Encourage medical schools, with the support of the Federation, to engage in fundraising activities devoted to increasing the availability of scholarship support. (f) Encourage the creation of private-sector financial aid programs with favorable interest rates or service obligations (such as community- or institution-based loan repayment programs or state medical society loan programs). (g) Support stable funding for medical education programs to limit excessive tuition increases. 2. Encourage medical schools to study the costs and benefits associated with non-traditional instructional formats (such as online and distance learning, combined baccalaureate/MD programs) to determine if cost savings to medical schools and to medical students could be realized without jeopardizing the quality of medical education. (CME Rep. 13, A-06; Reaffirmation I-08)

D-305.980 Immediate Legislative Solutions to Medical Student Debt - Our AMA will: (1) endorse and actively lobby for the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, including: (a) Elimination of the "single-holder" rule; (b) Continuation of the consolidation loan program and a consolidator’s ability to lock in a fixed interest rate; (c) Expansion of the deferment period for loan repayment to cover the entire duration of residency and fellowship; (d) Broadening of the definition of economic hardship as used to determine eligibility for student loan deferment; (e) Retention of the option of loan forbearance for residents who are ineligible for student loan deferment; and (f) Inclusion of dependent care expenses in the definition of "cost of attendance"; and (2) lobby for passage of legislation that would: (a) Eliminate the cap on the student loan interest deduction; (b) Increase the income limits for taking the interest deduction; (c) Include room and board expenses in the definition of tax-exempt scholarship income; and (d) Make permanent the education tax incentives that our AMA successfully lobbied for as part of Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. (Res. 850, I-03; Reaffirmation I-08)

D-305.993 Medical School Financing, Tuition, and Student Debt - (1) The Board of Trustees of our AMA will pursue the introduction of member benefits to help medical students, resident physicians, and young physicians manage and reduce their debt burden. This should include consideration of the feasibility of developing a web-based information on financial planning/debt management; introducing a loan consolidation program, automatic bill collection and loan repayment programs, and a rotating loan program; and creating an AMA scholarship program funded through philanthropy. The AMA also should collect and disseminate information on available opportunities for medical students and resident physicians to obtain financial aid for emergency and other purposes. (2) Our AMA will vigorously advocate for ongoing, adequate funding for federal and state programs that provide scholarship or loan repayment funds in return for service, including funding in return for practice in underserved areas, participation in the military, and participation in academic medicine or clinical research. Obtaining adequate support for the National Health Service Corps and similar programs, tied to the demand for participation in the programs, should be a focus for AMA advocacy efforts. (3) Our AMA will collect and disseminate information on successful strategies used by medical schools to cap or reduce tuition. (4) Our AMA will encourage medical schools to provide yearly financial planning/debt management counseling to medical students. (5) Our AMA will urge the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to revise its Institutional Requirements to include a requirement that financial planning/debt management counseling be provided for resident physicians. (6) Our AMA will work with other organizations, including the Association of American Medical Colleges, residency program directors groups, and members of the Federation, to develop and disseminate standardized information, for example, computer-based modules, on financial planning/debt management for use by medical students, resident physicians, and young physicians. (7) Our AMA will work with other concerned organizations to promote legislation and regulations with the aims of increasing loan deferment through the period of residency, promoting the expansion of subsidized loan programs, eliminating taxes on aid from service-based programs, and restoring tax deductibility of interest on educational loans. (CME Rep. 2, I-00; Reaffirmation I-03; Reaffirmation I-06)

D-305.959 Medical Student Debt - 1. Our AMA will work with the Association of American Medical Colleges and other stakeholder groups to increase the amount of funding available through the National Health Service Corps and similar federal and state scholarship and loan repayment programs, and work to expand the scope of existing and new programs to allow the inclusion of physicians from other specialties (such as general surgery) that have been identified as in shortage in underserved areas. 2. Our AMA will: (a) through the advocacy process, explore the possibility of assuring that all resident physicians and fellows have access to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program for the time they are in residency and fellowship training; and (b) continue to monitor the short-and long-term impact of the economic environment on the availability of institutional and external sources of financial aid for medical students, as well as on choice of specialty and practice location. 3. Our AMA will continue to monitor medical school finances and oppose state efforts to reduce medical school funding. 4. Our AMA encourages medical schools and other relevant stakeholders to plan, implement, and evaluate the success of innovative ways to reduce the length of training, such as combined BA/MD programs, combined medical school and residency programs, and combined degree programs that, as far as possible, do not add to either the length of training or to its cost. 5. Our AMA will advocate for the following: (a) Expansion of existing and introduction of new public- and private-sector low interest loans; (b) Increased borrowing limits for existing federally-subsidized low-interest loans; and (c) Reinstatement of the economic hardship deferment qualification criterion known as the 20/220 pathway, and support alternative mechanisms that better address the financial needs of postgraduate trainees with educational debt. (d) For equity among students in university setting, medical school tuition increases, if needed, should be based on a fixed-dollar amount as opposed to a university-wide percentage increase. (CME Rep. 13, A-09; Modified: CME Rep. 1, I-10)

D-305.993 Medical School Financing, Tuition, and Student Debt - (1) The Board of Trustees of our AMA will pursue the introduction of member benefits to help medical students, resident physicians, and young physicians manage and reduce their debt burden. This should include consideration of the feasibility of developing a web-based information on financial planning/debt management; introducing a loan consolidation program, automatic bill collection and loan repayment programs, and a rotating loan program; and creating an AMA scholarship program funded through philanthropy. The AMA also should collect and disseminate information on available opportunities for medical students and resident physicians to obtain financial aid for emergency and other purposes. (2) Our AMA will vigorously advocate for ongoing, adequate funding for federal and state programs that provide scholarship or loan repayment funds in return for service, including funding in return for practice in underserved areas, participation in the military, and participation in academic medicine or clinical research. Obtaining adequate support for the National Health Service Corps and similar programs, tied to the demand for participation in the programs, should be a focus for AMA advocacy efforts. (3) Our AMA will collect and disseminate information on successful strategies used by medical schools to cap or reduce tuition. (4) Our AMA will encourage medical schools to provide yearly financial planning/debt management counseling to medical students. (5) Our AMA will urge the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to revise its Institutional Requirements to include a requirement that financial planning/debt management counseling be provided for resident physicians. (6) Our AMA will work with other organizations, including the Association of American Medical Colleges, residency program directors groups, and members of the Federation, to develop and disseminate standardized information, for example, computer-based modules, on financial planning/debt management for use by medical students, resident physicians, and young physicians. (7) Our AMA will work with other concerned organizations to promote legislation and regulations with the aims of increasing loan deferment through the period of residency, promoting the expansion of subsidized loan programs, eliminating taxes on aid from service-based programs, and restoring tax deductibility of interest on educational loans. (CME Rep. 2, I-00; Reaffirmation I-03; Reaffirmation I-06)

Council on Medical Education Reports

The AMA's Council on Medical Education (CME) researches and reports on numerous topics related to medical students, including a large number of reports on debt and other financial concerns facing medical students. Please consult the CME Reports for the council's analysis and review of topics facing medical education, including a large number of student financing and debt issues.


Additional Policy

The above list is only a selection of policy. If you are looking for additional AMA policy or MSS policy related to medical student financial concerns or debt issues, please consult the MSS Policy Digest and the AMA Policyfinder.