Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013
For Medical Students
Obama set to approve student loan reform legislation
Congress adopted a bipartisan bill July 31 that would lower federal loan interest rates for medical students and other undergraduate and graduate students. The bill awaits President Obama's signature.
The legislation reduces current interest rates by tying them to the 10-year rate for treasury notes, charging federal student loan holders the treasury interest rate plus an additional percentage.
Specifically, the bill sets the additional interest rates for undergraduate Stafford loans at 2.05 percent, graduate Stafford loans at 3.6 percent and PLUS loans at 4.6 percent. The bill also caps student loan rates at 8.25 percent for undergraduate loans, 9.5 percent for graduate student loans and 10.5 percent for PLUS loans.
For medical students who have federal loans, the bill would lower current rates for graduate Stafford loans to 5.41 percent (down from 6.8 percent) and graduate PLUS loans to 6.41 percent (down from 7.9 percent).
Although the lower interest rate is beneficial for loan recipients today, many experts fear that it ultimately could raise the interest rates for future students because the historically low treasury rates today are expected to rise in upcoming years. Increased treasury rates in turn would increase the total student loan interest rates, possibly costing students down the road more than the previous system.
Visit the AMA Medical Student Section Advocacy and Policy Web page for additional information about student loans and the AMA's efforts to help control medical student debt issues.
Virtual Mentor explores what cancer "survivorship" means
Much celebrity attends those who overcome or trick cancer. Consider the tremendous media attention recently garnered by actress Angelina Jolie for her "courageous" decision to undergo prophylactic mastectomies.
But the reality for many people who are facing cancer looks "nothing like the celebratory events, sound bites or marketing materials that pervade the cultural landscape," writes Gayle Sulik in the latest issue of Virtual Mentor, the AMA's online ethics journal. Read Sulik's article, "What Cancer Survivorship Means," in the August issue of Virtual Mentor.
Readers can weigh in with their views of cancer survivorship by taking this month's ethics poll on the journal's home page.
Other ethical questions raised in this month's issue consider the extreme prices for drugs of marginal benefit, drug shortages that compel physicians to decide who receives preferred treatment and genomics-driven cancer therapy.
Join committee for AMA-MSS Interim Meeting in November
The 2013 AMA Medical Student Section (MSS) Interim Meeting will take place Nov. 14-16 in National Harbor, Md., at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Please join the section and apply for one of the many committees that help make the meeting a success.
Find more information and applications on the AMA-MSS Web page. Applications are due Aug. 25.
Last call: Showcase your research at the AMA Research Symposium
Share your original research with medical colleagues from around the country at the 2013 AMA Research Symposium, taking place Nov. 15-16 in National Harbor, Md. The submission deadline for student abstracts is 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Thursday.
Open to AMA members, the symposium includes poster and oral presentation competitions for students, residents and fellows, and international medical graduates who are certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates and awaiting residency. Separate competitions are hosted within the event for each group.
Poster presentation prizes will be awarded to student researchers in eight categories. Additionally, one prize will be awarded to an overall poster presentation winner and another to the oral presentation winner.
Visit the symposium Web page to learn more about the competition and submission criteria for medical students.