Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

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Fred Norris
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Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby Fred Norris » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:05 pm

Why is paying sticker at HYS that much worse than paying sticker at any given reputable med school?

I'm particularly interested in the quality of life argument while paying off loans. For med loans, you are stuck with a mid five-figure job for four years upon graduation, and then if you want to make a substantial amount of money, you've got to tack a few more years onto that for a fellowship.

I have no doubt that the mid career median earnings of a Harvard Med graduate are way above those of a Harvard Law graduate, but it seems like much of the arguments from the anti-debt crowd revolve around what life is like when paying off the loan or being saddled with it, not mid-career.

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earthabides
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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby earthabides » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:08 pm

The argument is that you can have the same outcome debt free with a full scholly somewhere else in the T14 particularly CCN Penn or Cornell

Fred Norris
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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby Fred Norris » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:11 pm

earthabides wrote:The argument is that you can have the same outcome debt free with a full scholly somewhere else in the T14 particularly CCN Penn or Cornell


So it's not that your life will suck in general, it will just suck comparatively to what you could have had..?

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Dog
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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby Dog » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:12 pm

earthabides wrote:The argument is that you can have the same outcome debt free with a full scholly somewhere else in the T14 particularly CCN Penn or Cornell


Cornell?

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earthabides
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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby earthabides » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:13 pm

Fred Norris wrote:
earthabides wrote:The argument is that you can have the same outcome debt free with a full scholly somewhere else in the T14 particularly CCN Penn or Cornell


So it's not that your life will suck in general, it will just suck comparatively to what you could have had..?


Some people would say that your life paying off med school debt will suck just as bad as your life while paying off law school debt. Of course, being a 0L, I've never experienced either

Dog wrote:
earthabides wrote:The argument is that you can have the same outcome debt free with a full scholly somewhere else in the T14 particularly CCN Penn or Cornell


Cornell?


If we're talking about BL placement yeah

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landshoes
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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby landshoes » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:23 pm

earthabides wrote:The argument is that you can have the same outcome debt free with a full scholly somewhere else in the T14 particularly CCN Penn or Cornell


Maybe yes, maybe no, but you're right that med school scholarships are just not comparable.

That said, it's important to note that people largely choose their in-state medical school if possible, so it's not that pre-meds are ignoring the COA. They just don't have much of a choice.

People also like being doctors to some extent, and have a lifetime of high earning capacity. Biglaw is not a guaranteed lifetime job for anyone. You may never get no debt + high income as a lawyer. Ever. That's a huge stressor.

The rise in popularity of midlevel practitioners changes the calculus somewhat, and you do see some lower-paying specialties struggling to attract doctors because the salary just doesn't work with the cost of med school. It's a huge problem.

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earthabides
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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby earthabides » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:28 pm

landshoes wrote:
earthabides wrote:The argument is that you can have the same outcome debt free with a full scholly somewhere else in the T14 particularly CCN Penn or Cornell


Maybe yes, maybe no, but you're right that med school scholarships are just not comparable.

That said, it's important to note that people largely choose their in-state medical school if possible, so it's not that pre-meds are ignoring the COA. They just don't have much of a choice.

People also like being doctors to some extent, and have a lifetime of high earning capacity. Biglaw is not a guaranteed lifetime job for anyone. You may never get no debt + high income as a lawyer. Ever. That's a huge stressor.

The rise in popularity of midlevel practitioners changes the calculus somewhat, and you do see some lower-paying specialties struggling to attract doctors because the salary just doesn't work with the cost of med school. It's a huge problem.


Yeah I don't know much about med school was just trying to frame the question as HYS v no debt. I know i'm also trying to jump through some mental hoops and convince myself that H would be the best option for me but I just know that taking $$$ will lead to a better life

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby landshoes » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:30 pm

To dip below 6 figures as a doctor you have to do something really terrible, or purposely choose that over several higher-paying options. You can make 100k as a doctor and have real work-life balance, not the ridiculous 50 hours a week work-life "balance" you get as an attorney. You'll always be able to service your loans and have a decent quality of life. That has to make them a lot less stressful.

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby landshoes » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:35 pm

earthabides wrote:
landshoes wrote:
earthabides wrote:The argument is that you can have the same outcome debt free with a full scholly somewhere else in the T14 particularly CCN Penn or Cornell


Maybe yes, maybe no, but you're right that med school scholarships are just not comparable.

That said, it's important to note that people largely choose their in-state medical school if possible, so it's not that pre-meds are ignoring the COA. They just don't have much of a choice.

People also like being doctors to some extent, and have a lifetime of high earning capacity. Biglaw is not a guaranteed lifetime job for anyone. You may never get no debt + high income as a lawyer. Ever. That's a huge stressor.

The rise in popularity of midlevel practitioners changes the calculus somewhat, and you do see some lower-paying specialties struggling to attract doctors because the salary just doesn't work with the cost of med school. It's a huge problem.


Yeah I don't know much about med school was just trying to frame the question as HYS v no debt. I know i'm also trying to jump through some mental hoops and convince myself that H would be the best option for me but I just know that taking $$$ will lead to a better life


No worries, I love nerding out about med school. Good luck with either decision. FWIW I have a friend who went to H and did well and still regrets not taking a full ride at NYU. He also hated H's social scene.

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Helioze
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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby Helioze » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:35 pm

The argument I see most often advanced on this site is one of relative security.

If you go to med school, you will be able to get a good paying job as a doctor.

If you can get a good paying job as a doctor, you can finance the outrageous level of debt that med school entails.

Doctors have much better job security at comparable salary levels than lawyers.

This makes the med school debt more of a "sure thing" rather than a gamble.

I don't imagine it would suck any less than huge debt from law school, just that you would be less stressed about being [i]able[i] to pay it back.

In fact it probably sucks more for a while, as it is more $$$$ and you typically have a shittier paying job for a few years before you start to make $$ at a rate where you can start to eliminate the debt.

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby Nomo » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:37 pm

In-state medical school tuition is often around $25,00/yr. cheaper than HYS tuition. After residency most doctors seem to have upward earnings and decreased hours. After a few years of biglaw most attorneys have lower salaries and decreased hours. the long-term market for doctors seems to be better than for attorneys. It seems like many people find their work as a physician to be rewarding, but it seems like the only attorneys who find their work rewarding are doing low-pay legal-aid type work.

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby Dog » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:42 pm

earthabides wrote:
Fred Norris wrote:
earthabides wrote:The argument is that you can have the same outcome debt free with a full scholly somewhere else in the T14 particularly CCN Penn or Cornell


So it's not that your life will suck in general, it will just suck comparatively to what you could have had..?


Some people would say that your life paying off med school debt will suck just as bad as your life while paying off law school debt. Of course, being a 0L, I've never experienced either

Dog wrote:
earthabides wrote:The argument is that you can have the same outcome debt free with a full scholly somewhere else in the T14 particularly CCN Penn or Cornell


Cornell?


If we're talking about BL placement yeah


For what, the most recent NLJ 250 numbers? One year of one metric doesn't suddenly make Cornell ranked 8th. I think Cornell is great, they just don't belong in that grouping.

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby ncc1701 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:43 pm

Fred Norris wrote:Why is paying sticker at HYS that much worse than paying sticker at any given reputable med school?


Stability. That's probably the only thing I can say.

Medical schools don't usually give out scholarships. Law schools do give out scholarships, but if you decide to pay sticker, working in BigLaw to pay off loans isn't as stable as medical-related jobs. Being stuck with debt, whether you're in medical school or law school, sucks either way.

Quality of life, however, is an entirely different story. My father is a doctor, and it took him 20 years to pay off his medical school loans, despite attending a state school. He's always stressed, especially on days when he sees new patients. However, that could also depend on your specialization.

As much as I don't want to say this, if you're a doctor, you're always going to have a job. No matter what. Doctors also earn 6 figures. That is what's most important, especially if you have 300K+ in loans.

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earthabides
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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby earthabides » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:47 pm

Dog wrote:
For what, the most recent NLJ 250 numbers? One year of one metric doesn't suddenly make Cornell ranked 8th. I think Cornell is great, they just don't belong in that grouping.


LST for most years as well based off my memory. I wouldn't say they deserve to be grouped with those schools in terms of BL but outside of those schools is probably the next best option (again for BL)

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby umichman » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:48 pm

Another thing to think about is that doctors can work 100+ hour weeks also. Doctors usually find their job more satisfying but not always. another thing to think about is that if you do big law, by the time you are 30 as a kjd, you could make close to a million. Doctors dont start making real money until mid 30s. some of doctors arent even done with school/residency/fellowship by the time they are 30. So in med school, you are paying off debt in your 30s, 40s and if you go to HYS and can get big law and make it for 5 years, you can pay off debt faster. I wanted to be a doctor growing up, wasnt smart enough, went to law school. But if money is key, and with obamacare cutting doctors income, going to HYS law vs. going to any old med school could go either way i think. i dont thnk paying sticker at hYS is any worse than med school indebt if you like being a lawyer. Also, i have a lot of couple friends who both went to med school. together htey are graduating with 750k in debt...they went to top med schools and will be paying off debt for a long time

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby abl » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:03 pm

I'm not sure job security is all that different. You will always have a job as a doctor if you are not picky about what practice area and what geographic location in which you practice. I'd argue that's pretty similar for an HYS grad -- if you're willing to take a job in your mid-sized hometown being a full-service lawyer and making 80-120k a year, that's pretty much always going to be an option for a HYS (and probably most T14) grad. It's when you insist on being picky about what type of work you're doing and where you're doing it that biglaw flameouts really struggle.

All of that said, I think there's a big QOL difference between the "easiest" jobs to get as a doctor (e.g., being an internist in a small town) and the "easiest" jobs to get as a lawyer (solo practice? insurance defense?)--maybe your shot roughly six figures is similar, but your life is probably going to be much more rewarding and balanced as a small town internist than as an insurance defense "of counsel."

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:27 pm

Dog wrote:For what, the most recent NLJ 250 numbers? One year of one metric doesn't suddenly make Cornell ranked 8th. I think Cornell is great, they just don't belong in that grouping.

Cornell has been running hot for a few years now

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby Dog » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:11 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Dog wrote:For what, the most recent NLJ 250 numbers? One year of one metric doesn't suddenly make Cornell ranked 8th. I think Cornell is great, they just don't belong in that grouping.

Cornell has been running hot for a few years now


Sure, but they weren't too hot back in 2011. There is a lot of self selection at play. They have done well, I just find it hard to believe many TLSers view Cornell as the supreme option to all of UVA, Berkeley, Duke, UM, and NU. Maybe if you exclusively wanted NYC ...is Cornell is viewed more favorably than those schools there?

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:16 pm

I would add that doctors may work 14 hour overnight blocks
(Ex 7pm-9am). The doctors I know work this shift. So although 3-4 shifts a week is only 42-56hrs it is more taxing than that sounds because it's hard to sleep the other days/not be exhausted.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:17 pm

No. But they are usually cheaper. Your initial criticism is fair

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby ditch digger » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:43 pm

I don't understand why nearly everyone on this forum is so debt adverse. After graduating from law school, I owe a bit above $100k in student loans. My salary in in the upper five figures range, and my student loan payments are manageable. That said, I would choose med school over law school in a heartbeat.

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby rpupkin » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:47 pm

ditch digger wrote:I don't understand why nearly everyone on this forum is so debt adverse. After graduating from law school, I owe a bit above $100k in student loans. My salary in in the upper five figures range, and my student loan payments are manageable. That said, I would choose med school over law school in a heartbeat.

You might feel differently if you owed $300K.

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby ditch digger » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:06 pm

rpupkin wrote:
ditch digger wrote:I don't understand why nearly everyone on this forum is so debt adverse. After graduating from law school, I owe a bit above $100k in student loans. My salary in in the upper five figures range, and my student loan payments are manageable. That said, I would choose med school over law school in a heartbeat.

You might feel differently if you owed $300K.


True, but I feel that the job of a doctor is much more fulfilling than that of a lawyer. Also, job prospects for med school graduates are much better than those of their law school counterparts.

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby rpupkin » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:14 pm

ditch digger wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
ditch digger wrote:I don't understand why nearly everyone on this forum is so debt adverse. After graduating from law school, I owe a bit above $100k in student loans. My salary in in the upper five figures range, and my student loan payments are manageable. That said, I would choose med school over law school in a heartbeat.

You might feel differently if you owed $300K.

True, but I feel that the job of a doctor is much more fulfilling than that of a lawyer. Also, job prospects for med school graduates are much better than those of their law school counterparts.

Sorry, it looks like I didn't make my point clearly. The first two sentences of your post were: "I don't understand why nearly everyone on this forum is so debt adverse. After graduating from law school, I owe a bit above $100k in student loans."

It's not so much that TLS folks are averse to any debt. It's more that they're averse to the levels of debt that students take on when they pay sticker for a law school. My "you might feel differently" line was contrasting 100k of law school debt with 300K of law school debt, not 300K of medical school debt.

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Re: Paying Sticker at HYS vs. Med School Indebtedness

Postby ditch digger » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:29 pm

I forgot that racking up $300k at HLS was possible.




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