Medical professionals face substantial debt in Ventura county and nationwide. There are repayment options. Are these options enough to entice prospective medical students to become medical professionals?
Read the following articles, search our interactive for the Deadbeat Doctors and explore the timeline to see the evolution of the Health Education Assistance Loan program set up to help graduate students aspiring to be doctors, dentists and veterinarians.
Local dentists, chiropractors say they can't escape student loan debt A dozen doctors who practiced in and around Ventura County owe a total of $1.41 million to the government for money loaned through the now defunct Health Education Assistance Loan program and interest that compounds annually.
Medical students face substantial debt Students graduating this year face average loan debts in excess of $162,000. Qualified middle- or lower-class students may not be willing to take on such a burden. At the same time, the country is estimated to need an additional 20,000 to 60,000 doctors over the next two decades.
Payback a bitter pill for deadbeat doctors The government has seized tax refunds and unemployment checks, claimed judgments against them in federal court, banned them from billing Medicare and Medicaid, even posted their names on a public shaming list. Yet 930 medical professionals nationwide remain in default, owing the government more than $116 million for loans many stopped repaying more than 18 years ago.