Many orthopedic residents accrue considerable debt by residency graduation. These debts for graduating medical students continue to increase due to the yearly increase of medical school tuition. The purpose of this study was to examine the causes of financial debt, as well the effects of debt on orthopedic residents.
Orthopedic residents from postgraduate years 1 to 5 (N=27) completed an anonymous, optional financial survey. The survey asked questions regarding the characteristics of the residents' debt and their concern caused by their debt. All residents from our institute (N=27) voluntarily participated in the survey. The residents consisted of 4 (15%) women and 23 (85%) men, with 14 (56%) single residents and 12 (44%) married residents. No statistically significant difference existed in total debt >$100,000 between single and married residents or men and women. Forty-eight percent (n=13) of the residents had medical educational debt >$100,000, whereas 45% (n=12) had total debt >$200,000. Residents with total debt >$100,000 were concerned about their debt, whereas 1 of 4 residents with <$100,000 of total debt reported concern (P<.001).
Debts affect orthopedic residents financially and may cause stress and hinder their medical training. Appropriate measures should be taken to help residents properly manage their debtand to provide supplemental assistance with their financial struggles.