Frequently Asked Questions
Our worry is that many qualified students will self-select out of medicine to avoid the significant debt that would be incurred over years of training. Qualified students who must travel to medical school from rural and northern areas, or those who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds, may not even apply due to “sticker shock.”
Choice of Practice
High debt loads may dictate to students where and what type of medicine they will practice. Longer training programs, often in disciplines that are already underserviced (such as obstetrics, neurology, anesthesia, and general surgery), may be passed over in favour of specialties that facilitate quicker entry to practice, and hence quicker loan repayment.
Physician supply is already severely constrained in rural and northern practice. High debt loads may discourage graduating students from seeking the additional training needed for rural practice. Some students may choose to move to the United States, perceiving a greater opportunity for higher remuneration, lower income tax, and the ability to be debt-free in a shorter period of time.
There are two programs currently offered by the Ontario Government to assist Medical students.
Final Year Medical Student Bursary Program
Provides a bursary of $750 per month to undergraduate medical students in Ontario medical school for the 12 months of their final year of medical school.
Resident Loan Interest Relief Program
Provides eligible Ontario medical residents with repayment assistance on government student loans.
During their Ontario medical residency, the participant is exempt from making payments of principal. In exchange – the applicant must first sign an agreement for 5 years of Return of Service to Ontario after residency and a Medical Resident Loan Agreement. The loan enters full repayment after residency.
The OMSBF provides financial support, through non-repayable bursaries, to students in need, regardless of their year in school.