College of Osteopathic Medicine Faculty Articles

Title

Educational debt: does it have an influence on initial job location and specialty choice?

ISBN or ISSN

1941-9430

Publication Title

The journal of physician assistant education : the official journal of the Physician Assistant Education Association

Volume

25

Issue

4

Publication Date / Copyright Date

1-1-2014

First Page

39

Last Page

42

Abstract

This study applied a quantitative design and analyzed the impact of educational debt on initial specialty and location choices for physician assistant (PA) graduates in Indiana. METHODS: PAs who graduated between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2010, and actively practice in Indiana were surveyed. Descriptive statistics and chi-square analyses were performed to determine whether any significant relationships existed among practice specialty, location, and gender. RESULTS: 157 participants (33%) responded to the survey and were considered in the final analysis. Males were more likely than females to be influenced by debt in choosing their specialty and the location of their initial job. A majority of PAs would have reconsidered rural practice if they had received federal and or state loan forgiveness for educational debt. CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that debt may influence practice specialty and location choice. Further studies are needed to determine how gender might account for decisions to practice in certain specialties and location.

Disciplines

Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathy

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