I wanted to know what the average amount of debt is for medical school graduates and the average amount of time it takes to pay back. I will be starting medical school this fall and am planning to eventually pursue a psychiatry specialty. So, I’m thinking I will practice for several years after my medical education, pay off my loans, and then look into getting a Ph.D. in organic chemistry or medicinal chemistry. My goal has always been to have a career in pharmaceutical research, but I think the medical background that comes with the M.D. degree will be valuable.
For what you’re looking to do, a joint MD/PhD program, or a straight up PhD program will be better. Even Pharmacy school would be a better choice for your goals. The only Medical specialty that could be related to what you want to do is pathology, unless you specifically want to do psychiatric pharmacology.
Psychiatrists make about $200K per year (before taxes, malpractice insurance, licensing fees, and practice overhead – you’ll take home between $100 and $120K), and it’s pretty normal for MDs to complete Residency with over $300K in loans (the interest capitalizes to the loan during Residency, even if you have it in deferment). Most MDs take 15-30 years to pay their loans, just like a mortgage, and have a minimum payment of a 2-4 thousand dollars each month.