Managing Your Student Debt

Discovery Resource # ST-33
Resource Topic: Loan Repayment
Planning Tools: Survival Tool
Career Phase: Plan
Description: Your road to financial freedom
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With the substantial debt burden facing graduating medical students, it has become increasingly important to know how to navigate the choppy waters of medical school debt.

Whether your loans are federal or private, in good standing or in default, this chapter identifies your options and helps you determine the best way forward.
  • Graduate from residency with as little debt as possible.
  • Escape from student loans within two to five years of residency graduation.
  • Prevent defaulting on student loan default and/or declaring financial hardship declaration.
  • Develop a payment plan and learn about loan forgiveness opportunities offered by some employers.
  • Identify federal loan repayment programs.
  • Identify state loan repayment programs.
  • Qualify for public health loan forgiveness.
  • Reduce your interest rate by refinancing.
Author: Dave Denniston, CFA
Dave Denniston, CFA
Chartered Financial Analyst

Mr. Denniston is an author and authority on financial issues specific to physicians and serves as an advocate to help them make good financial decisions. He is the author of 5 Steps to Get out of Debt for Physicians, The Insurance Guide for Doctors, The Tax Reduction Prescription Workbook, The Freedom Formula for Physicians, and his latest book The Young Physician's Guide to Money & Life. He also hosts a podcast for physicians and the financial issues they face at

In working with physicians for over ten years, he has seen most every financial situation imaginable. His drive and passion is to see every physician’s financial situation improve by eliminating debt and reducing their tremendous tax burden.

His desire to help doctors came from the birth of his youngest child, Evangeline. As his family’s “little miracle”, she was born four months early, weighing only 12.5 ounces. In gratitude for the care provided by his daughter’s physician, he dedicated his mission to helping physicians with their financial health.