The massive amount of student debt borne by young Americans through most of their productive lives is scandalous and obscene. At the end of 2018, 44.2 million borrowers owed a total of over $1.5 trillion in student debt.

The average student debt stands at $38,390. The median student debt is between $10,000 and $25,000. Some two percent of borrowers owe $100,000 or more.

Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category in the U.S. behind only mortgage debt. And it's higher than both credit cards and auto loans.

Medical students suffer more from student debt -- and pay more -- than other professions.

The average medical school debt rose to $190,000 in 2016 from $178,000 in 2012. More than 25 percent of graduates carrying debts larger than $200,000. There is no official data for the average medical school debt for 2017 and 2018, but the average is expected to be higher, and will keep getting higher.

The Association of American Medical Colleges said med students take on a median debt of $200,000 to get through medical school. These atrocious expenses start when an applicant tries to get into med school. Medical school applicants should lay aside anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for the application process alone.

The payback is that doctors are the best paid professionals in the United States. Median pay for physicians and surgeons can exceed $208,000 annually, depending on the discipline, said the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But to get to this Nirvana means scaling a huge mountain of expenses.

Some medical schools are helping their students get a handle on their student loans. These schools gift students tuition or other costs such as living expenses in an attempt to lower the huge debt students have to contend with.

In 2018, New York University announced it will cover the full tuition cost for all medical students regardless of need. This amounts to $56,272 for the 2019 to 2020 school year, and is undoubtedly a great help to med students.

In 2017, Columbia University’s medical school, the Columbia University Medical Center, guaranteed students will graduate debt-free.

And just this September, Weill Cornell University said it will offer a full-ride to medical students that qualify for financial age, including tuition, room and board, books and other related expenses.

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A new study at Northwestern found a link between high debt-to-asset ratio and high blood pressure in young people. Creative Commons