Re: Is medical school worth it?
Crushing debt could be a major issue since student loans cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy. (Doctors used to be the biggest abusers in that area since they would still have jobs and could rebuild credit very quickly.) There is also a large number of doctors in the U.S. and both Medicare and the insurance industry are getting tougher with payments each year. However, I suspect employment prospects will remain more excellent than in most any other field, no matter how bad the economy gets – meaning she’ll likely have steady income to pay off those loans, and there are some programs that allow for debt forgiveness for public service.
I am no seer. However, I subscribe to John Michael Greer’s (The Long Descent) suggestion that there will be a series of crises, each followed by time to barely catch a collective breath before the next crisis, but not a total and instantaneous collapse. The timeline he talks about is one of decades. Peak oil is not peak collapse. So likely she would have time to get that degree, do her internship, do her residency, and then get started with really paying off those massive loans. The earlier she can lock in a low rate, the better, as it is very likely possible that rates will increase over time if there is inflation. Besides, if things truly collapse within 6 years, she might not even have to pay off those loans! 😛
I would suggest while learning to also keep in mind low-tech diagnosis and treatment methods used in Third World countries, rural areas, and in the last century; wound care (gunshots, knifes, blunt trauma); and obstetrics. If not medical school and six years, then consider being a Physician’s Assistant (cheaper degree, better hours, decent pay), emergency paramedic, ER nurse, nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife – all offer fewer years, less debt, and yet practical skills that will take her far.