Cost of Waiting

08 Apr
scrooge mcduck: money expert

Scrooge McDuck

As I mentioned to PA SuperTammy in a comment on my post about the interview I recently had with Ross University, I don’t think that I will be applying to DO schools if I get accepted to either Ross or AUC. Why you might ask? It boils down to loss of years with an earning at a physicians salary and how that factors into a ‘true cost’ of attending med school. I broke down the cost of applying for one round this coming year. Here are the numbers:

MCAT = $250
AAMC Practice Exams(5 @ $35/ea) = $175
MCAT Prep Course = $2000
Primary Apps(15 schools) = $655
Secondary Apps(8 schools @ $100/ea) = $800
Interview Expenses = $2000

Total = $5880

It’s an investment to say the least when one decides to apply to medical school here. Knowing the base cost of the application process, I could then factor in other ‘hidden costs’ I would meet by waiting to apply. These are things like: wage losses from taking time to study for the MCAT, losing another year at a physician’s salary, or taking out more loans to continue to pay for my grad school tuition. Here are the figures for these other hidden costs:

Grad School Tuition (per semester) = $7500
Wages lost from MCAT studying (3 month course) = $640
Primary Care Physician’s Salary = $150,000

Taking all that into account will give us the true cost of attending medical school. We can also extrapolate these numbers out to account for if you were to apply two times as well(assuming the MCAT was not re-taken a second time).

Matriculation Date: Sept 2011 Sept 2012 Sept 2013
Grad School $7,000 $22,000 $22,000
MCAT Exam $0 $250 $250
MCAT Course $0 $2,000 $2,000
Applying $250 $1,455 $2,910
Interviewing $50 $2,000 $4,000
Wages lost from MCAT studying $0 $650 $650
Years Salary Lost 0 1 2
Total Earnings Lost $0 $150,000 $300,000
Cost of School $250,000 $250,000 $250,000
True Costs $257,300 $428,355 $581,810

Some of these numbers might be a little higher or lower depending on who you ask. I tried to get the best estimates possible when making these calculations. However, the trend in the data is clear. Waiting to start medical school is like burning a big fat pile of money. I really don’t like burning gobs of money, especially money I don’t really have(in the case of grad school loans). This concept plays a large factor in taking an acceptance from AUC or Ross and forgoing the DO schools. There are, obviously, other reasons than cost alone that are pushing me towards going to med school this September instead of waiting for DO schools, but that will be fodder for another post. I’m late to get to the OR for volunteering. Cheers!


Posted by on April 8, 2011 in Applications, Med School


Tags: , ,

6 responses to “Cost of Waiting

  1. Axl

    April 8, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Hey Flustered- thanks for the well wishes. I was very interested to read your analysis in this post. It seems that you are considering things very carefully, which is great. Honestly, the reason I tend to caution people about carrib is the Step1 pass rate. Obviously, if you dont pass or drop out at any point, then you are out a huge amount of money with no degree to show for it. However, if you are getting decent scores on your MCAT and have good study habits, there’s no reason that this should happen to you, in which case, yeah, you’ll be an MD a year or two before me, and that’s 200k in your pocket 🙂

    Good luck! I’ll be reading.

  2. Flustered Grad

    April 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Yeah, from what I’m told, going this route will definitely put a lot more pressure on the student to perform well without the school doing as much hand holding. Good luck on your MCAT exam. Tomorrow right?

    • Carla

      April 8, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      Hey Flustered,
      Just read that you went to RIT on Spen’s blog comments. My fiance goes there…and will hopefully have a job before I ever do! From what I’ve read on your blog so far, we seem to have some things in common. I just got accepted into a Master’s in Public Health program at UofR…….and now I’m SUPER confused and in limbo as to what road I should take. I was planning on retaking my MCATs in about a month….but then not sure if I should apply this coming cycle and defer, or wait until next cycle :/ I’ve read that you really shouldn’t apply with the intention to defer….but my Master’s program is 2 years, and I would want to get that outta the way before going on. Any advice?

      and then the MCAT….thats a whole other issue. GAHHhhh!

      • Flustered Grad

        April 8, 2011 at 11:24 pm

        Hey Carla! With any luck your fiance will have a great job! It’s really a great school. Why not apply this cycle if your MCAT scores are good and your GPA/ECs are strong? I know a lot of med schools have a MD/MPH or DO/MPH combo. Any courses you took at UoR before matriculating to med school would be transferable I would think.

        You might not even have to defer if the school will allow you to skip a year or the equivalent of the courses you’ve taken up to that point. I would contact a few of the schools you’re interested in and see what their policy is. Let me know what you find! 🙂 Cheers!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: