The high debt of earning a professional degree. What to do?

The Wall Street Journal recently had an article titled Some Professional Degrees Leave Students With High Debt but Without High Salaries.

Professional degree graduates in the United States and Canada often carry a crippling university debt burden. In many countries, most not nearly as wealthy, the taxpayer funds higher education. Those countries quickly get their investment back through the higher income taxes that the educated pay.

My classmates and I (U. Toronto, Dents, 1965) were able to cover the cost of our education from the earnings of a summer job while at school. That is no longer possible. Over the last few decades, the cost of higher education has exceeded the rate of inflation significantly.

I recently sold my practice to a colleague whose son works in the office. The young man, an NYU grad, carries a debt load of over half a million.

What a shameful indictment on the US and Canada, among the wealthiest countries in history!

The high education debt is a cause for concern. In order to keep the revenue which they would lose by referring, heavily indebted young professionals are tempted to perform procedures for which they are not qualified. They are also tempted to overtreat.

How difficult is it for a veterinarian to say that your cat should stay overnight? Who would refuse?

Society is the loser.

Obama’s proposal for free higher education went nowhere because those who control the money, control the political process.

Will Biden’s similar proposal fare better?

US News ranks careers. Dentistry is rated among the best, the high debt load of education notwithstanding. The cost of a dental education compares to the cost of buying a McDonald’s franchise, the number one franchise in the world. On average, dentists earn more net income than McDonald’s franchisees. Dentists’ life/work balance is unmatched.


There are industries that are benefitting from COVID but the health care professions are not among them.

We live with the common cold for which we have no vaccine, we live with the flu for which many but not all, get vaccinated annually. We will likely need to live with COVID and it’s a variants forever.  The need to use Personal Protective Equipment is here to stay. Our increased expenses are here to stay.

So, what can we do about it?

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Dr. Milan Somborac

The Monday Morning Millionaire Program supports do-it-yourself (DIY) investors which I have been for over 50 years. About my team and me