Thursday, October 15, 2009

Putting presumptions aside: Medicinesux

Recently on my blog posting entitled, "Social Media and how I use it for FSLDM," a supporter of our group let me know about pre-med students and residents discussing their student loan debt on The Student Doctor Network here. Although I am loath to use the word, the discussion was deemed a "contest." The creator of the thread challenged the group, and stated (this quote is not verbatim), "who can beat my debt?" S/he then proclaimed, "I owe over 500k!"

I presume that said supporter is through with their medical training and struggling like the rest of us to pay of his or her debt. S/he was was appalled by this conversation. Sadly, these pre-med students sounded painfully naïve. From my reader's perspective and my own, the cavalier tone that permeated the discussion was terrifyingly familiar to us both - we'd been students before and had held similar beliefs about our own student loan debt. In saying that, these students should not be deemed reckless. They are young, engrossed in their studies (as they ought to be), and unaware of the financial horrors they will quickly discover when they cross that stage and receive their diplomas. It is true, they are becoming doctors, and many have a chance to make more than enough money to cover their student loan debt. But it is clear that many of these individuals are struggling to pay off their debt just like individuals with J.D.s, MBAs, M.A.s, M.S.W.s, Ph.D.s . . . you get the point.

I want to thank the creator of the blog Medicinesux for opening my eyes to this student lending problem for doctors. We recently corresponded via email. I found him as a result of the supporter I mentioned above. This blogger was frustrated by the way in which the moderator on The Student Doctor Network kept moving his commentary about student loan debt. Medincinesux made fantastic points on those threads. Unfortunately, most of them were redacted. Thankfully, the moderator did not remove all of his critiques, so I was able to find this YouTube video, which was created by Medicinesux.

Like all of you, Medincinesux is now on the other side of the higher education fence - that's to say, he's with us.

We all know that we are the indentured educated class. We have discovered a brutal reality - our student loan debt is crushing us. It's crushing our simplest dreams - to own a home, have a family, and contribute to American society. Like most indentured people, there is a good chance that we will never be free. So it is hard not to gasp when one sees someone proudly declaring that they owe over 500k in student loan debt!
Sadly, many of them will soon join our class. Just like us, they are unaware of what's beyond that higher education fence.

Like us, they will climb that fence.

Indeed, the time will come for them when they too can proudly jump over that enormous educational barrier. They've done it, and now their ready to seize the world. (Remember how strong you felt when that moment came? Is it even possible to recall that sense of pride and accomplishment?)

Like us, they are filled with different forms of knowledge (some of which is beautifully esoteric, and in contrast to that which is "useful" and "applicable").

But then they see what's on the other side of the fence. It's a massive sewage pit of reality's shit, filth produced by the student lending industry. That's where I am. That's where you are. To you newcomers, don't worry, we can move aside. There's plenty of room in this hole!

Like us, at first they feel terror, hopelessness, despair. The putrid smell of the student loan sewage pit will begin to suffocate them. They will bob up and down in the waste. That's what we did at first - tried to stay afloat, but we are now at the bottom. They will feel themselves drowning, and then they will become numb. They will cease to breath, cease to move. They will sink and meet those of us who are firmly affixed to the lowest parts of the pit. (Some have been sucked into the worst of it- the default tubes - and feel that no one, not even the other debtors, can see them anymore).

"Welcome to the student lending pit . . ." A few of us mutter.

Is this pit of reality's shit, produced by the student lending industry, acceptable?

Let's swim to the top shall we?

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