Study: Most young pediatricians own home despite high debt
from the AAP Department of Research
New data from the AAP Pediatrician Life and Career Experience Study (PLACES) highlight
financial characteristics of pediatricians.
Among early career pediatricians — those who graduated from residency four to six
years ago — 78% had household educational debt in 2015. Among these pediatricians
with debt, the average is $158,000, and the average monthly payment is $1,276. About
one-fourth are earning $200,000 or more a year, and 74% own rather than rent their
home (see figure). Most pediatricians (94%) are saving for their retirement; 37% of
these pediatricians are saving as much as they would like, and 63% would like to be
saving more for retirement.
Among a second group of pediatricians entering their mid-career (graduated from residency
11-13 years ago), 46% had educational debt in 2015. Among those with debt, the average
is $88,000, and the average monthly payment is about $800. Four in 10 are earning
$200,000 or more a year, and 94% own their home. Nearly all of these pediatricians
(97%) are saving for their retirement; 47% are saving as much as they would like,
and 53% would like to be saving more for retirement.
Across both groups, pediatricians who earn at least $200,000 a year are more likely
to own a home and to be on track with their savings for retirement, while those who
have higher educational debt are less likely to own a home and be on track with their
“I was surprised and encouraged to learn that despite high monthly debt payments,
most young pediatricians own a home and are saving for their retirement, although
many would like to be saving more,” said Ashley Miller, M.D., FAAP, a member of the
PLACES project advisory committee. “Obtaining practical information on budgeting,
debt management and retirement savings as early in their careers as possible will
be particularly important for the current generation of residency graduates who are
starting their careers with higher debt.”
PLACES has 900 participants in each of two cohorts and includes AAP members and non-members.
Eighty-eight percent of participants responded to the 2015 survey. Pediatrician educational
debt includes spouse/partner debt.