Students from the UK are on average £16,000 in debt after just one year at medical school, a major BMA survey has revealed.
First years are increasingly using commercial loans and credit cards to plug gaps and more than two thirds reported cutting back on food, heating and other essentials.
One first year, who had taken a degree in another subject before studying medicine, owed a staggering £84,500, and another was working more than 40 hours a week alongside studying in order to make ends meet.
The financial burden is so high that 4.2 per cent of first years were considering leaving their course, according to the survey findings.
Students in England were particularly hard hit, entering medicine as they did after annual tuition fees rose from £3,290 to £9,000 in the 2012/13 academic year.
In line with BMA predictions, they are likely to owe around £70,000 by the ti