I am not trying to refute your experience, simply stating that there are many doctors in *my* town who chose to come here, and live well on their salaries. My friend specifically chose this area for the way of life, and the community here. I don't know what her student loan payments are, as it is none of my business.
I lived/worked as a GP dentist in rural Oklahoma. I was on salary and received a NHSC scholarship. Even with all that my student loans were kiling me. Couldn't save at all. Couldn't sustain it.
What sort of position does your friend's spouse/so have?
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Until very recently, he was a SAHD. He just finished his master's degree in December, and now works as a therapist.