More than 800 doctors in 43 states owe more than $ 100 million combined.
And because the loans were guaranteed by the federal government, the taxpayers have to foot the bill.
“Doctors have a higher calling in the community. They have a higher responsibility,” Tom Schatz of Citizens Against Government Waste told ABC News “20/20”. “The Hippocratic Oath says, ‘Do no harm.’ Why should they hurt taxpayers? “
Click here to see if your doctor or dentist is on the list.
Many doctors seem to lead lives of luxury and operate practices in high-rent locations, including Malibu, California, or Key Biscayne, Florida. But the doctors on the list have collectively defaulted on more than $ 100 million in student loans.
Congress created the federally guaranteed loan program for prospective physicians in the 1970s, but due to the high default rate, it ended the program in the 1990s.
“They were more likely to return the money because it embarrassed them professionally,” Schatz said.
“They continue to practice medicine. They are making money, and there is absolutely no legitimate reason not to return that money,” Schatz said.
“I’m actually in the form of a refund with them. I had some problems here, ”Kralj said facing“ 20/20 ”.
But to this day, Kralj’s outstanding debt is bigger than ever because of principle and interest. Kralj told “20/20” that he has gone through difficult times after losing an investor in his business. He said he hadn’t been paid for nine months.
“There are circumstances in my life that are very sensitive that happened during this part that I was never able to catch up with,” Kralj said. “I’m trying to take responsibility for it all just because it’s caught up. And the point is, trying to keep a practice and trying to pay off loans and trying to move forward is difficult. “
Kantro, who also made his name as a medical inventor, lives in an upscale home on five acres of property in New York City. But according to the list, he currently owes $ 287,819 for loans he took out in 1979.
While refusing to speak to “20/20” on camera, Kantro claimed that he actually paid off his debt 30 years ago and that it was all a mistake. But when “20/20” asked for permission to check his history with the government, he refused.
“There may be some level of sympathy at this point, but not over this long period. Said Schatz. “It means that resources have been spent by the government to get to this point. Thirty percent of these people have been in office since 1995. It really takes a long time to keep fighting and not paying.