I guess looking at it from the other side, my observations are a bit different, although I can see where you’re coming from.
I only applied to one med school, private, and had no idea of the difference in cost when I made that decision. I don’t know if I would have chosen a state school over private if it came to that, but in retrospect, working part-time in primary care isn’t the best way to pay off private med-school bills. I don’t feel like I have as many choices about my work because of my debt, and that might have been different if I had chosen a state school.
That said, it WAS nice to have a great place to work out (the most mentioned comment about my medschool at studentdoctor.net), and very supportive instructors, and Yes, I did sense that they would give you the assistance you needed to help you graduate no matter what.
But, 10 years after graduation … what matters now? I’m not sure what my decision would be if I had it to make again.
It just kills me when people ask, “Where did you go to med school?” and you say, “X University” and they say, “Oooh. I heard that was a good place.” And truly, your residency is so much more a part of your skills than med school in my opinion. And did anyone ever hear of a “bad” med school?