Internship is one year, you make ~30k. Residency goes like, 45k, 50k, 65k, 75k, and then your attending and its hundred(s) depending on specialty. You can afford life and minimum loans, internship year is hard, but lets not pretend residents dont make enough to eat. And the debt is closer to 250k, which the inevitable after 6 year salary of 110k+ can take care of in a decade. Comparing this to our situation isnt particularly apt.
I guarantee you that no residents make upwards of 75k (in fact I would dare say that few make over 50k) and I know this for a fact - a number of my close relatives are physicians. Also, internships (i.e. fellowships) are only one year long for easier specialties. A Pulmonology fellowship for example is 3 years. Others such are neurosurgery can be considerably longer. But lets take the example of a student who aims to become a Pulmonologist. After graduating from school with let's say 200k in debt (50k/ per year), they would work for a salary that averages 50k for their first six years (3 years as a resident and 3 years as a fellow) after school. The average student loan is a 10 year note and payments begin upon graduation. Assuming they stick to the 10 year length of the loan(s), they would have paid 60% of their loan amount before ever realizing a six figure income.
Here are some random examples of resident salaries.http://www.unmc.edu/emergency/benefits.htmhttp://www.umm.edu/imres/sal_ben.htmhttp://www.uicomp.uic.edu/Residency/ResidentSalaries.html