With over 30 years of experience in both medical and academic sectors, I can’t stress enough that the perception of business and patient care being mutually exclusive is one of the largest falsehoods of our time.
Someday, after years of school (then more school) and residency training, we will start earning doctors’ salaries. In the meantime, finances can be tight, but there are ways to cut costs, optimize the money you do have, and maybe even bring in a little extra on the side.
There’s an old moniker you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. It’s hard to make a budget if you don’t know what you’re spending currently. Take a few weeks and keep track, ideally a full month. Write down everything, regardless of how you pay for it – cash, check, credit card, bitcoin. . . Even if you have a 0% interest credit card and won’t be paying it off for a while, write it down. Then, consider your monthly income. If you’re ending the month in the black – congratulations! You’re on the right track. You may still want to decrease your expenses to reduce your overall loan burden. If you find your monthly cost of living exceeding your income, it is definitely worth your while to take a hard look at what you’re spending and how to cut back.
Attending college and earning a degree is a major accomplishment, but most people don’t have the resources to get their education paid for without help. While there are scholarship and grant programs available to help you out, loans are usually the popular option for students trying to pay their way through school.
The time to pay those loans back comes once you’ve stepped off stage and graduated. If you haven’t kept track of how much you owe, the final figure can be quite intimidating. To ease your stress, it’s important to financially plan and prepare for loan repayment. With that said, here are six smart ways to pay off your student loan.
I first started reading SDN as a medical student, more than a decade ago. In medical education, some of the best advice seems to come from those who are one year ahead of you in the medical education pipeline. SDN allowed me access to more people ahead of me in their training (and the very useful information they would provide) than I could find playing foosball in the lounge at school. As I progressed through the pipeline, I found myself receiving less and less information and dispensing more and more. As residency becomes a more distant memory each year, I can assure you there is light at the end of the tunnel. Residency is survivable. You will eventually feel competent in your specialty. You will make great friends and actually save some lives. Those five-figure paychecks will eventually start rolling in, and if you manage them well, will provide you a comfortable life and retirement.
I remember the time I was a senior resident. It was the beginning of my final year of postgraduate training. I knew I had decisions to make. I was conflicted. Would I go into academics or would I go into private practice? This was the first question I needed to answer.
Throughout medical school and residency, the allure of academics and the urging of my professors had led me down the path of academics. The collegiality and sense of purpose with academics made this a difficult choice for me. I did not want to disappoint my professors. However, I wanted to get into private practice. Honestly, I wanted to make some money. It had been a long haul, and twelve years of education and training had brought me to this juncture. I had no debt, thankfully. But I had no money either.
With the cost of higher education increasing, student loan debt for health professionals has more … Read more
Updated September 19, 2021. The article was updated to correct minor grammatical errors and for … Read more
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