5 Rules for Protecting Your Family’s Financial Future, Part I

Medical Spouse

Medical training is a significant investment for both you and your spouse. It’s an investment … Read more

Financial Literacy for the Newly Minted Physician Part II: Introduction to Do-It-Yourself Investing

In our last installment, we recognized the value of money as a means of allotting your time in accordance with your values; identified financial independence for physicians as a goal worth pursuing from the earliest stages of your medical training; and discussed poor decisions that physicians commonly make, with the hope that we might tame the impulse to buy a new car or an irrationally expensive home fresh out of med school or residency.

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Financial Literacy for the Newly Minted Physician: Part One

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t, pays it.
-Albert Einstein
Your Life Of Abundance
The first thing to note about your life the day after you finish residency is that, despite the fashionable whining of your peers, yours has been an existence of relative abundance: You have likely never driven a nicer car, earned a higher salary, or had greater autonomy.
In 2014, the average resident salary one year out of medical school was $51,000 (Medscape). For perspective, in 2014 the median U.S. household income was $53,657 (U.S. Census Bureau). Given that the median household size was 2.54, a new, single intern fared better than most families that year (Statista).

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You and Your Spouse: A Financial Team

Medical Spouse

Aside from long hours and lots of studying, the other guarantee in medical school is financial stress. Unless you are fortunate enough to have a spouse whose medical education is paid for and you have funds from family or a job that will cover both of your living expenses, you’ll be on a tight budget and accumulating massive amounts of debt. That debt will be large enough to change your financial planning and lifestyle both now and for years to come.

So how do we put ourselves in the best financial position now and plan for the future? And how do we still enjoy life now during these lean years? It’s worth it to start talking about finances now!

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The Key for Student Doctors to be Debt Free

paying off student debt

With loan debt for students in graduate health professions rising exponentially, the conversation around choosing the right  student loan repayment option  and/or opting for the  public service loan forgiveness (PSLF)  program is becoming much more popular. Instead of focusing on what repayment plan gives a graduate the lowest monthly payment or whether or not he/she should pursue loan forgiveness, why not focus on  minimizing expenses  and working hard to pay off the debt as fast as soon as possible? This will allow for moving on to other financial goals with more intensity and focus such as buying a home, saving for retirement, and giving to name a few…all without any student loan debt getting in the way. 

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Chronicles of a Med Student: All Aboard the Financial Struggle Bus

Chronicles of a Med Student

I remember the sheer joy of ripping open the letter that granted me a medical school spot. Everything was roses and rainbows, and I was thrilled that my dreams were coming true. This cute little fantasy carried on until I received the tuition numbers a few weeks later . . . wow. I had no money, and I was being expected to pay how much? Regardless of what you hear from other people about how doctors make enough money to quickly pay back their debt, those five digits after the dollar sign per year are still scary.

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Eight Tips on Money Management for Entering Medical Students

You’ve already done the hard part, you’ve made it into medical school! But how are you going to pay for it? Understanding how to manage your money is critical for financial success. Follow these eight basic tips to start your medical career off right.

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Post Undergrad: Getting Ready for Medical School or a Gap Year

For many students interested in a career in medicine, the period after the final year of undergraduate education represents a time of transition to medical school or to furthering their experiences and their education in preparation for applying to medical school. This month’s article from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) focuses on those two pathways.

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The National Health Service Corps: Cutting Student Debt and Promoting Primary Care

By Christy Crisologo

It was Pauline Rolle’s grandmother who first opened her eyes to the needs of underserved communities in the United States.

“There are people all over the world who need you,” the pediatrician’s grandmother told her, “but there are also people right here who need you.” After completing her training, those words inspired Dr. Rolle to apply for the National Health Service Corps’s Loan Repayment Program. Today she works at the Duval County Health Department clinic in Jacksonville, FL, serving primarily Medicaid and uninsured patients.

“The program is just awesome — it’s just fabulous,” Dr. Rolle said in an article featured on the NHSC website. “The connectivity among public health providers, the conferences, and the educational credits that they offer — not to mention the support in terms of loan repayment — it’s just a tremendous blessing to me and my family.”

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Financial Considerations for the Student Doctor

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.

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Just Sign on the Dotted Line

 
The contract provisions couldn’t look any better:

  • $ 300,000 annual salary guarantee
    • sustained by hospital/practice
    • forgiven over 5 years
    • phased out beyond 15 months to full productivity remuneration
  • $10,000 sign on bonus
  • $20,000 relocation expenses
  • 3.5 weeks annual vacation
  • 2 weeks annual sick time
  • 10 days paid CME
  • 401K investment
  • Profit sharing/open partnership in 12 months.

But before signing the dotted line, take the contract home, read it carefully and understand it. Equally importantly, get to know the people behind it.
For many doctors soon to complete their residencies, one final round of interviewing is underway. This time, unlike prior interviews, it is an audition for your job post-residency, in your chosen profession. Finally!

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