Congratulations on receiving your M.D. (or D.O.)! You have entered the elite company of other M.D.’s across the country. Now I know what you are thinking, my M.D. is my doctorate in medicine; however as Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast!” Your M.D. actually enters you in the elite company of others across the country in a unique group called…“Massive Debt.” That’s right. Receiving your M.D. is a great accomplishment, however for most folks, it also comes with strings attached. A five-letter word is the elephant in the room, the gorilla on your back: L-O-A-N-S. So what do you do with them? How do you prepare? What does the government require you to pay? Now I will say this, it won’t be easy. The next few years of residency will test you, you will be challenged more than you ever have before – mentally, physically, and financially – but, YOU WILL SURVIVE. Whether it is 3, 4, 5, or 7 years, you can take the right steps in PGY 1 so you minimize the amount of stress you are going to endure over the next few years.
First thing is first though – MATCH DAY. It comes around once a spring, and will change your entire world starting this upcoming July. So how do you prepare? What steps can you take to be ready for that big day? How do you avoid making the same financial mistakes most doctors inevitably make due to their environment and their behaviors? The Financial Side of Medicine series is designed to help aspiring physicians start out on the right foot and on a solid financial foundation. Living in regret (and debt) can be avoided by changing one thing: Behavior. My focus is to help physicians understand their behavior, so when they finish training, their first few months of income doesn’t go to pay off credit card debt and they can truly enjoy the fruits of their success. This will include finances, however it will also relate to their health, diet, family, social, and other aspects of that “well-balanced” life we are all trying to achieve.
The Financial Side of Medicine (FSOM) series will specifically cover:
-How to create a budget and stick to it
-How to save money during residency… WHAT?!?
-When to start paying on your student loans
-How to avoid traps physicians fall into
-How to travel during residency…when you are not working 85 hours a week
-How much should be going towards rent
-When should you buy a home?
-How to combine finances with a spouse
-How to pay off credit card debt (or avoid it)
-When to buy disability insurance, what to get, what should it protect, what should it cost
-How to protect student loan payments with disability insurance
-How to navigate employer benefits
And so much more…
Now settle in, match with a program, and let’s start off on the fast track to success. As I will end every article… “Joie de vivre.” Look it up and live it!
If you find these articles helpful, share them with others in your shoes. They will be forever grateful to you, and you will have friends to go do amazing things with over time.