A Physician’s Guide to Personal Finance
To the consternation of young physicians, the general public perception is that all medical practitioners are wealthy, which may be the reason why we hear so much grumbling over the cost of health care costs. What is largely lost on the public is that the vast majority of physicians begin their careers deep in a hole both in terms of money and time. It is difficult for the average person to fully gauge, let alone appreciate the monetary and time commitment that goes into preparing for the profession. Even before they confront the lifelong challenge of building personal wealth from a medical practice, new physicians are lined up well behind the starting line for a number of reasons:
- As a result of their extended educations, they enter the workforce much later leaving them with fewer productive years.
- Entering practice with an average school-related debt of $170,000, they must commit a higher portion of their income from their least productive years to debt.
- Many physicians delay starting families which pushes the need for college savings into a critical period necessary for accumulating retirement capital.
- The focus on debt-repayment often results in restricting career opportunities.
The ongoing demands of continuing education and practice development precludes many practitioners from learning basic financial management skills and subverts their ability to manage personal and business finances.
Certainly, new physicians have much better prospects for earning a high income than most people; however the initial delay and expense of launching their careers puts them at a distinct disadvantage in their efforts to build wealth. So, unless they quickly grasp the financial implications of these early challenges, even high-earning physicians can run into financial difficulties.
To continue reading about managing your personal finances follow this link to AIM’s Resource Library “A New Physician’s Guide to Personal Finance”.
Authors: Jon Rogg, MD, Emergency Medicine Physician & Joe Capone, Owner & Founder of OmniMed Financial and Insurance, omnimedfinancial.com to learn more.
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