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.
Young medical professionals are particularly disadvantaged when it comes to acquiring the essential financial knowledge they should begin to plan and manage their finances starting during their residencies. Most are so deeply engrossed in advancing their careers and acquiring the knowledge required to keep on top of their professions they have little time to even think about their financial future, let alone plan for it.
This report was developed especially for new or soon-to-be medical practitioners to help them navigate the early stages of their personal financial life. With the proper foundation and focus on personal finance issues they can control, new practitioners stand a much better chance of overcoming the obstacles that have prevented many physicians from achieving true financial independence. You can view the full report by clicking here…
Though the views expressed above are solely the writer’s, Guthrie supports “The Dose with Dr. Goodhook” and is partnering with Adventures in Medicine to create an open, inspiring and insightful community for residents and physicians. Click here to learn more about ways that Guthrie is making practice purposeful.
About the Author: OmniMed Financial & Insurance works with physicians in all 50 states to plan for a secure future. Common topics that physicians approach us about include own occupation disability insurance (with specialty wording), life insurance, college savings planning strategies, and other financial planning topics. We also assist physicians with startup or existing practices to implement professional liability (medical malpractice), health insurance programs, retirement plans, and other financial strategies. Joe Capone is the owner and founder of OmniMed and Rick Warren is a Partner. Visit us at omnimedfinancial.com to learn more.