Financial Preparedness

It's never too early to start building your financial future

January 14, 2014

A note to young physicians: When the host of "Radio Rounds" asked me to interview on financial preparedness for medical students and young physicians, I didn’t hesitate to accept. It was another opportunity to share information with future doctors that could help them build a solid foundation for their personal finances. Anyone who knows a student or resident is aware of the time pressures and huge amount of responsibilities they have at this point in their careers. It's difficult for them to start thinking about and managing their personal finances, and recognizing how important that is for themselves and their families.

Radio Rounds podcasts offer views, tips on financial basics

These physicians' concerns took on even more life during my Radio Rounds interview, along with Dr. Shamie Das, Radio Rounds' co-founder and current emergency medicine intern at Emory University Hospital, and Dr. Ann Wojtalik, practicing pediatrician and married mother of ten. The program's focus was to discuss young physicians’ views on their financial futures and to offer resources and recommendations. Drs. Das and Wojtalik shared their unique perspectives as young physicians, and I was privileged to add my thoughts as a personal financial resource.

The complete program is filled with insights and valuable information about how to organize and prioritize your financial plan. We've separated it into three sections or podcasts, and I want to urge all young physicians to listen to these tips from their colleagues.

Dr. Shamie Das: The Challenges Faced by Young Physicians on Their Financial Future

Dr. Ann Wojtalik: Insights on Personal Financial Challenges for Female Physicians

In my podcast section, I expanded on the three recommendations below. You can listen for more detailed information and personal financial tips at:

Chris Burke: Special Advice for Young Physicians on Financial Planning


Recommendation #1 - Be prepared, starting now: Medical school students and young doctors can't afford any disruption in finances. With a medical school loan and other related expenses and debt – plus a late start to save for retirement, the impact can be devastating to a young physician and his or her family.

Recommendation #2 - Start saving early: It's never too early to start planning for your financial future. Pay down your medical school debt first – in the first 10 years – and then start saving for retirement. Just be sure to save.

Recommendation #3 - Get trusted professional help: Being a physician comes with high rewards as well as a significant amount of financial risk. You can minimize the risk by starting to work with a trusted financial advisor now. The data bears this out – as physicians begin to mature, their comfort level with making financial decisions grows. Having professional support is an important part of this process.

I hope this information has been helpful, and I want to thank Radio Rounds for giving me the opportunity to be a guest. They're a nonprofit organization founded by medical students and they're doing great work. They offer a terrific resource to young physicians unlike any other.

Be sure to listen to Dr. Das's and Dr. Wojtalik's interviews above. These are physicians who have been in your shoes and you may find that you are not alone with your concerns about financial matters.

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