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2017 Report on Medical Students’ Financial Preparedness

As expected, paying off medical school debt is U.S. medical students’ top personal financial concern, and 35 percent of students today project they will owe more than $200,000 at the end of their training. Other concerns students expressed included caring for their parents as they age, and saving for their own children’s education.

Effectively handling debt is a significant concern for medical students and an issue that will follow them throughout the early stages of their careers. Only 5 percent of respondents consider themselves ‘very knowledgeable’ about medical student loan repayment options and most say they don’t feel well versed in addressing their debt load.

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2017 Report on Resident Physicians’ Financial Preparedness

Surprisingly, ‘having enough money to retire’ is already a top concern for U.S. resident physicians, surpassed only by ‘paying off medical school debt,’ but ahead of ‘paying for their children’s education.’

Armed with the data from the report and questions from residents, we asked professional financial advisor, Allan Phillips, Certified Financial Planner™ with Taylor Wealth Solutions, and a member of the AMAI Physicians Financial Partners program to share advice with residents and other young physicians.

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2016 Report: Practicing Physicians

“A comfortable retirement” remains a universal personal financial goal for U.S. physicians—and is also the source of their top concern: “having enough money to retire.”

For the past three years, the percentage of practicing physicians who say they are ‘ahead of schedule’ in their retirement plans nearly doubled -- from 6 percent in 2013 to 11 percent in 2016.

Still, 2016 results show that nearly 40 percent of practicing physicians consider themselves ‘behind’ where they’d like to be in saving for retirement. 

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2015 Report: Young Physicians

The 2015 Report on U.S. Physicians’ Financial Preparedness: Young Physicians Segment paints a clear picture of the financial challenges young physicians face. They typically begin their first year of practice 10 years behind their undergraduate peers in other professions, having lost an estimated $71,000 in potential savings during those years of training. Then, as their income builds with a maturing career, so do their family responsibilities, and added to that, many are paying off a medical school debt of $150,000 to more than $200,000.  

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2015 Report: Women Physicians

As family breadwinners with multiple responsibilities at work and at home, women physicians have little time to devote to their family’s personal finances as a matter of practicality.  Yet over half of them (of all ages) do spend what they consider to be ‘adequate’ time on their personal finances and feel ‘on-track’ or even ‘ahead of schedule’ in preparing for a healthy retirement.

In fact, in the latest AMA Insurance Report on U.S. Physicians’ Financial Preparedness:  Women Physicians Segment, regardless of age, 53 percent of women physicians feel financially prepared for retirement.  

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6 Traits of Financially Prepared Women Physicians

Women physicians who feel financially prepared share six distinct traits, starting with having an ‘on-track’ or ‘ahead of schedule’ retirement portfolio, according to the 2015 national report from AMA Insurance.  This new report spotlights sharp differences between physicians who are ‘financially prepared’ versus those who feel ‘behind where they’d like to be.’


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2014 Report: Employed Physicians

In May 2014, AMA Insurance launched a national survey to better understand the prevailing attitudes and behavior of U.S. physicians in relation to their personal financial preparedness. Topics included: retirement planning and savings, financial concerns, personal financial acumen, use of professional financial advisors, family finances, and disability and other types of insurance protection. 

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2014 Report: Work/Life Profiles

AMA Insurance created and conducted this survey to gain a richer understanding of physicians age 30 to age 69, their lifestyles and life choices. 

We would especially like to thank the nearly 5,000 physicians who answered questions on topics that included family and home life, activities and hobbies, work, technology usage, medical school debt, personal financial preparedness and plans for the future. 

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2013 Report: U.S. Physicians' Financial Preparedness

In December 2012, AMA Insurance launched a national survey to better understand the prevailing attitudes and behavior of U.S. physicians in relation to their financial preparedness for retirement and critical income disruption risks that can happen along the way.

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