Many physicians have a poor understanding of personal finance. Since personal finance isn’t a required course in high school, college or medical school, physicians are often unprepared to handle their high income when they become an attending. Sometimes the results of this lack of education are not pretty. Other times it’s a downright disaster. Yet some of us are able to figure out this thing called money. I was thinking about ...

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When our kids were in the 5 to 9 age range, we used to buy each of them a souvenir on our vacations. They always wanted the most expensive item in the store, a great big teddy bear that cost $400. We would tell them no, they needed to pick something less expensive. They weren’t happy about not getting their first choice. It was then that we decided that we ...

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Locum tenens is a great way to make a living or earn some extra income. But frankly, there are some groups of physicians who should not even consider doing locums work. When you pair the right person with the right job, you can get employment bliss. But when the wrong person takes a job, both the employer and the employee are often unhappy. I believe everyone should enjoy the work they ...

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Most Americans live their lives on borrowed money, constantly spending a little more than they make, leaving them with a growing debt. These debt payments, and the added interest they must pay on their debt, decreases the amount of money that they have available to spend on future needs. Paradoxically, borrowing to buy depreciating items, decreases one’s net worth. Stop the madness this year. No more spending more than you make. ...

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When I sat on the management committee of our surgery center, I was wondering why owners didn’t bring all their cases to the facility. They would clearly benefit financially if they increased their caseload. So why didn’t they? I realized, it was because we all think like dogs. Dogs will do tricks if you give them a treat immediately after their successful performance. Dogs will not do tricks if you promise ...

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The Match is complete, and now the fourth-year medical students are preparing to make their move to residency and chief residents are preparing to start their new career as an attending. The next phase of their lives is about to begin. The Match got me thinking about a comment I read recently from a doctor who decided to not become a general surgeon, which she had always wanted to be, and ...

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I would like to share six lessons that I learned from my dad. Parents have a big responsibility in bringing up the next generation. Our kids learn from watching what we do more than hearing what we say. So doing what’s right pays dividends with our kids. As physicians, we miss a lot of time with our family due to our schedules. When we do have time with our family, ...

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Here we are, coming down the home stretch and about to finish residency. With an increased income comes some new financial decisions. The need for life insurance is one of those decisions. If you don’t have any, now would be a good time to consider getting some. The purpose of life insurance is to support the people who are dependent on your income if you die and aren’t there to provide ...

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We have all received many gifts throughout our lifetime. Most are long gone and forgotten, but a few gifts stand out as favorites. As kids, we are given so many toys that we don’t even remember most of them. As we get older, practical gifts like ties and socks are given. Sometimes people don’t know what to give us, so we get gifts we don’t even want or need. There ...

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Many people look at their 401(k) like it is a piggy bank. Since they often don’t have any other savings, when they need a lump sum of money for a large purchase, the only account they have with a decent balance is their retirement account. Since most people are not saving outside of their retirement plan, many people end up with an empty checking account, an empty savings account, no emergency ...

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