How to Make the Most of Your Physician Salary

How to Make the Most of Your Physician Salary

Physicians make a higher than average income but that doesn’t mean that they can’t start getting into some hard financial times. Doctors all have substantial student loan debt and can fall victim to lifestyle inflation. How can physicians make the most of their annual salary? This article will provide some pointers.

Save Aggressively

Doctors can come into emergency financial needs as much as the average American. Their one advantage is that they have the opportunity to save more money since they have a higher than average salary.

If a physician doesn’t start this habit early, however, they may run into a sticky situation down the road. Everyone is advised to start an emergency fund first thing, and doctors aren’t exempt from this need.

Saving for retirement and other important life events are also advised and the earlier you can begin to do this the better. After paying all the monthly bills, decide to dedicate a certain percentage to savings.

Negotiate Your Employment Contract

Many physicians do very well under pressure when it comes to diagnosing and dealing with complex diseases, but when it comes to business dealings, they can feel out of place.

A physician employment contract, however, is the first step that a physician should take to ensure they get the best compensation and benefits that they deserve.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate for better pay, better terms, or just a reduction in duties to make your job as a physician better and more rewarding.

Many physicians enlist the help of professionals to review their employment contract just to make sure they are in fact getting a good offer.

Find the Best Student Loan Repayment Program

All those years in medical school weren’t free, but you do have choices in the way you set up your repayment terms. For doctors with heavy medical student loans, the government has made some programs available to help out. If you work in a rural or in need area, many states pay your student loans for you.

You may also qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness plan that forgives the balance of your medical school debt after ten years of payments and work for a non-profit or government agency.

Taking steps to make the payments for those ten years as low as possible will help you pay for fewer school loans overall.

Don’t Forget Disability Insurance

When you make so much money per month, you tend to rely on that income for your necessities. With so much money at stake, your job is worth insuring.

There is a sad truth that almost a quarter of all Americans 20 years old and up will fall into disability. Whether this disability is life long or short term, having a disability insurance will save you from coming to financial ruin due to your inability to work.

Doctors who don’t work in a high-risk job often fail to obtain disability insurance because they don’t think they are at risk. The reality is that most accidents that cause disability to happen outside of the workplace.

Protect yourself and your family from possibly losing your house and future plans by purchasing a solid disability insurance plan that includes short term and long term disability with as long of a benefit period as you can afford.

As you gain more experience as a physician and your income increases, you can afford more insurance and should definitely increase your benefit plan.


Doctors aren’t usually well versed in finances even though they earn a high income. With a higher annual salary comes a higher risk of losing it and handling it the wrong way. By following the advice listed above, a physician can make the most of their salary and thrive financially.

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