Doctors are frequent subjects for television, books, and other forms of cultural reflection. They’ve been glamorized and satirized and held in great esteem. They’re trusted advisors and spokespeople for improving health. Along with all of this acclaim comes one of the highest salaries in America- averaging just under $300,000 in 2017.

There’s more to a physician’s life than respect and a paycheck, though.

High patient loads. Long hours. Paperwork. Lengthy reimbursement processes. Conference attendance. High debt levels from medical school. A physician’s work can be incredibly stressful for their body, mind, and bank account balance. Doctors face many of the same challenges as your average professional, as well as some unique hurdles to building a wealthy, healthy life and financial future.

Student Debt

The debt carried by Americans in the form of student loans is becoming a national crisis. While the average college graduate has $37,000 in loans, a new physician averages $190,000 in debt, according to the American Medical Association in 2017. These huge amounts can make payment plans and managing income seem insurmountable. Depending on a physician’s specialty, they can expect that average salary to be far lower. Couple high payments with associated necessities (such as malpractice insurance) and doctors face some very big obstacles. As in all cases, though, the right financial model can help you build positive momentum and push past those high debt loads. It just takes the right planning and commitment.

Disability Risks

Physicians depends on their bodies and their minds to secure their livelihoods. Should you become injured and unable to work for a time, it can be devastating to your practice and your income. Add that to high debt loads and required monthly payments and it can spell disaster for your personal finance. Doctors should carefully explore disability insurance options to make sure that their entire life value is covered in case of an extreme injury. As always, weigh your options and pay special attention to the elimination period (the span of time you must wait before receiving payments from the policy.)

Stress and Burnout

It’s not just the risk of being injured on the job that physicians have to contend with. Healthcare workers are under incredible stress due to the nature of their work. It is often filled with the highest highs and lowest lows of patients’ lives. That stress can cause severe burnout for those workers who struggle with the demands of the job and the impacts on their everyday life. Rates of depression, burnout, and other psychological issues are prevalent in healthcare professionals, making the right mindset even more important and difficult to attain. Practicing self-care, seeking balance, and focusing on gratitude and abundance mindsets can help, particularly when pushing against these huge peaks of stress and demands on your time and attention.

Luckily, you don’t have to be alone in managing the financial side of things. JarredBunch is ready to be your partner in alleviating the financial stresses of this life. Our experience in building effective, proven financial models and guiding our clients towards financial independence and prosperity can help ease your mind and keep you focused on the work only you can do for your patients, your loved ones, and yourself.

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