A question to current podiatry students or new grads or attendings

Sep 7, 2018
48
7
I want to be clear before saying anything else. I am interested in working in healthcare professions only and I am very open-minded to which it'll be. For a long time, I only looked at MD/DO, pharmacy, dental, and anesthesia assistant. When I started looking at podiatry a little over a week ago, I had no idea you're also a practicing surgeon. Nonetheless, podiatry caught my interest and I plan on shadowing soon.

Here's the thing. I have 36,000 debt from undergrad, and it looks like after residency is all done, ill owe about 400k plus the leftover from undergrad, and with interest, I'm not sure what the 36,0000 would turn into.

My question to current students or recent grads/attendings. Say I shadow and podiatry seems like a nice career to my perspective, how do I justify that kind of debt when it looks like attendings make 80-100k a year. This article below really spooked me.


This forum also scares me. I hear lots of chatter about saturation which seems to be a very real issue according to BLS:


So what am I doing wrong? Do many of you have other sources of funding for schooling that arent loans? Is your undergrad all paid off? How do I justify pursuing this profession even if I really enjoy what I see in shadowing? I want to be clear that I am not wanting to pursue medicine for the money, but I don't want to be living like a college student throughout my 30s either.

Im sorry if I am coming off as ignorant. Podiatry schools fill their seats every year, people are still applying regardless of the financial circumstance I just laid out. Can someone offer me some insight? Thanks all.
 

DexterMorganSK

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I want to be clear before saying anything else. I am interested in working in healthcare professions only and I am very open-minded to which it'll be. For a long time, I only looked at MD/DO, pharmacy, dental, and anesthesia assistant. When I started looking at podiatry a little over a week ago, I had no idea you're also a practicing surgeon. Nonetheless, podiatry caught my interest and I plan on shadowing soon.

Here's the thing. I have 36,000 debt from undergrad, and it looks like after residency is all done, ill owe about 400k plus the leftover from undergrad, and with interest, I'm not sure what the 36,0000 would turn into.

My question to current students or recent grads/attendings. Say I shadow and podiatry seems like a nice career to my perspective, how do I justify that kind of debt when it looks like attendings make 80-100k a year. This article below really spooked me.


This forum also scares me. I hear lots of chatter about saturation which seems to be a very real issue according to BLS:


So what am I doing wrong? Do many of you have other sources of funding for schooling that arent loans? Is your undergrad all paid off? How do I justify pursuing this profession even if I really enjoy what I see in shadowing? I want to be clear that I am not wanting to pursue medicine for the money, but I don't want to be living like a college student throughout my 30s either.

Im sorry if I am coming off as ignorant. Podiatry schools fill their seats every year, people are still applying regardless of the financial circumstance I just laid out. Can someone offer me some insight? Thanks all.

I'm not sure how you calculated the 400K debt after graduation, but if you look at the COA for all the 9 programs they are cheaper than most DO schools and def DDS schools. I attend one of the expensive programs and I will be about 220K in debt end of 4th year. A few of my friends at NYCPM and Kent who are commuting and only paying the tuition will be around 180K in debt for the 4 years..so it all depends and the location of a program.

If you use the search function, you would have read that BLS is not a good source to know what a DPM makes because they add the resident salaries and make the overall $$ low. Search again and find the MGMA numbers that I posted a few times and follow that. I am not saying you are guaranteed to make that amount right after graduation, but there is a good chance since many are making it that much or more.

That said, don't make a decision based on SDN or a google search. Please shadow when you can and shadow multiple Pods. Good luck!
 
Sep 7, 2018
48
7
Thanks for the reply Dexter. Here's my explanation.

If you use this link ill leave below, KSUCPM will cost 300,000 after graduation (I would appreciate it if you could PM me where it is you're going to school and how you got your number). After the three year residency, the interest will make this number probably around 385,000. Add my underrgad debt plus with its own interest, it comes out to over 400,000 perhaps near 450,000.

 
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DexterMorganSK

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Jul 16, 2016
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Thanks for the reply Dexter. Here's my explanation.

If you use this link ill leave below, KSUCPM will cost 300,000 after graduation (I would appreciate it if you could PM me where it is you're going to school and how you got your number). After the three year residency, the interest will make this number probably around 385,000. Add my underrgad debt plus with its own interest, it comes out to over 400,000 perhaps near 450,000.


Only look at the tuition amount (and other school-related fees); every other amount listed can be decreased or you won't need them at all.

The list for books/living costs can be changed and is different for everyone. The school makes these COA for financial aid purposes so that you can get enough amount from FAFSA...but you won't need to take out that much because you will not need to spend $2K for books, for example.

Do you know what I mean? If you have your own health insurance or from parents, you will not need one from the program, the same goes for transportation. If you can find a roommate, that living/rent will be a lot lower, etc.
 
Mar 25, 2020
42
49
Status
  1. Podiatry Student
If im doing something wrong here dexter please correct me! To add, I'm assuming attending salary is between 80-100k correct?
Like Dexter said, MGMA is the more reliable source for knowing what an attending makes. 80-100k is talked about mostly for people that work as podiatric associates. Even then, I believe the 80-100k is just the base salary and does not include collections. Outside of podiatric associates, podiatrists working in hospital and podiatrists that have their own practices make north of 200k (collections included).

The topic on salaries has been discussed so much. Just use the search function and look through the pod resident/attending forum. You will find plenty of info, but again check out MGMA first.
 
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Sep 7, 2018
48
7
Like Dexter said, MGMA is the more reliable source for knowing what an attending makes. 80-100k is talked about mostly for people that work as podiatric associates. Even then, I believe the 80-100k is just the base salary and does not include collections. Outside of podiatric associates, podiatrists working in hospital and podiatrists that have their own practices make north of 200k (collections included).

The topic on salaries has been discussed so much. Just use the search function and look through the pod resident/attending forum. You will find plenty of info, but again check out MGMA first.
Is there a specific place on the internet where mgma has a report published?
 
Oct 17, 2011
960
902
Status
  1. Podiatrist
A few small comments. We've had a lot of salary threads and those in general go into a lot more detail. My experience with students, pre-pods, podiatry students, residents etc is that most people haven't ever had a significant job before coming into this field. This leads to a lot of talk on salary, salary, salary. How you are paid in this job really isn't like anything else out there. Maybe its like sales.

-There is no standardization.
-The simple truth is the vast majority of people who go into this profession, regardless of what you want or believe, will enter private practice working for someone else.
-The practice will be a stand alone entity. It very possible you will be the first podiatrist to be hired after the owner.
-The owner will ask a lawyer to write a contract and the lawyer will write a contract that is favorable to the owner. There is no standard contract out there that everyone uses.
-You the new associate may be surprised to learn that the contract doesn't resemble the prior promises the owner made to you.
-This isn't like when a hospital hires doctors - plural- and through the years the contracts perhaps reflect the concerns that different doctors have advanced through the years that have made it into the contracts.
-Your base or "guarantee" is associated with a certain amount of collections. So for example, let's say your contract says you'll be paid $100K up to $300K in collections and then X% after - hopefully much greater than 30% but in fact almost never greater. Cool - start working - get paid - hope you break your base structure and get into your collections structure.

-EXCEPT ... well everyone's experience varies here. All of the following comments are based on the experience of someone I know

-You may only see limited patients because you aren't on any insurance panels. Theoretically it takes 3-6 months to get on panels. I still have panels I have applied to that I am not on. This isn't the end of the world per se but it will slow you down. You may be sitting in a clinic seeing 7 patients a day wondering what's going on. There's a lot of talk about how you have to go out and build your panel but if no one can see you because you aren't on the panel - that makes things tougher. This issue is much more complicated than this.

-You may never actually break your base structure. Covid isn't helping with this but there are stories online of people joining practices and having well below $300K in collections in their first year. The practice may drag you along or they may say - we're paying this guy $100K and he only brought in $250K in collections - let's fire him. A friend of mine joined a practice and they decided to "feed everyone else first". They were seeing 2 patients a day until they quit which was likely their goal all along.

-You might have a very nice experience but the practice won't pay you your collections structure until the very end of the year. ie. you have a base of $80K, a collections structure of 30-35% and you sit until Christmas waiting for cash. What if you quit early? Good luck probably.

-You might work somewhere with super complicated structures designed to deny you money. ie. your collections are broken into quarters and if you have varying collections they find a way to keep you out of your collection structure.

-You might be busy but your office won't tell you what your collections are. A friend of mine from a busy-ness level is crushing but her practice won't tell her what her collections are. They ultimately told her a number so low it seems impossible - are they defrauding her? Who can say.

-You might simply work in a place that had no business hiring you. They thought they were busy enough to justify it but really the issue is they handle the patient base they have poorly and "appear" busier than they are. Think places that follow-up every outpatient surgery weekly for dressings changes for things where the patient should definitely already be showering. They'll think - my schedule is full - of free post-ops. This is the kind of place where the boss will be screaming at the receptionist to put more new patients on his schedule and why are you getting the nail surgeries, etc.

What's the take home here - individuals run their businesses differently and if you don't stare down the wording of your contract like an Eagle you may not like how it is implemented. And even if your lawyer looks it over they may not change it. Can't beat fraud though. Can't beat someone giving you none of your collections except by quitting.

Long post, Draining post. Sad post. But here's my thing - I want ya'll essentially to have an eye for the future crooks you will/may meet. I see things like 80-100K BUT BUT bonus and think ... MAYBE bonus. Maybe lots of strings. Maybe lots of tall talk. Maybe defrauded. Maybe always be ready to pack your bags and move.

-Is MGMA applicable to attendings? Only if they are hospital employed. Perhaps MSG/multi-spec/ortho groups could use it. PP does not use it.
 

DexterMorganSK

Moderator
Gold Donor
Jul 16, 2016
2,208
2,788
Tarsal Tunnel
A few small comments. We've had a lot of salary threads and those in general go into a lot more detail. My experience with students, pre-pods, podiatry students, residents etc is that most people haven't ever had a significant job before coming into this field. This leads to a lot of talk on salary, salary, salary. How you are paid in this job really isn't like anything else out there. Maybe its like sales.

-There is no standardization.
-The simple truth is the vast majority of people who go into this profession, regardless of what you want or believe, will enter private practice working for someone else.
-The practice will be a stand alone entity. It very possible you will be the first podiatrist to be hired after the owner.
-The owner will ask a lawyer to write a contract and the lawyer will write a contract that is favorable to the owner. There is no standard contract out there that everyone uses.
-You the new associate may be surprised to learn that the contract doesn't resemble the prior promises the owner made to you.
-This isn't like when a hospital hires doctors - plural- and through the years the contracts perhaps reflect the concerns that different doctors have advanced through the years that have made it into the contracts.
-Your base or "guarantee" is associated with a certain amount of collections. So for example, let's say your contract says you'll be paid $100K up to $300K in collections and then X% after - hopefully much greater than 30% but in fact almost never greater. Cool - start working - get paid - hope you break your base structure and get into your collections structure.

-EXCEPT ... well everyone's experience varies here. All of the following comments are based on the experience of someone I know

-You may only see limited patients because you aren't on any insurance panels. Theoretically it takes 3-6 months to get on panels. I still have panels I have applied to that I am not on. This isn't the end of the world per se but it will slow you down. You may be sitting in a clinic seeing 7 patients a day wondering what's going on. There's a lot of talk about how you have to go out and build your panel but if no one can see you because you aren't on the panel - that makes things tougher. This issue is much more complicated than this.

-You may never actually break your base structure. Covid isn't helping with this but there are stories online of people joining practices and having well below $300K in collections in their first year. The practice may drag you along or they may say - we're paying this guy $100K and he only brought in $250K in collections - let's fire him. A friend of mine joined a practice and they decided to "feed everyone else first". They were seeing 2 patients a day until they quit which was likely their goal all along.

-You might have a very nice experience but the practice won't pay you your collections structure until the very end of the year. ie. you have a base of $80K, a collections structure of 30-35% and you sit until Christmas waiting for cash. What if you quit early? Good luck probably.

-You might work somewhere with super complicated structures designed to deny you money. ie. your collections are broken into quarters and if you have varying collections they find a way to keep you out of your collection structure.

-You might be busy but your office won't tell you what your collections are. A friend of mine from a busy-ness level is crushing but her practice won't tell her what her collections are. They ultimately told her a number so low it seems impossible - are they defrauding her? Who can say.

-You might simply work in a place that had no business hiring you. They thought they were busy enough to justify it but really the issue is they handle the patient base they have poorly and "appear" busier than they are. Think places that follow-up every outpatient surgery weekly for dressings changes for things where the patient should definitely already be showering. They'll think - my schedule is full - of free post-ops. This is the kind of place where the boss will be screaming at the receptionist to put more new patients on his schedule and why are you getting the nail surgeries, etc.

What's the take home here - individuals run their businesses differently and if you don't stare down the wording of your contract like an Eagle you may not like how it is implemented. And even if your lawyer looks it over they may not change it. Can't beat fraud though. Can't beat someone giving you none of your collections except by quitting.

Long post, Draining post. Sad post. But here's my thing - I want ya'll essentially to have an eye for the future crooks you will/may meet. I see things like 80-100K BUT BUT bonus and think ... MAYBE bonus. Maybe lots of strings. Maybe lots of tall talk. Maybe defrauded. Maybe always be ready to pack your bags and move.

-Is MGMA applicable to attendings? Only if they are hospital employed. Perhaps MSG/multi-spec/ortho groups could use it. PP does not use it.

One of these days I'm going to make a thread/sticky of all your replies here; it'll be great for future/current students :cool:
 
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