Budget of a Physician

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Jaded03, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. Jaded03

    Jaded03 Junior Member

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    Maybe I'm too naive as I venture into this profession, but for usefulness to those who are about to apply, can someone make a breakdown of 1)family practice MD and 2)specialist MD (ie. neurologist)? I think you'll find tons of threads on how being an MD is not AS financially rewarding as many people expect it to be, but a lot of those words are biased in some way or another, so maybe a numerical view would allow people to pass their own judgments on what they want out of life and their profession. Just an idea, so let's see if this thread takes off...

    What I was looking for was a survey of how the finances can be expected to be divided: gross, malpractice insurance, taxes, MD school debt payments (assume $250,000), living expenses, etc.
     
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  3. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus

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    Too many open variables to even begin this even assuming you had a crystal ball and could guess what salaries and expenses are going to be 8+ years from now when you actually finish residency and start to practice. Are you going to practice in a group practice, as an attending in a hospital, open your own shop? Are you in a high cost of living area or someplace cheap? Are you planning to stay single or get married. Are you commuting? Owning your home or renting? I guess what I'm saying is it doesn't really make sense to try and budget this because you lack the data to plug in, and there are a lot of variables you can't know until much later down the road. The short answer is that with a 250k debt load and a 140k-ish salary in a primary care field (these days), or only slightly more in neurology (not the most lucrative of the non-primary care specialties), you will be able to pay all your bills, but if you live in a higher cost of living area or have a family, you definitely will need to live on a fairly modest budget. In general, things like medmal insurance will be paid by your employer unless you are self employed, so you won't even think about those. Taxes (when you include in federal, state, local and property) can take as much as a 35% bite out of salary though.
     
  4. Jaded03

    Jaded03 Junior Member

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    LoL. Shows what I know I guess. I was banking on using actual incomes nowadays. Just to give a snapshot that could be indicative for recent applicants. I didn't plan on making it much more realistic than that.
     
  5. TehDoc

    TehDoc What a pain...

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    $5 - Can of peaches
    $150 - electric bill
    $10 - 2 bags of sun chips
    $59 - Car insurance
     
  6. nontrdgsbuiucmd

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    Hopefully the excel file I just made goes through, its a bit rough but should provide an idea of student loan payments after school. Assumptions are that interest accrues during school, and that payments don't start until after residency/internship are over. Payments will depend largely on how long it is before the residency is done, 200K loan at 7.5% or whatever rate adds up fast when no payments are being made!

    For gross salaries by specialty, google "physician salaries". Hard to say that one web site is "right" and another "wrong", but if you look at several, you'll get a feel for salary levels for different ones. I'm still unsure, for example, for ER doctors if they're paid hourly (which I suspect) or what, given one can pick up spare shifts. I'd be interested to learn more about how much flexibility different professions have for this, i.e. how much more would you need to be paid to work every saturday? Or to work every Thursday until 9pm, thereby missing dinner with the family?

    Malpractice insurance - my understanding is typically this is paid by the hospital or practice you work for, only truly visible if you're a sole practitioner. Varies a huge amount by state, which is interesting, but realistically I wonder how long NV or FL are going to retain certain specialties given the malpractice legal environment there. Say the rates are 120K in one state and 40K in another. Or better yet, your salary would be 135K in one state, but with the same number of patients, 60K in another. Yes, I'd say that'll impact what some MDs do (not all, mind you)

    Taxes vary, probably fed you're looking at upper rate for much of an MD's salary, around the 33% range, state tax probably ranges 2-12% or so depending. Many have progressive tax rates to sock "the rich" with a high rate on any income over, say, 150K.

    You're on your own for cost of living determinations, I'd think a 400K house would be fine, others would want one 3x as big/nice..
     

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  7. 175961

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    I dont know much at all about nit picky details, but from the little I know....isnt neurology a top specialty that is tough to get into when trying to place for residency, and isnt it a lot more years tacked onto the road to becoming a doctor??? I figured they would make a ton of bank
     
  8. Gut Shot

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    You're thinking of neurosurgery.
     
  9. 175961

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    bingo.....thats what it was
     
  10. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering

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    You seriously need to reconsider where you shop for your peaches and sun chips because that is highway robbery.
     
  11. riceman04

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    $59 - Car insurance.....not just any car insurance...but from GEICO!!!! That Gecko does not play!!!! That insurance is sweet! Hollywood here I come!!!
     
  12. Hyperstudyosis

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    I have Geico and mine costs over $80 per month. Not fair! I guess that's what I get for living in South FL.
     

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