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my financial situation

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Ibn Alnafis MD, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Ibn Alnafis MD

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    I am about two years away from attending a medical school. I am married and have a one year old child. Currently, I am the only financial support of the family.

    After doing some calculations I found that by the time I graduate from medical school I will owe $260K-$270K. Using the online loan payment calculator, I figured that my monthly payments will be $1860. Also, from what I hear and read, residents make somewhere between $2700-$3300/month after taxes.

    The question is:

    Assuming my wife doesn't work, how am I going to be able to make those payments and support my family at the same time?
     
  2. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
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    Moonlighting helps.

    Also, saving over the next two years can cut down on your future debt and decrease your burden.

    Other than that, I don't know. It's not easy.
     
  3. MaximusD

    MaximusD Anatomically Incorrect
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    Something to consider is that many hospitals and states offer debt repayment programs if you agree to stay for a certain number of years.

    I chose the USAF, but that might not be the best idea for you because of relocations and deployments, but they have treated me extremely well thus far. They are also offering a 20k signing bonus with a 4-year commitment. I'm not sure its a good decision for your situation, however.

    Lastly, you may want to discuss your wife getting part-time work. I will leave that entirely up to you, but I see no good reason for a stay-at-home situation if your kids are in school by the time you are in residency.
     
  4. Ibn Alnafis MD

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    I was actually considering the military option, but I was wondering about few issue. Since you have a first hand experience, you might be able to clarify some of them for me.

    How many times a military physician is expected to be deployed whithin the 4-year commitment? and how long is each deployment? and lastly, would they deploy a person in a place where there is a war against his/her own native people?
     
  5. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
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    A lot of people don't know that there's an awesome Military Medicine forum on SDN. There's a ton of good info, there (I'm not trying to redirect you--just pointing out an awesome resource around here). :)
     
  6. MaximusD

    MaximusD Anatomically Incorrect
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    Here is a military Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) FAQ from the milmed forum:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=118576

    Ugh, I've gotta say I'm not entirely qualified to answer these questions. For specifics, I would defer you to the Military Medicine forum, although many there are angry about their commitments and have a very sour attitude.

    At any rate, my understanding is that will likely deployed once for every 2 years of commitment. The standard length of deployment varies between branches with the Army being the longest on average at 10-12 months and the Air Force being shortest at ~6 months, on average. These are subject to change, however.

    That last question is probably a YES. You are being dispatched as a non-combatant in the medical corps, it really is not a conflict of interest. Usually every question that begins with, "Can the military do..." is answered with a resounding "Yes."
     
  7. beckhunter116

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    You may also want to look into the income-sensitive repayment option for the years you are in residency. This allows a much cheaper monthly payment that will then increase substantually once you are finished. Hope this helps!
     
  8. Green Doc

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    Yeah, thanks for weighing in there, beckhunter, I thought there was an option that would have you paying less than the full $1860 that you might pay otherwise (per the OP). This is all no thanks to the Bush administration- without their efforts we might still be able to defer through residency- but that's another can of worms entirely.
     
  9. aterry

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    You should also look into the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). They do both a scholarship program while you are in school and a loan repayment program when you are out. They pay back something like 25k per year for a few years commitment and up it to 35k after 2 years. You can file for "economic hardship deferment" while in residency if your wife is still not working then. I don't know how successful that will be with all the student loans changing. The NHSC requires you to work in an underserved area but, as you look at their website, these can include urban areas as well such as Chicago, DC and the like. Here is their website:

    http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov/

    Good luck and just remember that many many physicians have to deal with this debt and they make it work. If you are committed to making this your life's work then the debt will be worth it. Also, plan to save a lot of money for the actual applications/interview traveling and deposits. They are killing me right now, trying to get them paid off so I can save for the big move to school.
     
  10. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    Last I saw there was the income sensitive repayment program. you pay 15% of your income ABOVE 150% of the poverty line for your family. (I just looked this up last week - can't remember the websites, but I looked at several including AMSA.) So in my situation if my husband doesn't work, I have two children. I'd end up paying about $150/month during residency and then more afterwards. But that's ok. I figured if we can live on $5K/month (that's more than twice what we live on now), I can make extra payments towards my loans and have them paid off in 7 years. And I'm coming out owing about $280K.

    Totally doable. Don't freak out. You'll just get depressed when you realize that student loans aren't dischargable in bankruptcy.
     
  11. punkiedad

    punkiedad punkie's dad
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    If you are even considering military check out the mlitary meical forum that chocalte bear posted and go to the thread that talks about the Army National Guard program that is new.

    I am in the middle of the applicaiton process. I am also in the USAF HPSP process, but the national guard sounds awesome. You get three years of full time 2LT pay for eight years of guard committment. there is also some loan forgiveness. But, with dependants (wife and kids) you should bring home about $3500 per month.

    PM me and I can put you in touch with someone that can help
     
  12. gisel

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    I think you wife should get a job as fast as possible if you want to go to med school. you need her entire support. I am in a similar situation, but I realize if my familly don't help me Im done.
     
  13. toast861

    toast861 Carpetbagger
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    Having a both parents work doesn't always save money. Daycare is very expensive, not to mention to additional cost of transportation/gas, the decrease in tax credits that comes from having a greater income (I'm not talking about welfare, just regular income taxes), and other incedental expenses like work clothes/uniform, lunches, etc. In my case, my wife and I crunched the numbers when she was pregnant with our son and discovered that the cost of daycare would potentially offset the majority of the income that she'd bring in. However, if she quit working after having the baby and went back to working on her undergrad part time (she is able to take most of her classes online), not only did she receive grants that help offset the loss of her income, I also got a major increase in my grants since we had two students in the home. Most importantly, she's able to stay home with our son, which is something we have always felt very strongly about.
     
  14. Ibn Alnafis MD

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    good point right there. I made lots of thinking about this issue and finally I concluded that:
    kids need to grow up between their parents, and it is necessary for them to have their mother's support in the earlier years of their lives. I am not going to deprive my son from his mother's care to same few thousands of dollars. We going to live off student loans, grants, scholarships, food stamps, etc... I am not going to place more pressure on my self and on my wife thinking about our financial situation. Once I finish med school, I will start warry about that. For now, I am just going to focus on my studying and get good grades.

    thant's my .02$
     
  15. toast861

    toast861 Carpetbagger
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    I completly agree with you. My wife and I didn't have children so that other people can raise them. I'm not dissing on daycare, but we knew early on that it was not for us. I commend you on your decision to put your family first. Your child will not grow up knowing the income you lived off of during these next 7-8 years, but they will remember having a parent in the home. I have 2 friends who both did the whole med school thing with families. One is went through medical school with 4 children under the age 7; the other is an MSII with 3 children under the age of 4. Both of their wives stay home, and they find ways to make it work (and no, neither of them come from wealthy families who pay for school). They are a testament that it can be done if you are willing to sacrifice the niceties of life. As one friend put it "Life doesn't happen when you graduate school or finish your residency. Life is what is happening during school. I'm not going to sacrifice one goal for another..."
     
  16. dozitgetchahi

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    Ibn I feel for you. I'm married also, but fortunately I don't have any kids yet and my wife will have finished a nursing degree by the time I'm enrolled in medical school. Her income should help things, but it's still going to be tight. I can't imagine trying to make it work with an extra mouth to feed as well.
     
  17. rkaz

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    I appreciate you guys thoughts on having at least 1 parent at home raising your children. I have had similar thoughts myself. However, as a female who will be starting med school at age 28... I'm not really sure I will have the luxury of having a partner willing to be the stay-at-home dad for any children we may have (especially if my future partner is a working professional himself). Do I think it is fair to the children? Absolutely not. But I don't know a better solution...other than to simply not have kids. If I have children, it would have to be sometime during med school or residency... as I wouldn't feel comfortable having children after age 35, due to increased risks of birth defects etc. But I have thought about this quite a bit...

     
  18. Semicolon

    Semicolon OMS II
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    This is absolutely none of my business, but have you considered adoption? I'm sure that there are plenty of kids out there who would be very happy to have a doctor as a mommy. :D

    My apologies if I'm butting in.
     
  19. rkaz

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    No issues, your thoughts are welcome. :) Yes, I am certainly considering adoption... adopting a child (or two... or three...) has been a dream of mine for many years. If my future partner and I decide to have a family, adopted children will assuredly be part of it. However, I was just musing all these things, as I don't want to close the door on having a biological child... but with med school and residency I don't know how I will manage to balance everything.

    Anyways, sorry OP for derailing your thread....
     
  20. Birdeee

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    Reading through this thread made me realize another positive aspect of my husband being in medical school at age 50 after teaching for many years. Our three children are grown and two are in college! Before our children were born I was a midwife and thought I would go back to work after the first few months of staying at home but I ended up staying at home for 8 years and then only worked part-time as teacher until they were out of highschool. No new cars but grateful, healthy and well-educated children. I know it is not right or possible for everyone (having a parent stay home) but looking back on it now I am very happy about our decision and what we created for our family.
     
  21. Ibn Alnafis MD

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    No worries, totally cool. In fact, I actually enjoy reading about other's thoughts and experiences
     

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