Mar 13, 2018
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Medical Student
Hello everyone,

I'm currently a PGY1 in pm&r and am hoping to pursue PSLF for my student loans. For those unfamiliar with the program, briefly, it requires you to make 120 payments while employed full time by a public or nonprofit entity and then forgives your loan. My residency will qualify so I will have 4 years worth of payments out of the way.

Are there opportunities for physiatrists to work for public/non-profit employers? Outside of going into academics. Or are most physiatry jobs for private groups?

Example, a physiatrist working in an inpatient rehab unit. Are they typically employed by the hospital or a private group?
 

runfastnow

7+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2010
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It all depends on your employer post-residency. Many hospitals are classified as non-profits outside of academic centers - it would be a subject to discuss with an HR person as you are job hunting when that time comes. Some physiatrists also go out and work as independent contractors and this eliminates the PSLF.

Just FYI - you may be hit with a large-ish tax bill at the end of the endeavor: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/owe-taxes-student-loan-forgiveness/
 

RangerBob

5+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2012
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Attending Physician
There’s no tax on PSLF-just the IBR/PAYE/REPAYE forgiveness.

Every job is different. What matters is who your employer works. You could work at a non-profit. But if you’re an independent contractor or employed by a for-profit physician group, you would not be eligible for PSLF. If you are directly hired by a non-profit hospital/group, you should be eligible.

All VA physiatrists are eligible. Not all academic physicians are eligible-some academic physicians are actually employed by for-profit groups.

Pleas note that not all residencies qualify-most do, but some don’t. Once again, it depends on who actually pays you.

However, we’re I in your shoes, I would recommend not banking on the program. There aren’t that many PM&R jobs out there (there just aren’t that many of us to begin with), and even fewer are PSLF-eligible. You don’t want to limit yourself.
 
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OP
J
Mar 13, 2018
8
4
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Medical Student
Thank you for the replies. Any idea on what VA physiatrist jobs are like? Would a new resident graduate be able to land one?
 

j4pac

PM&R resident
10+ Year Member
Aug 22, 2005
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Thank you for the replies. Any idea on what VA physiatrist jobs are like? Would a new resident graduate be able to land one?
The VA, like some academic appointments, can be quite time consuming. The processing time can be much longer than private practice, for instance. So the challenge is that you have to get started early so that you aren’t running out of time and losing backup options. It may be a better job for those applying already in practice.

The VA definitely rewards prior service vets, especially those with service connected disability. So whether you get the job very much has to do who you are going up against
 
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lejeunesage

7+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2010
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Attending Physician
Don't count on this program. It's extremely difficult to actually get your loans forgiven. What percentage of people who spend 10 years making these payments do you think actually end up getting their loans forgiven? 90%? 75%? 50%?

What if I told you that, so far, it's been less than 1%.
Why You'll Get Denied for Student Loan Forgiveness
You read that right. The fine print is insane on this stuff.
Don't count on it. And Congress might undo it before you're through with your 10 years.

My advice?
- Take a job with a high sign-on bonus.
- Get a "doctor loan," put 0% down, and buy a 3 bed 2 bath house. Rent out 2 of the rooms. That will be enough to live basically rent free for the rest of residency (I did this in my PGY-2 year).
- Pay at least $1K a month while in residency (since you won't have rent to worry about).
- Give yourself only a 50% raise from your last residency salary, and throw everything else at your loans.

If you do this, you'll be able to pay off your student loans in 1-3 years.
 
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OP
J
Mar 13, 2018
8
4
1
Status
Medical Student
Appreciate the advice. I won't be able to do the renting a house plan during residency due to family circumstances but that does seem like a good plan. I do plan to not increase my lifestyle once I become an attending so I could throw everything at my loans.
 
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