Some of the most amazing doctors I look up to have chosen to dedicate 8-12 years as doctors in training, after graduating from medical school. It truly is remarkable and inspiring to see someone on his/her way to complete the 32nd grade… At the hospital I’m surrounded by numerous M.D./Ph.D., that’s about number of years in schooling equaling two people’s digits combined.
One of my esteemed friend and college jokes and calls himself PGY 500 because he practied as a radiologist after pgy1-6, then decided to become a medical intensivist (another 6 years of PGY.)
As a mere pgy1 intern this year (2015), I sometime think that my training is too long as I will to go up to gpy6 or pgy7 to become specialized boarded radiologist (IE. I can practice independently at age 36 or 37.) But other time, I do remember that this what I want to do, radiology is my passion and my calling.
The following is salary schedule at University of Arizona for pgy1-pgy7.
Salary Schedule for 2015 – 2016
|Clinical Assistant I||$51,172|
|Clinical Assistant II||$53,533|
|Clinical Assistant III||$55,854|
|Clinical Assistant IV||$59,003|
|Clinical Assistant V||$62,136|
|Clinical Assistant VI||$64,858|
|Clinical Assistant VII||$68,395|
Anyone can see the income is a big mismatch from the average student loan balance PGY1’s have. And unfortunately, as the PGY’s dedicate their energy to patient care and becoming better doctors during these training years, their debt grows silently and fatally @ 5.4%-20% interest rate, depending on the creditor (department of education, consumer credit card or private banks.)
Just because we choose to dedicate our energy and youth to become better doctors, it doesn’t mean that we should put the rest of lives on hold. Let’s start growing our net worth while we are in training, as pgy’s are indeed a big chunk of youthful & energetic years 🙂 Time Value of Money is a double edged sword, can harm or help you. Try to learn from the best and the worst in finances: the big banks. Be the bank, collect rather than pay interest. Use their century old trick of carry trade, borrowing low and lending high. Banks borrow 0% interest money from feds/tax-payers/you and I, then turn around to lend to us at 3-30% interest rate. It’s time for us to reverse the flow of cash from the Deep pockets of big banks, into the shallow pockets of ordinary people like you and I.
The next post will summarize principles of how to grow our net worth. Then following posts will elaborate on the principles with actionable steps.
*PGY stands for post graduate year, which refers to the group of doctors in training who have graduated from medical school, but have yet become fully licensed/boarded to practice independently. Various levels for pgy’s include: interns, residents, or fellows.