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Any advice for starting a financial literacy interest group at my medical school?

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  • Any advice for starting a financial literacy interest group at my medical school?

    So I'm a 4th year medical student who is very interested in financial literacy and its importance for medical students. I discovered this site a little over a year ago and have read and learned so much from this site/podcast and others (ChooseFI, PoF, PassiveIncomeMD, etc...) that I want to help other students learn more about financial independence before they get roped into making bad financial decisions as a resident or attending down the road. Thankfully my advisor at my school is redesigning our financial literacy curriculum at our school and is going to help me start this interest group so I'm not alone in this endeavor. I guess my main question is I would love any feedback from y'all about some topics or ideas that you wished you had been exposed to in medical school. Are there any particular topics you think I should focus on for the first meeting to get as much interest as possible? Anything I should avoid so as not to overwhelm people too early?

    Thanks so much for any feedback at all, this site and forum have been a valuable resource for me and my future career.

  • #2
    I have always been innterested in financial matters and investing, but I have no doubt that I would not have found time for a finance interest group.

    My suggestion would be to have a yearly or twice-yearly lecture series about the basics.

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    • #3
      Wow it is great that you even have a curriculum for finances.
      As a med student the most important thing is to live on a tight budget. Understanding what it means to live on borrowed money.
      Understanding the repay options would be good to know as well.

      Little need for investment knowledge since it is the rare med student to have any money to invest. But having a plan for what you want to do with your new resident salary would be helpful.

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      • #4
        I had no interest in medical school as I did not have an income.
        Loans, repayment etc should be 99% of the curriculum.

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        • #5
          Working with the school and having some loan counseling before the start of school would be a big bang for your proverbial buck.

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          • #6
            Search for Financial education slides.
            Pick out topics to cover. One technique is a lecture approach. Another is to let a resident take one topic and present. Some slides at the bottom.

            https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/financial-educator-of-the-year-award-call-for-submissions/

            Break it down to bite size pieces.

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            • #7
              Thanks everyone for your feedback so far. I am really thankful that my school has decided to revamp the curriculum as previously when I started we had a financial advisor give us a 30 minute powerpoint that was clearly him just advertising his services. I have already downloaded the WCI powerpoints that he has posted to use as a reference. Totally agree that fewer meetings is better. We are thinking 1-2 per semester right now. My initial thought is to have an introduction about what it means to set a budget, loan repayment options, what to do with your first paycheck, and just give everyone some good books/websites to reference (WCI's books, JL Collins Stock Series, Bogleheads). My hope is it can be a place for students to feel comfortable asking questions and discussing financial topics rather than me just lecturing them on stuff (because I certainly don't know everything and I think we get enough lectures in med school).

              I'll try to update on how it goes! Seems like there is a good bit of interest from my classmates so far, especially my fellow 4th years who are going to have to start paying off these loans in a year.

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              • #8




                I had no interest in medical school as I did not have an income.
                Loans, repayment etc should be 99% of the curriculum.
                Click to expand...


                I hope the other 1% is never buy whole life insurance

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                • #9
                  Scenarios explaining paye vs repaye, how payments are calculated and etc would be good. A lot of people don't even know those exist

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                  • #10
                    The funny thing about financial literacy is 95% of it is not investing, 401K, but being frugal and living below your means. Not sure you can teach that.

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                    • #11
                      FLP.TV
                      Videoconference “Can I Afford It” starring FLP.
                      Med students and residents plead their cases.
                      FLP: Thumbs down ( showing off the watch), NO!
                      Just need to monetize it.

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                      • #12
                        Agree with focusing on loan repayment, importance of minimizing debt, starting investing as soon as possible.

                        For residents about to become attendings illustration of taxes is important--that salary jump is not going to go as far as you think it will.

                        I would not focus on FI.  The best thing a med student can do for their financial future is become an awesome doctor and find ways to sustain a long enjoyable medical career.  Focusing on becoming FI for 10-20 years sounds like a good way to miss out on your life.

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                        • #13
                          They have one of these at the University of Utah (and several other places I can't recall right now.) Mostly they bring in a speaker a couple of times a year like most interest groups.

                          Loan management is the no brainer topic. People have no idea what to do with those.
                          Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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                          • #14
                            The lectures a couple times per year are good... just be sure you require the 'teacher' to give full disclosure of how they make their income, what they sell, etc. It sounds like you got burnt by this once already, but you have to realize that everyone's selling something (even if that is just info... more books and lectures and seminars, etc).

                            The biggest part about getting education (financial... or many other topics also) is being able to discern a sales pitch from quality info... and they are almost invariably intertwined.

                            Most people's biggest financial mistake is that they assume the 401k rep who sells them active management or their realtor who sells them a house that's a bit larger but really underpriced or the attorney who steers them to doing wills and prenup or their accountant selling life insurance works with their personal best interest at heart. Being overly gullible is most people's main issue... especially in topics they have fear of. The days of smallish groups helping one another are long replaced with a basically anonymous society. Altruism never existed to the extent we pretend it did, but now, it is essentially extinct (aside from one's own genetic offspring).

                            Business is business... it's a ruthless place. Nobody has to know everything, but for the topics you choose to hire out (esp financial ones), you need to know enough to decide if the experts you hire are doing their job well and at reasonable cost.

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                            • #15


                              accountant selling life insurance
                              Click to expand...


                              Life insurance agents are a different breed of animal. If one represents themselves as an accountant, financial consultant, or planner you are speaking with the wrong individual. An Insurance agent does actually serve a purpose. Use them wisely, separate licenses.

                              Disability Group and Own Occupation and the various riders.

                              Term Life Insurance

                              Home, Auto, Umbrella

                              Malpractice (coverage, tail and nose and occurrence vs claims made).

                              You need to cover insurance at some point.

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