As a general rule, personal finance for doctors is not substantially different from personal finance for other professionals. Extending that, personal finance for hospitalists is very similar to personal finance for physicians in general. However, there are a few unique specialty-specific considerations worth discussing.
Relatively Low Pay
Compared to the remainder of the house of medicine, the average internist is relatively poorly paid. Naturally, an internist has all the same student loans as an orthopedic or plastic surgeon, although an internist does not have quite as much time in training for that debt to compound. This financial reality requires that an internist be far savvier about personal finance and investing than a higher paid specialist in order to overcome her debt burden and begin to build wealth. This means beginning a “Continuing Financial Education” program early in her career, managing her student loans properly (from PAYE to PSLF to loan refinancing options,) maintaining an adequate savings rate of at least 20% of gross income, and investing in a cost-effective manner.
Shift Work Is Painful
Hospitalists are generally better paid than the average internist, for very good reasons. Not only are patients sicker, but the work is unpredictable, and the hours are long. Most importantly, and similar to emergency physicians, the rotating shifts take a serious toll.
Read the rest of the post here, then come back and tell me what you think? Is personal finance more or less important for lower-paid specialists? Is shift work really that painful? How aggressive should a hospitalist be in negotiating their salary and benefits? Comment below!