I was asked a few months ago to contribute a guest post to a relatively new blog written by hospitalist Dinasarapu Chandrasekhar,MD,MPH. The blog was quite new, and a bit rough around the edges at the time, but I'm sure in the months since I submitted it and when this piece will run, it will have cleaned up considerably. This is another for-profit blog (like mine) and I'm always interested in seeing physicians flex their entrepreneurial muscles. At any rate, Dr. Chandrasekhar and I have no financial relationship. This post was my attempt at some hospitalist-specific financial tips. I'm sure you'll let me know in the comments section whether I got it right or not! At any rate, below is an excerpt.

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!