BackTable / ENT / Podcast / Episode #91
Financial Well-Being for Physicians
with Marshall Gifford
In this episode of BackTable ENT, Dr. Julie Wei speaks with Marshall Gifford, an expert in financial physician well-being, about benefits of financial planning and financial tips for residents transitioning into independent practice.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, February 22). Ep. 91 – Financial Well-Being for Physicians [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Marshall Gifford is a financial advisor and an expert in financial physician well-being.
Dr. Julie Wei
Dr. Julie Wei is a pediatric ENT surgeon, professor, clinical researcher, author, and speaker.
First, Gifford explains that the transition from residency to independent practice is a window of opportunity for earning compound interest, even for physicians with debt. He explains that investment will help physicians earn money from having money, so they can stop trading more hours for dollars. In his opinion, the benefit of financial advisors is to help people take action and engage in more complex financial discussions. He notes that blogs, like The White Coat Investor, can be helpful supplements to financial advising.
Dr. Wei also inquires about the intersection of physician burnout and poor financial wellness. Gifford confirms that from his personal experience as an advisor, physicians who are financially stressed often feel stressed at work as well. He motivates graduating residents to save 20% of their paycheck, because the average debt for residents is $200-400k. Next, Gifford moves onto discussing common financial mistakes that physicians make; some physicians do not understand the economics of their decision, leading them to take out more loans than their salaries can sustain. Dr. Wei agrees that delayed gratification can be a challenging principle to practice, especially as trainees see their peers in non-medical careers prioritizing expenses other than paying off their debts. Gifford also shares financial pearls, such as setting up a system of automated saving from paychecks and consulting a financial advisor before big purchases, in order to prioritize expenses. He also recommends that physicians maximize their 401k, even if they have debt, and to enroll in life and disability coverage. He recognizes that finding the right financial advisor can be difficult, as many certifications for financial advising exist. However, he believes that experience of the individual matters more than certifications. He encourages physicians to have a general conversation about physician-related financial concerns, such as asset protection in lawsuits, with a potential financial advisor in order to assess knowledge and skill set. Additionally, Gifford touches on divorce and advises both parties to keep legal costs to a minimum and to consider prenuptial agreements.
Finally, he lists four actions that residents can take now to establish financial wellness: understanding their debt, setting up an emergency fund, protecting their income, and maximizing their Roth IRA accounts.
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