Can I Afford Primary Care?

Is a career in primary care affordable? John Boltri, M.D., professor and chair, Department of Family and Community Medicine, says absolutely.

Dr. Boltri delivered a dose of encouragement and practical advice to students at an event Monday, Oct. 15, hosted by the Family Medicine Interest Group. He explained that regardless of their student loan amounts, they will have the means to be financially successful as primary care physicians.

Here are some takeaways from Dr. Boltri’s suggestions:

  • Create a budget and stick to it
  • Put 10 percent of your income towards retirement
  • Don’t take financial advice from friends, family and coworkers – leave it to the professionals. This includes investment advice.
  • Once you’re in residency, subscribe to money-related magazines

What’s included in an ideal budget? Dr. Boltri recommends one that includes monthly expenses, like saving and investing towards retirement, home (mortgage, taxes and upkeep), car (payment, insurance and gas, maintenance), utilities, food, clothes, mobile phone, TV and internet, computer and school loans. And don’t forget to budget for vacations, entertainment and gifts.

Remember your values

“You will receive a lot of advice from people who want your money,” says Dr. Boltri. But with the right knowledge and budget, primary care physicians can live financially sound lives, even on the days when it’s hard to be disciplined, he shares.

“Just remember, an increased income does not necessarily equal increased happiness,” explains Dr. Boltri: Money does matter. But having a sense of purpose, choosing the right partner, and maintaining good health all have a huge impact on people’s happiness, too.

Share this post