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graphic of stethoscope and broken lock representing how you can pay off medical school debt

Whereas all residents and fellows are excited to begin their
careers as physicians, lots of them additionally cope with massive quantities of debt.
In response to a 2019 survey
performed by Weatherby Healthcare, 32% of physicians who have been carrying medical
college debt owed greater than $250,000 and practically half (49%) owed greater than
$200,000.

Physicians early of their careers make use of various strategies to repay medical college debt – from dwelling as frugally as doable to taking part within the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program – however one efficient choice is commonly ignored: working locum tenens.

Many physicians popping out of residency are discovering locum
tenens to be an effective way to repay medical college debt rapidly whereas gaining
expertise in quite a lot of observe settings. Locums physicians usually earn
more
than their counterparts in everlasting positions and have extra management
over how a lot they work, variables that may assist pace up debt reimbursement.

Maximizing pay

When Dr. Gary Trewick completed his residency in 2016, he was
dealing with over $500,000 in pupil mortgage debt. A hospitalist specializing in
inner drugs, he has managed to repay practically all of his debt in simply three
years by working locum tenens.

His aggressive fee technique is a results of recommendation he
acquired from a neurosurgeon he labored with early in his profession. “He advised me,
‘Pay down your debt as quickly as doable. That’s the very best technique.’ I went all
in and I sacrificed nearly every thing,” he says.

portrait photo of Dr. Gary Trewick
Dr. Gary Trewick

Dr. Trewick says working locums assignments enabled him to
pay down his debt so rapidly. He works with a number of companies to make sure he
at all times has an task lined up for him, and he usually works about 20 days
a month — a bit greater than a mean hospitalist. By maximizing the variety of
days he works, negotiating the very best pay fee doable, and accepting jobs in
rural areas,
he’s come very near paying off his debt in simply three years. 

He concedes that doing what he’s executed take a number of
dedication, however he feels it was price it. “Positively repay your loans as
quick as doable,” he says. “Do locums. Chances are you’ll really feel such as you’re not prepared, however
should you can go together with a full-time job, you’ll be able to go together with a locums job. There’s
at all times sufficient work. In case you’re doing it proper, there’ll at all times be sufficient
work.”

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Residing like a resident

Dr. Melissa Macaraeg, a pediatrician, completed her residency
in 2018 and has been working a mix of per diem and locums assignments
in her residence state of New York. She found locum tenens throughout residency and
determined it might be an effective way to realize some expertise whereas she utilized to
fellowship applications.

The mixture of touring and the liberty to work
wherever she wished was an enormous draw, particularly after experiencing burnout
throughout residency. “I used to be simply exhausted. If I might earn extra as a per diem and
locums, then so be it. Paying off $200,000 is some huge cash however so is my
psychological well being.”

To maintain prices down, she adopted the recommendation of dwelling like a
resident and paying off as a lot of her debt as doable. “I hold the identical
price range, or nearly the identical price range, as I did in residency, and no matter is left
over I exploit to go in the direction of debt and loans,” she says.

Dr. Macaraeg took this recommendation a step additional and moved again
in along with her mother and father, giving up her residence in Brooklyn. “It doesn’t make
sense for me to remain there with my touring life-style,” she says. “With that
and never having to pay hire or the exorbitant costs of getting on the subway,
it labored out for me.”

Lowering spending

When you may have two docs within the household, paying off medical college debt turns into an excellent larger concern. Dr. Ashita Gehlot, an OB/GYN, and her husband Dr. Hevil Shah, a neonatologist, each accomplished medical college on the identical time. 

Photo of couple Dr. Ashita Gehlot and Dr. Hevil Gehlot
Dr. Hevil Shah and Dr. Ashita Gehlot

“As soon as medical college was over and each of us went into residency, then it turned an eye fixed opener,” says Dr. Gehlot. They rapidly realized that it might take them 20 to 30 years to repay their loans in the event that they didn’t give you a plan. For them, this meant dwelling under their means.

Residing comfortably however under your means for the primary three to 5 years is what Dr. Gehlot recommends to these beginning out of their careers. “I feel we’ve found out an excellent steadiness for us, however it’s not like we’re lacking out on the actually enjoyable issues in life.”

When her husband’s fellowship took them from Georgia to Ohio, Dr. Gehlot started working locums assignments. Along with with the ability to observe each obstetrics and gynecology, she was grateful for the chance to start aggressively paying off her pupil debt. She’s additionally been capable of tackle additional shifts, which equates to larger pay than if she’d stayed in personal observe.

Repay medical college debt quicker

Paying off debt doesn’t should be disturbing in case you have a
plan. Whether or not you’re nonetheless making your means via residency or have already began
as an attending doctor, working locum tenens will help you earn extra and pay
down your debt on the identical time. Whereas some physicians take pleasure in working locum
tenens full-time, even taking an additional shift or two in your hometown can add up
over time.

Able to study extra about locum tenens? Give us a name at
954.343.3050 or view as we speak’s
locum tenens job
opportunities
.