Five financial pearls for medical students, residents, and young surgeons

Louis H. Poppler, Ketan Sharma, Donald W. Buck, Terence M. Myckatyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Finances impact every aspect of our daily lives. Despite this, they are rarely discussed in medical school or surgical training. Consequently, more than half the medical students we interview report no formal teaching about personal finance. The purpose of this article was to present 5 topics every graduating medical student, resident, and young surgeon should understand to start the path to financial independence. Methods: We synthesized recommendations and data from several books on financial literacy, blogs on the topic, and the personal experiences of the 4 authors. Results: The following 5 topics were identified as critical for young surgeons: learn about and manage your own finances, consider the financial implications of your career choices, make a plan to pay off your student loans, make a budget and stick to it, and think carefully before buying property. Central to these 5 lessons is the idea that starting to invest and save early is essential to taking advantage of interest and capital gains. We also demonstrate pay and cost differences in 5 regions of the country and outline the 2 main pathways one can take to repaying their student loans. Conclusions: Financial literacy is an important aspect of being an effective surgeon. With minimal effort, you can take these 5 steps now toward financial freedom. Doing so will improve your sense of control over your financial life and decrease anxiety about the unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1992
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


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