This is the first post of Dr PayItBack, my personal blog and chronicle of my journey to get back to broke and beyond.
I’m an Anesthesiologist who finished residency training in the US in the spring of 2018, and I am currently working at a one-year fellowship in Pain Medicine. I graduated medical school in 2014 with $178,000 in debt, and within a month of starting intern year was I doing the best I could to stem the tide of interest accrual. Having devoted the last four years of my life to the firehose of a general medical education, and feeling for the first time the responsibility of being a ‘real doctor’, it was difficult to carve out time to educate myself on matters of money.
It will likely not surprise you that I was greatly inspired to take my financial future into my own hands by the White Coat Investor, an Emergency Medicine physician who for years has been educating high-income professionals about what to do with their money. Later in residency I likewise discovered Physician on FIRE, a fellow Anesthesiologist who became financially independent ‘by accident’ after a relatively short career of aggressively saving and not falling victim to the allure of runaway lifestyle inflation.
These two blogs, WCI in particular, have made a tremendous impression on me, and I think that they continue to be the gold standard resources for any physician or other professional that wants a crash-course in responsible personal finance, as well the possibility of an abbreviated path to financial independence. That said…
Both of these blogs were started when their founders were either at – or well on their way to – financial independence. WCI and PoF were five and ten years out of residency, respectively, when they started their blogs, and years of good habits had set them up for success, even before the substantial supplemental income that their blogs would ultimately bring.
I think that there is real value to be found in an in-real-time documentation of where smart financial decisions can get you, even when starting hundreds of thousands of dollars in the hole and with a decade (or more!) of potential investing time already behind you at the ‘start’ of your career. My hope is that this will 1) Keep me accountable, especially as I make the transition to attending status next year and 2) Inspire others in my cohort (medical students, residents, fellows, and new attendings) to be smart with their money, with the credibility of someone who is doing it along with them. Along the way I will also be learning the basics of website creation and graphic design to bring this blog to life and make it more accessible. Thank you for taking the time to read this – I know how precious your time is – and I hope that you will stick around.