PracticeLink Magazine

WINTER 2015

The career development quarterly for physicians of all specialties, PracticeLink Magazine provides readers with feature articles, compensation stats, helpful job search tips—as well as recruitment ads from organizations across the U.S.

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52 PracticeLink.com WINTER 2015 2 0 1 5 AN N UAL Quality of Life issue Closing the gap Physicians share how they're handling home buying, family starting and retirement planning along with the reality of student loan debt. Mar c ia Horn Noye s A s if life decisions aren't diff cult enough, it's no secret that indebted graduates f nd that the added weight of student loans can make their choices about what comes next in their lives all the more arduous. That holds even more true for new physicians—especially those who delayed decisions about home purchases, retirement planning, marriage and starting families in favor of f nishing training f rst. The growing student debt obliga- tion, which now stands at $1.2 trillion, has been painted in some media as "America's coming student loan apoca- lypse." Some graduates not only play "kick the can" down the road on loans, but also on crucial life milestones. For new physicians, the crushing debt load may even alter long-term decisions about practicing medicine. But hope is on the way. Several companies have discovered the need for products and solutions that ease the monetary burdens faced by new physicians. By creating innovative solutions around the issues of debt, physi- cians are better able to close the gap between their dreams and reality. Knowing what's available can help you more easily move into your f rst job, start a family, begin saving for the future, and participate in the economy while putting your full focus on your patients. It also helps to know you're not alone. Read on for how other young physicians are planning to make their futures bright. Making the house call One thing unique to physicians is the length of their continued education even after they graduate medical school. This length of training time extends the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) option for recent medical school graduates. According to the Ameri- can Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), on average, a medical student making a little over $50,000 as a resi- dent now pays just over $400 a month with IBR, regardless of their student loan debt. That's no more than a car loan, so where's the catch when quali- fying as a new borrower for a home loan? A traditional home mortgage must take into account the full student loan debt and thus assume a full monthly payment, which can often exceed $1,000 per month. Most student borrowers rarely qualify for a mortgage through those Continued on page 55

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