Author Topic: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!  (Read 4862 times)

aperture

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Interviewed a great applicant for a specialty MD position.  I really liked this guy and he volunteered a sort of rags to MD story that was a little heart-breaking.  But the heart breaker (that keeps on breaking) was the quick aside he made during a panel interview when he mentioned that he had around $500K in student loan debt.  I was floored and still am not sure I believe anyone can achieve that level of debt.  Perhaps it was hyperbole? 
Aperture

talltexan

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 07:15:56 AM »
Look, it's a shocking amount, but if he's a specialty MD, it should be an easy matter for him to clean up simply by earning his way out. Would a $300,000 salary be ridiculous with this job you interviewed for? He could pay off those loans in 3 years.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 07:17:15 AM »
50k per year loans for 4 years of undergrad
50k per year loans for 4 years medical school
4 years income based payments while in residency, so the payments are probably not even covering all the interest. Not to mention unsubsidized loans accruing interest while in school.

500k sounds correct.


Gondolin

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 09:50:20 AM »
Quote
I really liked this guy and he volunteered a sort of rags to MD story that was a little heart-breaking.

Let me guess, first in his family to go to college? Thus, didn't really understand how student loans worked?

 
Quote
But the heart breaker (that keeps on breaking) was the quick aside he made during a panel interview when he mentioned that he had around $500K in student loan debt.

If you like him, hire him. It's corporate evil but, you'll have tons of leverage over him until he gets out of debt.
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BCpuppy

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 10:16:15 AM »
One of my husband's fellow dental school buds had over $400,000 for dental school.  70K a year for out of state dental tuition and 100K for undergrad and you are there....

Abe

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2017, 10:17:13 AM »
$500k is on the high end for medical school, but could be possible if they didn't receive any undergraduate scholarships, never worked part-time, paid off none of the interest and went to both a private college and private med school.

It's a big gamble but if he specialized and doesn't blow all his money on status symbols, his salary will pay that off in a 5-10 years.

MgoSam

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2017, 10:27:50 AM »
Quote
But the heart breaker (that keeps on breaking) was the quick aside he made during a panel interview when he mentioned that he had around $500K in student loan debt.

If you like him, hire him. It's corporate evil but, you'll have tons of leverage over him until he gets out of debt.

Yeah it's sad but that was my first thought as well.

I'm just glad that the applicant is a MD and not someone that got that debt from someone that's got their PHD in English or Philosophy.

ltt

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2017, 06:09:29 PM »
I would fully expect someone with a specialty MD to have that amount in loans.  If they don't, great; but if they do, it wouldn't phase me in the least.

thingamabobs

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2017, 12:54:44 AM »
I think white coat investor recently posted a reader reported about 900k in loans as the highest he's heard of. That was for an oral maxillofacial surgeon, so I believe it's college, dental and med school and all the accrued interest for residency and fellowship.

I think avg loans a med student graduates with from a private school is $250k these days.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 12:56:30 AM by thingamabobs »

aperture

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2017, 06:43:06 AM »
I agree with you all that the ratio of income to loan balance is not so bad. But, it just seems terribly inefficient to spend 12 years post- high school accumulating $500K debt to be able to practice medicine. I expect high debt from med school, but have never heard a number so big. Thanks for the comments. Aperture

LalsConstant

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2017, 07:46:05 AM »
I understand medicine has to be a profession with a very high barrier to entry for public safety but there are many times where I wonder if the training required isn't more than a bit excessive to accomplish the objectives of adequate competence and public safety.  Also, licensing rules tend to be designed to drive the salaries of pre-existing doctors up.

It seems like an audit of the standards and a reform of the professional licensing requirements to put things in line with reality should make the training still exhaustive but a bit less over the top, significantly decreasing the individual physician's opportunity cost and relaxing his salary requirements to recover the investment, as well as helping drive down the cost of health care with no real reduction in the quality thereof.

It wouldn't take much, if that surgeon for example was ready in ten years instead of twelve, I doubt he'd be any less ready and he'd have considerably less debt.

frugaldoc

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2017, 08:30:51 AM »
Sadly this number seems quite probably. Some medical schools now run 50k plus per year, add another 20k in private loans for living expenses that's almost 300k. Add in accrued interest and undergraduate debt and 500k comes very fast.

The good news is many physicians can out earn this with relative ease and pay it off quickly if they just live like a resident for a few years. 500K is an extra mortgage payment.

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moof

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2017, 11:10:59 AM »
I understand medicine has to be a profession with a very high barrier to entry for public safety but there are many times where I wonder if the training required isn't more than a bit excessive to accomplish the objectives of adequate competence and public safety.  Also, licensing rules tend to be designed to drive the salaries of pre-existing doctors up.

There are a number of professions whose professional organizations seem hell bent on putting up barriers to keep salaries high.  Public safety is also hurt, and badly, when a large swath of the population can't afford even a modest illness without financial calamity.

I see the hellish intern hours as a symptom of this.  You need to foster a God complex to keep docs seeing themselves as more important than patients.  So much wrong with the medical industry these days...

gimp

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2017, 10:14:31 PM »
Specialty MD should be getting paid enough to make those loans not be a serious issue. Still a decent investment.

aperture

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2017, 07:12:48 AM »
Specialty MD should be getting paid enough to make those loans not be a serious issue. Still a decent investment.

Seen this comment in this thread a few times now.  Looked up average wage for this specialty in this area: $212K/year.   Put wage into a simple calculator for taxes and came up with annual take home of $134.7K = $11.2K/month

$500k at 5.0% x 10 year repayment period = $5,250/month payment

The impact of this debt will be 10 years of $6000/month take home which is equal to a salary of $112,000 per year.  Now on the scale of starting salaries, $112K may sound amazing, but this guy spent 4 years undergrad, 4 years in medical school and 3 years post-doctoral (including a relocation) to achieve this starting salary. 

I just hope he continues to love being a doctor, because he is going to be one for a long time.  Fortunately for him, if he takes our job, he will have me putting little prompts in front of him to think about making smart choices with his $s.

Best to all, Ap.

Not Your Monkey

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2017, 07:18:06 AM »
Yup. A cousin with very little financial savvy graduated recently with $480k debt. She's going into general medicine and is NOT "living like a resident" because after all this time as a starving student she "deserves" to spoil herself. I worry about her but haven't been able to even bring up the topic without making her very defensive. So now I just bite my tongue and offer a sympathetic ear when she complains about being so poor, then quickly change the subject.

In the Millionaire Next Door, there are several pages dedicated to doctors specifically being high income earners but under accumulators of wealth. Somewhat understandable since there are societal pressures of what a doctor should look like.

As a contrast, my frugal pediatrician friend still drives the same car he did 14 years ago (Toyota corolla) and brings his lunch to work every day. His medical assistants always eat out and tease him about his car, telling him a doctor should be driving a BMW or something fancy like that. He just smiles goodnaturedly but tells me "and that's why they will never be rich."  We've never actually talked about it, but I'm pretty sure this friend of mine has read the Millionaire Next Door.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 09:15:43 AM by Not Your Monkey »

Abe

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2017, 09:07:37 AM »
Your cousin will hopefully quickly realize that math doesn't care about her living like a student, and it still applies to doctors.  I hear this a lot from medicine residents in their last (3rd) year at my hospital, but they quickly quiet down after they realize I've been a resident for 5 years and am not whining. People shouldn't go into medicine to get rich, there are much better ways to do that. A lot of them are from privileged backgrounds (as am I) and their definition of a "normal" standard of living is really upper-middle class. That's fine, but if one has a huge amount of debt, they can't expect that right out of the gate. You'd hope they'd be used to a middle class standard of living by now.

Itchyfeet

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2017, 10:34:25 AM »
I came across this blog the other day

http://www.redtwogreen.com/our-student-loan-debt-story/

I think the cost of education in the US is cruel to young people and plain wrong.

I am saddened to report that is seems that the cost of a university education in Australia is going the way of the US.

bacchi

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2017, 10:54:02 AM »
The impact of this debt will be 10 years of $6000/month take home which is equal to a salary of $112,000 per year.  Now on the scale of starting salaries, $112K may sound amazing, but this guy spent 4 years undergrad, 4 years in medical school and 3 years post-doctoral (including a relocation) to achieve this starting salary. 

There are other careers that require 11+ years of schooling, with postdoc relocations, that never make six figures. Hard scientists can make six figures but only 10 years after they finish up the (sometimes multiple) postdocs.

In other words, this is a choice. No other career, besides maybe artists or philosophy majors, has such a hold on the "Woe is me. I spent so much time and money studying and deserve it." corner.

maizeman

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2017, 11:09:26 AM »
I understand medicine has to be a profession with a very high barrier to entry for public safety but there are many times where I wonder if the training required isn't more than a bit excessive to accomplish the objectives of adequate competence and public safety.  Also, licensing rules tend to be designed to drive the salaries of pre-existing doctors up.

There are a number of professions whose professional organizations seem hell bent on putting up barriers to keep salaries high.  Public safety is also hurt, and badly, when a large swath of the population can't afford even a modest illness without financial calamity.

+1 to both you and LalsConstant. 90% of the time when I actually see a doctor, it's for something that a person with a couple of years of basic training could help with. If we could reverse the current trend and save the folks with years and years of specialized training for cases that actually need it and train a lot more "medics" (for lack of a better word), I think both the quality and cost of our health care would both improve.
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Tabaxus

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2017, 11:33:45 AM »
Echoing others, although having 500k of debt is horrifying, it's also not completely out of the norm for a new doc that went through the specialty position training.  The idea that this would be held against someone is, frankly, pretty cruel (and strategically, as others said, probably not rational either, because you will own this person if you hire them, at least until the loans are paid off).

I will say, though, that it's not something he should have just casually mentioned.   

act0fgod

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2017, 12:08:12 PM »
It wouldn't take much, if that surgeon for example was ready in ten years instead of twelve, I doubt he'd be any less ready and he'd have considerably less debt.

Not saying the current system is the most efficient but those last 2 years of training in the current system get you a very cheap (cost of resident) and fairly competent Dr in a location that is often under served.

There are other careers that require 11+ years of schooling, with postdoc relocations, that never make six figures. Hard scientists can make six figures but only 10 years after they finish up the (sometimes multiple) postdocs.

My wife and I have both spent a significant amount of time in school.  She's in the academic/scientist world and I'm in the medical world.  Most in the academic/scientist world aren't accumulating debt as their research or school pays for their tuition and meager living expenses.  Most in the medical world are accumulating debt but will typically out earn the academic/scientist.

+1 to both you and LalsConstant. 90% of the time when I actually see a doctor, it's for something that a person with a couple of years of basic training could help with. If we could reverse the current trend and save the folks with years and years of specialized training for cases that actually need it and train a lot more "medics" (for lack of a better word), I think both the quality and cost of our health care would both improve.

Are you sure you're actually seeing a Dr?  There are quite a few layers of providers that have varying costs, capabilities and responsibilities.     In our facility there's no easy way to determine who is what.  There is no easy way to tell if someone is a Technician, Optometrists, Physician Assistant, Physician, EMT, Specialist, Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Dentist, Chiropractor, Physiologists, Psychologist...We have badges and name tags but you have to be pretty close to read them, if you even think to look at the badge or name tag.

maizeman

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2017, 12:21:50 PM »
These were GPs, so if the name of the person I meet with matches the name with MD next to it on the wall in the lobby I assume they've the person who spent all those years in school. It's a good point that hospitals do a better job of having multiple gradations of training for different specialized tasks than regular doctors' offices.

Thankfully, so far I've never needed to be hospitalized. *fingers crossed*

It wouldn't take much, if that surgeon for example was ready in ten years instead of twelve, I doubt he'd be any less ready and he'd have considerably less debt.

Not saying the current system is the most efficient but those last 2 years of training in the current system get you a very cheap (cost of resident) and fairly competent Dr in a location that is often under served.

I'd say there is much more room to compress the training schedule in the earlier years of the training than the later ones. Also, medicare subsidized hospitals for employing residents by an average of $112,600 per resident, so even though these years don't add a lot to student loan debt, it's still a big chunk of the overall cost of training a new doctor.
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Not Your Monkey

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2017, 01:31:41 PM »
I almost fell into the student loan debt pit. I was accepted to 2 graduate programs that were close to equal in terms of national ranking. One was in a highly desirable area with a price tag of $35k/year. The other was in a very undesirable area for less than 6k/year. I was leaning toward the more expensive one because... I was young and stupid.

Cue older and wiser relative who sat me down and explained to me how awful the burden of debt is in rather colorful terms.  I chose the less expensive school.  4 years later I graduated with no outstanding debt and felt like I was ready to conquer the world. So grateful to this caring relative. That conversation was almost 20 years ago and I would have to say it's in the top 5 pivotal moments of my life.

Tasty Pinecones

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2017, 03:29:31 PM »
+1 to both you and LalsConstant. 90% of the time when I actually see a doctor, it's for something that a person with a couple of years of basic training could help with. If we could reverse the current trend and save the folks with years and years of specialized training for cases that actually need it and train a lot more "medics" (for lack of a better word), I think both the quality and cost of our health care would both improve.

Around here they call them nurse practitioners. Every single time I'd rather see them than the doctor. Every single time they have been very knowledgeable and helpful for me. Not nearly as rushed.

Abe

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2017, 03:50:32 PM »
I agree that training can be compressed in college and Med school (2 & 1 year, respectively), but compressing residency is a bad idea. Few self-aware residents would say they are ready to practice one year before their training ends. This is especially true with surgical specialties: My colleagues and I would not be comfortable operating on people before our 5 years of training are done.  Even now, in our last year, I'd say most of us would rather have a senior partner/attending help with the more complex operations we do.

Rural

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2017, 05:19:46 PM »
+1 to both you and LalsConstant. 90% of the time when I actually see a doctor, it's for something that a person with a couple of years of basic training could help with. If we could reverse the current trend and save the folks with years and years of specialized training for cases that actually need it and train a lot more "medics" (for lack of a better word), I think both the quality and cost of our health care would both improve.

Around here they call them nurse practitioners. Every single time I'd rather see them than the doctor. Every single time they have been very knowledgeable and helpful for me. Not nearly as rushed.


My very wonderful GP has just added a nurse practitioner to his practice, which is a thoroughly fabulous thing and is further evidence that what he cares about is getting health care to this largely unserved rural area. But just to show that the system can always get stupider, while he is in-network for me, the nurse practitioner is not.

bacchi

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2017, 08:28:03 AM »
My very wonderful GP has just added a nurse practitioner to his practice, which is a thoroughly fabulous thing and is further evidence that what he cares about is getting health care to this largely unserved rural area. But just to show that the system can always get stupider, while he is in-network for me, the nurse practitioner is not.

Hahaha. Holy shit. I just have to laugh.

radicaledward

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2017, 08:40:38 AM »
Are you sure you're actually seeing a Dr?  There are quite a few layers of providers that have varying costs, capabilities and responsibilities.     In our facility there's no easy way to determine who is what.  There is no easy way to tell if someone is a Technician, Optometrists, Physician Assistant, Physician, EMT, Specialist, Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Dentist, Chiropractor, Physiologists, Psychologist...We have badges and name tags but you have to be pretty close to read them, if you even think to look at the badge or name tag.
Generally in clinical settings there is either an explicit policy - potentially grounded in the law - where someone is only addressed as "Doctor," "Nurse," and so forth if they have the relevant medical qualifications. Although interestingly, and to the annoyance of some PhD's doing research in clinical settings, an MD/PhD who is not licensed to practice medicine is addressed as "Doctor." It's a weird situation since in theory it should be a strictly professional title in a clinical setting (i.e. you are only addressed as "Doctor So-and-so" if you are licensed to practice medicine) but a courtesy title is still extended in some situations.

I'd say there is much more room to compress the training schedule in the earlier years of the training than the later ones. Also, medicare subsidized hospitals for employing residents by an average of $112,600 per resident, so even though these years don't add a lot to student loan debt, it's still a big chunk of the overall cost of training a new doctor.
The UK might have a better approach to this since medical school is extended undergraduate level training (awarding a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) so they only spend five to six years out of high school before starting their "residency" phase as junior doctors. My understanding is that once a physician in the UK is considered to be fully trained though it's a bit of a wash - they might have only spent two or three fewer years in training than the equivalent US trained physician.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 08:50:41 AM by radicaledward »

Abe

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2017, 10:52:46 AM »
That's correct about the UK training. It doesn't save much time, it just focuses on medicine rather than a broad college education on the front end. The back end training can be highly variable, as in the US. I'd have preferred that model rather than the US one.

iowajes

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2017, 11:22:07 AM »
+1 to both you and LalsConstant. 90% of the time when I actually see a doctor, it's for something that a person with a couple of years of basic training could help with. If we could reverse the current trend and save the folks with years and years of specialized training for cases that actually need it and train a lot more "medics" (for lack of a better word), I think both the quality and cost of our health care would both improve.

Around here they call them nurse practitioners. Every single time I'd rather see them than the doctor. Every single time they have been very knowledgeable and helpful for me. Not nearly as rushed.

I ADORE nurse practitioners.  I don't understand how the system works that they can spend 4x as much time doing the same thing as the doctor did when I had appts with them.

It's also why I'm seeing a midwife rather than an OB for my prenatal care. I'm so happy the university research hospital in my area has a midwife clinic- they are all advanced practice nurses- my appts are so much more thorough than my OB appts were last time, the care is much more personalized; and well, most prenatal care doesn't need a surgeon!  If I need a surgeon, the OB on call can take care of it. (That's what would happen anyway. "Your" OB doesn't come to deliver you, you get whichever one is there when you come in. Actually, you get the resident...)

hops

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2017, 01:57:04 PM »
The most obscenely indebted residents that I know are primarily US citizens who went the IMG route. And none of them attended shady Caribbean schools, either, although that's a very efficient way for an aspiring physician to amass debt that might prove difficult or impossible to repay if they have trouble landing a residency spot.

mm1970

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2017, 02:38:49 PM »
Specialty MD should be getting paid enough to make those loans not be a serious issue. Still a decent investment.

Seen this comment in this thread a few times now.  Looked up average wage for this specialty in this area: $212K/year.   Put wage into a simple calculator for taxes and came up with annual take home of $134.7K = $11.2K/month

$500k at 5.0% x 10 year repayment period = $5,250/month payment

The impact of this debt will be 10 years of $6000/month take home which is equal to a salary of $112,000 per year.  Now on the scale of starting salaries, $112K may sound amazing, but this guy spent 4 years undergrad, 4 years in medical school and 3 years post-doctoral (including a relocation) to achieve this starting salary. 

I just hope he continues to love being a doctor, because he is going to be one for a long time.  Fortunately for him, if he takes our job, he will have me putting little prompts in front of him to think about making smart choices with his $s.

Best to all, Ap.
But what about 20-30 years down the road? 

I know a few docs.  One friend is about 50, and pulling in about $400k / yr family practice (ballpark, our kids are friends and they talk).  His med loans are long paid off, so right now he's paying off his house, putting an extra $100k a year towards the mortgage.

clarkfan1979

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2017, 11:14:18 PM »
Quote
But the heart breaker (that keeps on breaking) was the quick aside he made during a panel interview when he mentioned that he had around $500K in student loan debt.

If you like him, hire him. It's corporate evil but, you'll have tons of leverage over him until he gets out of debt.

Yeah it's sad but that was my first thought as well.

I'm just glad that the applicant is a MD and not someone that got that debt from someone that's got their PHD in English or Philosophy.

If you get accepted into a Ph.D. for English or Philosophy, your tuition is free. You are allowed to borrow a maximum of 17,000/year from the government. The average is probably around 50K, with the maximum around 100K.



maizeman

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2017, 05:50:23 AM »
Quote
But the heart breaker (that keeps on breaking) was the quick aside he made during a panel interview when he mentioned that he had around $500K in student loan debt.

If you like him, hire him. It's corporate evil but, you'll have tons of leverage over him until he gets out of debt.

Yeah it's sad but that was my first thought as well.

I'm just glad that the applicant is a MD and not someone that got that debt from someone that's got their PHD in English or Philosophy.

If you get accepted into a Ph.D. for English or Philosophy, your tuition is free. You are allowed to borrow a maximum of 17,000/year from the government. The average is probably around 50K, with the maximum around 100K.

It is certainly possible to be accepted into a PhD program in English or Philosophy without receive a GRA or TAship. As discussed in this thread, that's usually a message the school doesn't think you actually have what it takes, but if you don't take the hint at that point they'll still happy to take your money.

If attending private schools for both undergrad and PhD, a really determined person could potentially rack up $300-400k in tuition for a PhD in English.
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hops

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2017, 08:52:23 AM »
I know a few docs.  One friend is about 50, and pulling in about $400k / yr family practice (ballpark, our kids are friends and they talk).  His med loans are long paid off, so right now he's paying off his house, putting an extra $100k a year towards the mortgage.

Does he provide concierge care? That would be an unusually high salary for a standard family practice. Not that it can't be done, but it would typically require unique circumstances.

http://www.aafp.org/news/practice-professional-issues/20150513salaryreport.html

maizeman

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2017, 08:58:27 AM »
The most obscenely indebted residents that I know are primarily US citizens who went the IMG route. And none of them attended shady Caribbean schools, either, although that's a very efficient way for an aspiring physician to amass debt that might prove difficult or impossible to repay if they have trouble landing a residency spot.

Not the thread jack, but I've always wondered what happens to MDs who get all the way through med school, get the degree, but don't land a residency. My understanding is you can try again the second year, but your odds go way down, and after that are essentially nill. At that point you have the fancy degree, potentially the pile of student debt, but aren't able to actual practice medice, right?
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MgoSam

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2017, 09:14:20 AM »
The most obscenely indebted residents that I know are primarily US citizens who went the IMG route. And none of them attended shady Caribbean schools, either, although that's a very efficient way for an aspiring physician to amass debt that might prove difficult or impossible to repay if they have trouble landing a residency spot.

Not the thread jack, but I've always wondered what happens to MDs who get all the way through med school, get the degree, but don't land a residency. My understanding is you can try again the second year, but your odds go way down, and after that are essentially nill. At that point you have the fancy degree, potentially the pile of student debt, but aren't able to actual practice medice, right?

Or worse, you get into residency and find out that you absolutely hate being a doctor. That happens...

frugaldoc

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2017, 09:58:06 AM »
The most obscenely indebted residents that I know are primarily US citizens who went the IMG route. And none of them attended shady Caribbean schools, either, although that's a very efficient way for an aspiring physician to amass debt that might prove difficult or impossible to repay if they have trouble landing a residency spot.

Not the thread jack, but I've always wondered what happens to MDs who get all the way through med school, get the degree, but don't land a residency. My understanding is you can try again the second year, but your odds go way down, and after that are essentially nill. At that point you have the fancy degree, potentially the pile of student debt, but aren't able to actual practice medice, right?

Or worse, you get into residency and find out that you absolutely hate being a doctor. That happens...
Both of these scenarios happen much more often than you think.

More common though is to not hate being a doctor, but to not like it as much as you thought you would. As the dopamine bursts from the big paychecks wear off and the tedium sets in many docs just fall into a chronic state of burnout and unhappiness. Having 500k might as well be prison bars in this scenario. I tell everyone that will listen to assume burnout in 10 years. Have a plan to get a high degree of financial freedom by then. If you are still loving medicine, congratulations...you just won at life.
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hops

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2017, 10:31:07 AM »
Not the thread jack, but I've always wondered what happens to MDs who get all the way through med school, get the degree, but don't land a residency. My understanding is you can try again the second year, but your odds go way down, and after that are essentially nill. At that point you have the fancy degree, potentially the pile of student debt, but aren't able to actual practice medice, right?

I know of one who found employment in the medical device industry and have heard of others who wound up in pharmaceuticals or at insurance companies. For the masochists who are still determined to practice medicine even after failing several times to match into a residency program, their options are narrow and grim. You can read more about it in a conversation here (and I'd note that the Puerto Rico internships mentioned are sometimes unpaid, in addition to being unaccredited):

https://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/practice-without-residency.1103975/

Or worse, you get into residency and find out that you absolutely hate being a doctor. That happens...

My SO had a medical school classmate who decided halfway through residency that they had no interest in practicing or going into research. It's unclear whether this is burnout or if they came to a genuine realization that they'd been pursuing their parents' dream instead of their own. They decided to complete residency for board eligibility, in case there was a change of heart, but money isn't a concern so no post-residency career plans have been hatched yet.

iowajes

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2017, 10:42:30 AM »

Or worse, you get into residency and find out that you absolutely hate being a doctor. That happens...

Certainly not the time or monetary commitment of an MD, but my College of Education remastered their Bachelor's program to require pre-service teaching every single semester, including your very first one: because they were having people get to student teaching and realize they hate teaching.  Complete waste of a degree and time to start over.

At least an MD could fall back on whatever their Bachelor's was in...

maizeman

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2017, 11:34:15 AM »
Or worse, you get into residency and find out that you absolutely hate being a doctor. That happens...

More common though is to not hate being a doctor, but to not like it as much as you thought you would. As the dopamine bursts from the big paychecks wear off and the tedium sets in many docs just fall into a chronic state of burnout and unhappiness. Having 500k might as well be prison bars in this scenario. I tell everyone that will listen to assume burnout in 10 years. Have a plan to get a high degree of financial freedom by then. If you are still loving medicine, congratulations...you just won at life.

Very good advice! I'd say these things are surprisingly common for folks getting advanced degrees in a lot of fields (although medical/law school tends to be worse in that they are more likely to have an even larger pile if student debt than usual driving you to continue to do the type of work you've realized really REALLY isn't for you.)

The day to day once you actually have a job is so different from the experience of spending a decade or more of your life training to be able to do that job, but at that point people feel locked in (either from the financial sunk cost or the years-of-your-life sunk cost).
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fuzzy math

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2017, 07:52:17 PM »
 
It wouldn't take much, if that surgeon for example was ready in ten years instead of twelve, I doubt he'd be any less ready and he'd have considerably less debt.

Lol. You must have never worked with a surgeon, much less a new one. Newer ones frequently have lots of mentor ship and training at their first real post fellowship job. Cutting 2 yrs off does not allow for the time to learn all the freaky 1 in a million situations they run into...

maizeman

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2017, 08:00:27 PM »
 
It wouldn't take much, if that surgeon for example was ready in ten years instead of twelve, I doubt he'd be any less ready and he'd have considerably less debt.

Lol. You must have never worked with a surgeon, much less a new one. Newer ones frequently have lots of mentor ship and training at their first real post fellowship job. Cutting 2 yrs off does not allow for the time to learn all the freaky 1 in a million situations they run into...

To be clear, we were discussing two years off the FRONT end of the training of a surgeon. I'm pretty sure compressing the bachelors degree students get before even applying to med school isn't reducing the amount of experience they get with 1 in a million situations before being cut loss to work without a mentor/supervisor.
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radicaledward

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Re: During job interview, applicant revealed he has $500K of student loans!!!
« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2017, 11:40:51 AM »
To be clear, we were discussing two years off the FRONT end of the training of a surgeon. I'm pretty sure compressing the bachelors degree students get before even applying to med school isn't reducing the amount of experience they get with 1 in a million situations before being cut loss to work without a mentor/supervisor.
Indeed. Also, the model of cutting down the front requirements also means that the surgeon is a bit younger when they are fully qualified and their independent professional career is slightly longer. Two years may not seem like much in the scheme of things to most people, but remember the power of compound interest and that people tend to value their time more the older they get as well.