Financial Planning for Clinician-Scientists

As a clinician-scientist, you will be an integral part of our health system—but we know that your career choice comes at a cost to you.

To help you meet your financial goals, CITAC has an exclusive partnership with MD Financial Management (MD) to provide you with comprehensive financial planning and financial education, as well as other types of support.

MD is owned by the Canadian Medical Association. As a firm dedicated to physicians, it understands the financial challenges faced by clinician-scientists in training. All CMA members have access to MD’s services.

MD has a team dedicated to medical students and residents called MD MedEd CounselTM. This team of  MD Advisors and Early Career Specialists can help with budgeting, cash flow management, finding the right credit solution and other strategies.

To find out how MD can help, contact an MD Advisor or Early Career Specialist at your school.

Clinician-Scientists and Money

Why It’s Different for You

Training to become a clinician-scientist typically takes 15 years—approximately eight years for the MD/PhD degree and another seven years of postgraduate clinical and research training.
This long training period means you start earning income later. Once you do start, your income will likely be lower than a full-time clinician’s because of the time you dedicate to research versus direct patient care.

Here are five things you can do to make it work for you financially:

1. Meet with an MD MedEd Counsel expert.
Get in touch with an MD Advisor or Early Career Specialist at your school. They can assess your situation and help get you on the right track.


2. Take control of your debt.
Compared with regular medical students, MD/PhD candidates may graduate with less debt, thanks to grants from CIHR  and other funding (e.g., program stipends, endowments, government funds). However, given the longer MD/PhD training period, it can take longer to pay off the debt. Some clinician-scientists may still be paying off student debt while they’re raising children, which can be a source of stress.
An MD Advisor can help you establish a budget, analyze your cash flow and look at strategies to minimize your debt. 

3. Get a head start on saving and investing.
Compared with a full-time clinician, you’ll be entering the workforce later and possibly earning less income, depending on the amount of time you dedicate to research.
It becomes more critical for you to get started saving and investing, in order to build your wealth. The earlier you start, the greater the effect of compound growth. 

4. Protect yourself with insurance.
Your ability to earn income will be your most important asset. An MD Advisor can help you develop a plan to protect your family, property and earning potential. He or she will ensure that your coverage is always aligned with your needs and your career stage.

5. Assemble a team of financial experts.
An MD Advisor can provide referrals to lawyers, mortgage specialists, insurance specialists, and estate and trust specialists when you need them.

 

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