As the years of medical training come to an end, think carefully about where to apply for employment
As you approach the end of years of medical training ,the time comes to begin to decide where to apply for full-time employment as a fellow. Job titles and contract negotiations play a large role in deciding where to work, but what other factors need to be considered?
Where do you want to live for fellowship?
Location can be a large factor in deciding where to begin your medical career. While some prefer the hustle of the big city, others may decide that remaining closer to home will help them maintain a healthier work-life balance in a stressful field.
As a medical professional, you will be active and involved in stressful situations. You may not mind waiting and hopping on a train in a populated center like New York. However, you may think a relaxing drive home in a less hectic environment is just what you need. Be sure to consider how your commute will factor into your overall well-being.
Some younger physicians elect to continue their education even after accepting their first job. If you plan to take this route, consider what education hubs or universities are in the area, and their expertise in your desired topic of study, along with the cost.
As a new medical professional, you deserve to enjoy the location in which you work. Take all the above factors into consideration along with your potential compensation.
Is there a significant other to consider?
While your goals and dreams are important, those of your significant other also need to be considered. What impact will a move have on your children? Consider the implications of moving to a new location, including nearby schools and the lifestyle of your potential new home. If you currently do not have kids, but plan to have them in the future, these factors must also be taken into account.
If you or your significant other is not a U.S. citizen, it is important to discuss the option of moving outside of the United States or taking next steps toward full citizenship. Talk about other potential hurdles to your move, including responsibilities for you or your spouse.
Finances for fellows
When browsing for your next employment option, whether that be with your own practice, typical employment opportunity, or even a nonmedical career, take some of the following factors into consideration:
- What will the potential pay be?
- How much are your current student loans? How much will each payment be and when will they begin?
- What is the cost of living in the prospective area?
- Are there plans to start a family in the future?
According to Lindsay Wilcox of Weatherby Healthcare, in 2021 the average yearly compensation for GI specialist was $406,000, ranking seventh overall. While your compensation in your first job may not be the average, it is important to consider how your pay will allow you to balance your required expenses (such as student loans, cost of living, etc.) and support the lifestyle you aim to achieve.
Each of the above questions comes with its own costs. Creating a budget and researching details of the location will allow you to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Student loan forgiveness
You may also consider taking a position that will allow you to qualify for student loan forgiveness. These programs can significantly reduce the burden on medical professionals, allowing for forgiveness of loans after meeting certain criteria.
Rob Bertman of StudentLoanPlanner.com, details one of these plans, known as the Public service Loan Forgiveness Plan (PSLF).
“PSLF is the broadest and best student loan forgiveness option for medical professionals. Here are its eligibility requirements:
- Federal Direct Loans are eligible (not FFEL loans or private student loans)
- You must work full-time for a qualifying employer (either a non-profit or government employer, like a hospital, academic institution, Veteran Affairs, etc). You can also work more than one part-time job totaling 30 hours or more per week.
- Make payments on an income-driven repayment plan (PAYE, REPAYE, IBR)
Once you reach 120 qualifying payments under the above criteria, you can apply for PSLF. If you qualify, your remaining student loan balance is forgiven, tax-free. In the meantime, we recommend completing employment certification form for the PSLF program.”
While deciding this next step is exciting, it is critical to take all factors into account to allow for the most informed decision possible.
Please be sure to check out our open opportunities with our PE GI Solutions partners by clicking here.