Thursday, August 30, 2012

When The Doctor Has Financial Troubles

When most people have financial difficulties, they go about it in a normal fashion. After charging up the credit cards, depleting savings accounts and cashing in 401Ks, mortgage payments are foregone. Ultimately, the "For Sale" sign goes up. Whether it's a short sale or a bank-owned sale, it is a distress sale. That's the course for most people; not established, attending doctors.

When the doctor has financial troubles, and he can no longer rob Peter to pay Paul, he works hard to mask the reality of the situation. Now, I have to say, with sound financial advise, wise budgeting and future planning, and a tiny bit of self restraint while shopping, an established, attending doctor should never find himself in such a predicament. However, I'm a realist and realize sometimes we encounter circumstances beyond our control. Yet, other times, it is within our control.

{Time to get real.}

There are times when you can see devastation coming down the pipeline. And you watch it coming down that pipeline for years. Finally, the day arrives. Instead of joining the masses and making some phone calls to your mortgage lender, doctors go about it like only an egoistic doctor can.

{Yes. I admit there are doctors who have very healthy egos out there.}

A doctor suffering from financial woes will put their over-extended, never should've been bought, don't-you-know-children-are-starving-in-Africa, we-imported-the-materials-from-the-Taj Mahal, multi-million dollar home up for rent, cash in their airline miles for tickets to the Amazon, pull their kids from their private school, and go live in an adobe hut with dirt floors in the Amazon killing their own chickens for dinner for six months... and call it an "immersion life experience" for their kids. 

{Reminder: Doctor's don't make THAT much.}

Being they are important people, they will only give their Chief a couple weeks notice of their impending departure. When under such stresses they give no consideration to their other partners, their schedules, vacation schedules, work loads, or patients for that matter. 


Upon return, they label their experience as "life-altering".  They have come to a "realization". Their family no longer needs such "stuff". So, they sell... everything... and come live in my little fiscally responsible neighborhood. 


Note to doctors: In such cases, the truth works better. We're not idiots.


  1. Did it go down like that! Everyone can see a lie, who do they think they are fooling? The best thing any one can ever do for their children is to tell them the truth.

  2. Ha! Guess that's the creative way to go about it!

  3. I know way too many doctors that have gone down this road. Cannot stress enough the excitement to use those ridiculous attending paychecks to pay off loans before life gets too complicated. The saying: mo' $ mo' problems is SOOO TRUE. Even jumping from poor med student status to resident status (where banks and CC co's are willing to let you dig yourself into a ditch as far as you're willing to take it) takes on a whole new swarm of problems and risks. My MIL told me you feel rich for 6 months after you graduate residency...then it all comes crashing down on you and you have no idea how the hell you spend $20K+/month when you were managing $2K/month that same time last year... Bless their hearts. Maybe they learned *something* through this entire ordeal?!

  4. Great piece. Liked it so much that I read all your links too---a rarity for me. Love your hens, no-holds-barred take on things. Erin

  5. Sounds like a tough lesson! I had no idea that was the real scoop behind a lot of doctors' sabbaticals. So sad that their egos won't let them just tell the truth. Visiting you form Shell's place.

  6. Hey! I'm here from the MM link up, I'm your newest follower and I love your blog!


  7. Ouch. I agree. Starting off smaller and saving is much better than going all hog wild. Hog Wild is so tempting after years of living like paupers.

  8. We just got Tim's first "real" paycheck. Our family financial meeting is tonight. so your post is such a timely reminder. We're mostly excited to pay off loans and credit cards but we'll see how it really goes...


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