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On 7/15/2020 at 6:49 PM, 1D7 said:

You can live kinda comfortably with the LOC. Mostly this translates into renting a nicer place, eating out more, and having a few nicer vacations each year. You won't have much more money than that unless you're getting outside help. You could probably buy a nicer car if you forgo the vacations. You can't do a whole lot more than that unless you have help from your family since you'll be in training for 5-7+ years.

Overall the main threat of debt is running out of money during residency. Yes this happens to people. No banks don't just magically give more money on top of what has already been loaned because you tell them you'll make decent money a few years down the road. What happens if you run out of money or get close to it during residency? Other than the obvious issues with rent and daily costs/expenses, you won't be able to afford to travel for conferences or pay for licensing exams/fees. You may not be able to afford to do a fellowship in X city/country because of the expenses and COL. And of course this will compound stress on what will already be one of, if not the most stressful time in your life.

Let's say you make it past that and you complete your residency/fellowship. Steady employment is not guaranteed in every specialty. There are fields where you will struggle to find full-time employment where you want to live. You may have to work in an environment where you're underemployed or underpaid. Moreover, what if your future group wants to take X% of your billings for the next year or next few years? What if they want a 6 figure buy-in to allow you to join the practice? What if you get minimal elective OR time because you're the lowest rung on the totem pole? What if you're just way slower/inefficient than other surgeons? Most of these things won't stop you from paying off your debt eventually, but it may add a significant number of years (or hours per week) onto how much you have to work to be financially comfortable.

Edit: One more thing, your LOC/debt levels will affect the amount of money you can get for a mortgage. Also for at least one bank in one province (i.e. mine) you can use your LOC directly as a downpayment. Sure you may not want your own condo/house now in M0, but your priorities may change as you progress through training or if you decide to start a family.

Bottom line is that you can afford some nice things like I said above, but you probably don't want to blow your entire LOC on something that will end up leading to more stress or compromise your ability to practice/live the way you want in the future.

Thank you for your response. It really made a difference in my thought process. Being able to use my LOC for a downpayment, if at some point that becomes a goal, would be a huge help. Also, the thought of running out of LOC did not cross my mind. If I do pursue surgery, that only extends the amount of time I rely on a resident salary + LOC. This would make the issue of running out the LOC quite serious. 

I think, like some of you have already guessed, I will get myself a pony (having a head-to-head between a 2015+ Mustang or challenger now), BUT I will do my best to leave as much room as possible in my LOC for the next 4 years, even if it means going out less or staying at home in the summers instead of paying rent or going on less vacations. The pony will keep me happy for a while, hopefully :P 

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As a newly minted specialist staff, looking back, I am happy that I avoided spending a lot of my LOC in medical school.

I needed it in residency--I got married and it helped with the expenses. My husband stopped working and went back to school, so while we had a decent income for 2 we did not have enough to save or pay off debt. We took a couple big trips (a honeymoon, a visit to his home country so I could meet his family, a spontaneous weekend in Cancun during royal college studying :D)

Then several unexpected expenses came up that are too personal to share on a message board.

Needless to say...no predicting the future. Don't scrounge and suffer, but be smart about your fun vs extravagant expenses.

To add to the car thing: I had a 2006 Hyundai Tiburon that I owned new after winning a lease on it in a contest :). That sucker was fun to drive and only in the last 3 years has needed real investment for repairs. My goal remained to make that car last through residency.

I sold it to my mechanic about 3 weeks ago and used the LOC to pay cash for a 2020 manual elantra sedan. Not a big splurge but it suits my needs and it was my preference to drive standard--and since they aren't in any demand I got a really good deal. Pair that with frontline worker discount that was on last month plus another dealer discount and I have something reliable, safe, easy to drive that is easy on the pocketbook.

Still waiting on my first staff pay day, and I am only working part time since I have a subspecialty exam to study for this fall...so I was practical and am super happy with my car choice. There is something to be said about driving something that you get enjoyment out of (since basically I spend the third most amount of time in my car after my office and my home/bed!).

Welcome to medicine! best of luck

LL 

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1 hour ago, LostLamb said:

As a newly minted specialist staff, looking back, I am happy that I avoided spending a lot of my LOC in medical school.

I needed it in residency--I got married and it helped with the expenses. My husband stopped working and went back to school, so while we had a decent income for 2 we did not have enough to save or pay off debt. We took a couple big trips (a honeymoon, a visit to his home country so I could meet his family, a spontaneous weekend in Cancun during royal college studying :D)

Then several unexpected expenses came up that are too personal to share on a message board.

Needless to say...no predicting the future. Don't scrounge and suffer, but be smart about your fun vs extravagant expenses.

To add to the car thing: I had a 2006 Hyundai Tiburon that I owned new after winning a lease on it in a contest :). That sucker was fun to drive and only in the last 3 years has needed real investment for repairs. My goal remained to make that car last through residency.

I sold it to my mechanic about 3 weeks ago and used the LOC to pay cash for a 2020 manual elantra sedan. Not a big splurge but it suits my needs and it was my preference to drive standard--and since they aren't in any demand I got a really good deal. Pair that with frontline worker discount that was on last month plus another dealer discount and I have something reliable, safe, easy to drive that is easy on the pocketbook.

Still waiting on my first staff pay day, and I am only working part time since I have a subspecialty exam to study for this fall...so I was practical and am super happy with my car choice. There is something to be said about driving something that you get enjoyment out of (since basically I spend the third most amount of time in my car after my office and my home/bed!).

Welcome to medicine! best of luck

LL 

Thanks for sharing this!

I am wondering if i can ask, how much LOC should we use in med school or rather how much should we have available for residency. As well, if you know what do you think the average amount of LOC used, during med school and residency. 

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, MDLD said:

Thanks for sharing this!

I am wondering if i can ask, how much LOC should we use in med school or rather how much should we have available for residency. As well, if you know what do you think the average amount of LOC used, during med school and residency. 

Thanks!

Everyone is gonna give you different answers because everyone is different. When I went to med school you got 200k. I know that now you can get 325-350k.

Don't spend more than 100k-150k is my advice. Less is so much more. You'll get loans and grants and scholarships, which will help immensely. Basically, you're using the LOC so that you don't have to work while doing med school. 

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There's no right or wrong answer about how you should spend it. However, I believe that no matter what you do, you should definitely budget. Which doesn't mean you can't live comfortably.

Try to estimate how much you'll spend on university-related, living & personal necessary expenses alone in those 4 years.. Don't forget extra funds for unpredictable stuff. Then decide how much you want to spend on fun & see how much debt that will represent in the end.

If you're comfortable with the numbers you see, then go for it. Just try to know what you're getting yourself into, and keep track on how much you spend. i.e., look at your bills/bank account & adjust, don't live in denial of the real numbers, don't underestimate how expensive life is.

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24 minutes ago, Mel96b said:

There's no right or wrong answer about how you should spend it. However, I believe that no matter what you do, you should definitely budget. Which doesn't mean you can't live comfortably.

Try to estimate how much you'll spend on university-related, living & personal necessary expenses alone in those 4 years.. Don't forget extra funds for unpredictable stuff. Then decide how much you want to spend on fun & see how much debt that will represent in the end.

If you're comfortable with the numbers you see, then go for it. Just try to know what you're getting yourself into, and keep track on how much you spend. i.e., look at your bills/bank account & adjust, don't live in denial of the real numbers, don't underestimate how expensive life is.

Thank you. Absolutely! I’ve been planning out my budget for the past month but it’s been very difficult to do because of my limited knowledge regarding clerkship/residency expenses.

 

Could anyone break down the “extra” expenses I would incur during clerkship and residency?

There is the LMCC, Visiting electives, CaRMS interviews. I am also planning to take the USMLEs. Any insight on these extra expenses + others I don’t know about would be immensely helpful!

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51 minutes ago, ChemPetE said:

Tuition costs, parking, royal college (probably 5k by the time you write it). CMPA, disability insurance, etc

Do you mean the MCCQE part 1 and 2 for 5k ? cause it’s 4k in 2020 (1,3 +2,7), so + 1k in the futur..

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2 hours ago, destiny deoxys said:

Do you mean the MCCQE part 1 and 2 for 5k ? cause it’s 4k in 2020 (1,3 +2,7), so + 1k in the futur..

So, I'm looking at this :

https://physiciansapply.ca/services/examination-and-service-fees/?cn-reloaded=1

Account fee $300

MCCQE Part I is $1,300

MCCQE Part II  is $4,170

NAC is $4245

That comes down to 10K 

Although, it seems that all of these exam fees can be claimed as tuition tax credit. 

The only link I could find regarding royal college fees is this http://www.royalcollege.ca/rcsite/credentials-exams/exams-fees-e#exam-fees 

but I have no idea which ones I'll have to take.

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1 hour ago, bruh said:

 

So, I'm looking at this :

https://physiciansapply.ca/services/examination-and-service-fees/?cn-reloaded=1

Account fee $300

MCCQE Part I is $1,300

MCCQE Part II  is $4,170

NAC is $4245

That comes down to 10K 

Although, it seems that all of these exam fees can be claimed as tuition tax credit. 

The only link I could find regarding royal college fees is this http://www.royalcollege.ca/rcsite/credentials-exams/exams-fees-e#exam-fees 

but I have no idea which ones I'll have to take.

expect about 5K for the exam plus expenses related to getting to the various centres.

also remember there a bunch of fees related to starting practise - registering with the particular college, various insurance fees, registering potentially as a fellow fee - another bunch of cash which for me was about 4K I think

 

 

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1 hour ago, bruh said:

NAC is $4245

As I understand it the NAC is not required for CMGs, it's another hoop for IMGs/USDOs (who are IMGs in all fairness). 

Quote

Application and eligibility

To take the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination, you must have graduated or be a student who is expected to complete all medical degree requirements within 12 months of the date of the exam from a:

  • Medical school outside Canada or the U.S. that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools and identified by a Canada Sponsor Note; or
  • A U.S. School of Osteopathic Medicine

 

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2 hours ago, dooogs said:

royal college is 15k in 5th year of residency XD Probably 20k by the time we get there

!

wasn't that high for me to take the test (although in your last year you can just throw money at some problems that stop you studying - ordering in food, house cleaning, laundry services.....I know people that just make all other distractions go away at however high cost). 

 

 

 

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On 7/21/2020 at 2:55 PM, rmorelan said:

!

wasn't that high for me to take the test (although in your last year you can just throw money at some problems that stop you studying - ordering in food, house cleaning, laundry services.....I know people that just make all other distractions go away at however high cost). 

 

 

 

you really need every second of the day spent studying?

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On 7/14/2020 at 11:43 AM, bruh said:

So my biggest dream came true: I got into med school! I am going to become a doctor, and I am so excited to finally begin this journey! 
 

But then comes the notion of a miserable, sleep deprived, fatigued, and poor medical student. A med student is prescribed to conserve. To conserve energy, money, and resources for the “sweet” attending life. Somehow the life that we lead from the beginning of med school to the end of residency is only justified by the end, not by the means. At least, that’s the prevalent notion. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am prepared. If that is the ONLY way ahead of me, I will succumb to the misery and cynicism that taints this journey.

But I want to enjoy my 20s, or at least take control of one thing I have at my disposal - money. Not at the expense of the sweet attending life, but at the compromise of a well-stricken balance between pre-attending and attending life.

For example, I need a car for med school. People say I should get an old $2K Corolla just to get myself from point A to B. I want a Dodge Challenger, around $20K . It’s been dream to own one for as long as I can remember, but I don’t know if I’ll still want that as a 35 years old staff physician. Nonetheless, apparently spending money during med school and residency on yourself in any big way is a sin. People think “wow, look at this guy, he’s just wasting his LOC”.
 

I literally do not get the point of saving pennies in med school when I am going to make a 300K+ salary one day. The difference between someone who has to pay 200K in debts vs someone who has to pay 300K in debts is marginal once you consider the amount you make as an attending. I have not heard of one staff physician saying that they wish they spent less in med school because now they’re having difficulty paying back their loans.


Yes, more debt does mean more time to pay the debt. But I believe that comes down to your philosophy of living. I believe that a little more time spent paying back loans in my mid 30s is a well-justified compromise if it means I can enjoy my 20s a little more. With surgery on my mind, I may have a decade more of my life to go through before I am an attending.

10 years! That’s a long period of my life I am never going to get back. There are things I  want now that I probably won’t care about once I am 35. I want to invest in my present life with a future income. I know the traditional method is investing into your future, but I believe I have already procured that investment with the education I am about to receive.
 

Is it so wrong to live comfortably during med school and residency? What are your thoughts?

 

 

Hey there. There is no perfect answer for this. 

Medical training is harsh enough, and stressful enough. If you impose yourself a super strict budget, you will be even more stressed out.

Obviously, nobody's in the same situation but do consider the following:

How much are you comfortable with debt? 

What kind of spender are you? - 

How much debt do you have at the beginning of med school?

Do you have any sort of assistance?

Also, remember your electives and interviews in your final year will be pretty expensive. 

As 1D7 said, do think about what happens after clerkship and residency. Having 300k of debt can itself be very stressful too. 

I've seen people rent super expensive apartments in med school + going out all the time + using their LoC for travelling multiple times per year. Do they think it was worth it? I don't know but I certainly hope they have no regrets.

In my opinion, it's important to make yourself comfortable during training. As I said above, training itself is stressful enough. Imposing yourself an extra artificial stress is not worth it. I had more or less the same mentality starting med school, and quite honestly: no regrets. I bought a brand new sedan for clerkship, and I'm happy I did. I probably spent a few thousand dollars in hobbies, and again, no regrets. If I was extremely frugal, I could have probably saved a few tens of thousands of dollars, but I would be regretting by now.

Use your money to take care of yourself: buy quality food, get a comfortable bed, spend your money on some sort of physical activity. You should not be saving money on these things.

For the rest, spend wisely.

It's OK to order food when you have exams, but eating out every day because you are too lazy to cook is probably not good for your wallet (nor for your health).

It's OK to spend on hobbies, but don't spend your money on everything (e.g. travelling + expensive clothes + hobbies + newest iphone and Macbook pro and apple watch + expensive restaurants + table service at the club). 

It's OK to buy a new car, but spending 80 K on a Tesla when you start med school is probably not a good idea.

It's OK to spend money and going out with your med school buddies, and to make friends. But spending 50 dollars for a cab on your way home every week instead of taking the bus is probably unwise.

Finally do realize that physicians are notoriously awful at managing their money. Learn to not become one of those.

 

7 minutes ago, whatdoido said:

you really need every second of the day spent studying?

No you certainly don't. A lot of people just want to make their lives easier.

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1 hour ago, whatdoido said:

you really need every second of the day spent studying?

that last year is just weird - I mean no you don't but the cost of failing an exam is so high (even though it is quite rare) that people do extreme measures to reduce the chance of it happening. The result study schedules are intense and people do look for ways to cut out things to both make more time for studying and also to increase what little free time you might have for important things. 

I remember finishing the exam and it was as if 9 months for me had completely vanished ha - just really didn't do anything other than that exam prep - and had to figure out what had happened outside of that time. 

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2 hours ago, rmorelan said:

that last year is just weird - I mean no you don't but the cost of failing an exam is so high (even though it is quite rare) that people do extreme measures to reduce the chance of it happening. The result study schedules are intense and people do look for ways to cut out things to both make more time for studying and also to increase what little free time you might have for important things. 

I remember finishing the exam and it was as if 9 months for me had completely vanished ha - just really didn't do anything other than that exam prep - and had to figure out what had happened outside of that time. 

thanks for your response. it's anecdotes like these that really make me question starting med school in a month.

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1 hour ago, whatdoido said:

thanks for your response. it's anecdotes like these that really make me question starting med school in a month.

I do understand that - and not all specialities have an exam that is equally intense. 

In the end it is one year of your training - just one year. While it centres about the exam, it isn't actually really about the exam I think ultimately - that difference in abilities between a mid PGY4 resident and PGY5 resident just about to write the exam is quite shocking at times. There were times in PGY5 when residents started correctly staff in areas - and that wasn't all that unusual. 

Some of the exam materials is silly - I mean memorizing things that will go out of date and can be easily looked up. Most isn't though - and as staff I find my self routinely pulling form that knowledge back to pick up the problem in a way I wouldn't otherwise. They studying was painful but worth it. 

They are many ways we could structure things to make parts of training less intense. yet I suppose no matter how you do it this level of studying is required to pull it off the material at some point at least in terms of total hours. Just the summary of the the material I was studying ended up fitting into a rather full 1700 pages powerpoint set ha. 

Newer forms of this are coming which may be of interest - the college is exploring breaking it up to smaller exams, and more frequent evaluation etc. That is a very interesting idea and may reduce the stress (although it wasn't like anyone was NOT studying at other times either ha)

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Just wanted to update y’all that I got myself a brand new V8 sports car. Won’t disclose what exactly but It’s fast and loud B)

Thank you all for the input. I’m so happy with the decision I made. I’m going to be conservative with rent and other expenses in med, but I just had to get this whip.

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