PGY 500 S&P 500

Some of the most amazing doctors I look up to have chosen to dedicate another 8-12 years as doctors in training, after graduating from medical school. It truly is remarkable and inspiring to see someone going to the 32nd grade...

Some of the most amazing doctors I look up to have chosen to dedicate 8-12 years as doctors in training after graduating from medical school. It truly is remarkable and inspiring to see someone on his or her way through the 32nd grade. At the hospital, I'm surrounded by numerous M.D./Ph.D., which require about twice the schooling that the average person undergoes.

One of my esteemed friends from college jokes and calls himself PGY* 500 because he practiced as a radiologist after PGY1-6, then decided to become a medical intensivist (another 6 years of PGY).

As a mere PGY1 intern this year (2015), I sometimes think that my training is too long, as I will to go up to PGY6 or 7 to become a specialized, boarded radiologist (I will be able to practice independently at age 36 or 37). But other times, I do remember that this what I want to do, radiology is my passion and my calling.

The following is the salary schedule at the University of Arizona for PGY1-7.

Salary Schedule for 2015 — 2016

Anyone can see the income is a big mismatch from the average student loan balance PGY1's have. And unfortunately, as the PGY's dedicate their energy to patient care and becoming better doctors during these training years, their debt grows silently and fatally at 5.4%-20% interest rate, depending on the creditor (Department of Education, consumer credit cards or private banks).

Just because we choose to dedicate our energy and youth to become better doctors, it doesn't mean that we should put the rest of lives on hold. Let's start growing our net worth while we are in training, as PGYs are indeed a big chunk of our youthful & energetic years. Time-Value of Money is a double-edged sword, it can harm or help you. Try to learn from the best and the worst in finances: the big banks. Be the bank, collect rather than pay interest. Use their century old trick of carry trade, borrowing low and lending high. Banks borrow 0% interest money from the feds and taxpayers (you and I), then turn around to lend to us at 3-30% interest rate. It's time for us to reverse the flow of cash from the deep pockets of big banks and into the shallow pockets of ordinary people like you and I.

The next post will summarize principles of how to grow our net worth. Then following posts will elaborate on the principles with actionable steps.

*PGY stands for post graduate year, which refers to the group of doctors in training who have graduated from medical school, but have yet become fully licensed/boarded to practice independently. Various levels for pgy's include interns, residents, and fellows.