Retired rheumatologist Timothy Harrington, MD, was featured recently in an AMA Wire article titled “Take these seven tips to avoid financial stress.”
Doctor Harrington, a Society member from Madison, practiced for 35 years and also consulted extensively with physicians and health systems on effective practice before retiring four years ago at age 72.
“Almost nobody talks to young physicians about financial preparedness,” Dr. Harrington said. “The idea is that this is all about how much you know and then everything will take care of itself. But it doesn’t take care of itself, and stress, burnout and interpersonal problems are frequent outcomes.”
Doctor Harrington’s suggestions range from choosing a specialty “you love” and embracing a middle class lifestyle to getting help with employment contracts and finding mentors.
“When I was in medical school and choosing a post-graduate specialty, few physicians had debt and one used class standing to compete for the specialty and institution that interested them most. Now, with debt and a shift in traditional gender-based decisions, young physicians’ specialty choices are less about their highest interest and more about what makes the most money or is less demanding. Then they go to work for 40 years and aren’t happy, but they are often stuck. So what avoiding debt does is open the paths to happiness,” Dr. Harrington said. “The other issue is that medical school admission is about being smart, but medical practice is more about cherishing human interaction, day after day and patient after patient.”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
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