four How the Pandemic Affected Docs’ Monetary Lives
How often have you heard this from “more experienced” colleagues… “Medicine is no longer what it used to be”? How many times have you said this to others?
As you probably know very well, the last few years (decades really) have become increasingly difficult for medical professionals.
Between new technologies, changes in health care and legislation, and the very real problem of doctor burnout, our once stable profession is marked by uncertainty and insecurity (I talk about this problem in much more detail Here).
But in 2020, the medical community along with the rest of the world was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many doctors and other health care workers, things were already problematic. The virus was only getting things up at warp speed.
More than ever, those of us in medicine are looking for peace and financial security who used to be synonymous with the title “doctor”.
How can we achieve this security? I believe that for many of us, real financial freedom lies outside of medicine. But before we get into that, let’s take a look at four main impacts of the pandemic on doctors’ financial lives
Unfortunately, thanks to the pandemic, doctor burnout has hit all new highs. Indeed in a recent studyAlmost two thirds of the doctors surveyed during the pandemic felt significantly more exhausted with their job.
All the additional stress and the longer hours certainly don’t help. I have a hard time explaining to people outside of the medical profession what it felt like to work on my face with my N95 and face shield all day.
Many doctors and nurses simply made up their minds to do it Quit medicine entirely– either retire early or pursue other careers.
More and more doctors are also seeing price cuts. One current survey showed that doctors around the world have reported drastic wage cuts, and in the US, 51% of respondents said they lost between 26% and 100% of their annual salary.
For many doctors, these wage cuts were unexpected. Many were on leave and others were simply told that they would not be compensated as before.
And as you can imagine (or have experienced yourself), the struggle to keep up with these financial changes can be incredibly stressful – adding to the already pervasive problem of doctor burnout.
While practices and hospitals try to keep up with the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic, it is workers who are feeling the strain. In particular, the way in which insurance is implemented has changed significantly – especially as the unemployment rate has risen.
Then comes telemedicine, a double-edged sword. It’s convenient and safe, but since it wasn’t widespread before the pandemic, providers have had to make an effort to adapt their practices accordingly.
Outright job loss
The trend for doctors’ work was already declining before 2020. The practices were often closed or bought out, and doctors were often told to stay and receive a 30% wage cut or leave the practice.
Now that the practices are being closed or consolidated, the health care workers along with the providers have been given long term leave or layoff. Many more doctors have had to make the difficult decision to close their own practice and wonder how they will continue to care for themselves and their families.
These are all very real problems, but I don’t want to give the impression that everything is bad. Lots of doctors have reported real feelings of pride and intention in this new era – and isn’t that why we got into medicine in the first place?
Although many have lost their jobs and their steady pay, many more have figured out how to adapt. They cut discretionary spending and found other ways to generate income.
They have taken this time as a warning and are determined to put themselves in a situation where they could cover their family’s expenses if they completely lost their jobs or took a massive wage cut.
The is true financial freedom – and while it takes some work to set up to begin with, I believe anyone can get to this point.
What can you do if you want to live calmly and want to know that your life is not tied to the income from your “day job”?
If you are reading this blog you are already on the right track. Your next steps should be to establish some passive income streams through a side rush or two.
Even better? Invest in real estate! As you probably know, this is by far my favorite way to achieve financial independence. I would highly recommend checking out this postHere you can find out how you can invest in real estate today.
At some point, the income from your sideline and investments can replace all the income from your medical job, and you have achieved what most people only dream of: going to work because you want to – not because you to have to.
The world of medicine has changed for years and it was only a matter of time before all of these things came to a head. Now more than ever, doctors are turning to alternative forms of income to support themselves.
This is actually a good thing – it motivates you to stop trading your time for money and instead make that money work she. This is a fantastic destination, pandemic or not.
Whether you are just on your way to financial freedom or have been around for a while, I encourage you to keep going. Not only will you be able to achieve the life you have always dreamed of, but you will also be prepared to weather the storm that is coming your way.