Each week I run into a few articles that I feel are especially valuable. Every Monday I would like to share some of the best with you, my readers. I hope you find them helpful.
This week’s favorites include consider the total cost of owning a pet, when student loan forgiveness goes wrong, does how we talk to our patients matter, it’s time for a national medical license, and the most important points to have in a physician employment contract.
One of the most interesting findings I have seen in my total financial makeover program is the high cost of owning pets. For some people, the budget for their dog exceeds the entire housing budget of the average American! For this reason, many people don’t even want to look at what their pet is costing. MSN lifestyle share with us their Twenty Financial Factors to Consider before Adopting a Pet. Pets do come with a lot of benefits, but before you plunge in, consider the costs.
Most physicians are coming out of training with high student loan debts. The average is hovering around $200,000. Consequently, seeking some form of student loan forgiveness is very popular. PSLF (public student loan forgiveness) is a very popular path. But like all government programs, there is so much red tape that it is easy to miss something and end up not getting the promised forgiveness. The AMA provides us a heads up with What to do when Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Goes Wrong. What is your plan for handling this mortgage without a home issue?
I remember talking with a patient about her weight problem when she suddenly burst into tears and said, “But my cardiologist said it wasn’t my fault.” She left the office and never returned to see me. Driving patients away by saying something in a manner that makes them not want to come back and see me is bad for my office bottom line. I have thought about that patient a lot. Jill Becker, MD penned a thought provoking article I read on KevinMD titled A Case for Changing the Way We Talk about Obesity. What other things should we consider rephrasing?
Several years ago I was watching a natural disaster on TV. I thought I would volunteer to go to that state and help out as a physician. I was prohibited to do so because I didn’t have a medical license in that state. At the time I thought it was poor policy to not allow a licensed physician to help in another state. Turns out this state licensing method is a very poor way to go. To do locums, I needed multiple licenses and that added a lot of expense and paperwork that recurs every two years. Medscape presented the argument from Dr Keith A. Raymond telling is It’s Time for All Physicians to Have a National Medical License. Do you agree?
Contracting is confusing for most physicians. No one teaches this stuff during training. Then we jump into our first job and don’t even know what to look for in a contract. Most just sign the document the employer prepared and go to work. Later they learn the hard way what is actually spelled out in their contract. XRAYVSN shares with us The Sticking Points in Physician Contract Negotiations. I devoted an entire chapter to contract negotiations in The Doctors Guide to Starting Your Practice/Career Right. Never sign a contract you haven’t read in its entirety and understand fully. Have your attorney of someone who specializes in physician contracts, like Contract Diagnostics, who is one of my trusted advertisers, review it with you if you are unsure.
I hope you enjoy these articles as much as I did. I look forward to updating you again next week with a few more articles I find especially interesting. If you read an especially good article, send me the link so I can share it with others.