Part II: Finances
Congratulations, you’ve matched! Now what? Let's examine the transition to residency with three articles: Housing, Finances, and Professional.
We sat down with Gregory Tanquary, DO, an emergency medicine resident at Ohio Health Doctors Hospital, to get his perspective on some topics to consider as you transition into residency.
"They suck! But everyone has them." - Gregory Tanquary
There are two general types: government-issued and private loans. Most medical school graduates will have government or a combination of the two, but everyone has a loan service provider. This is determined by your lender. A loan service provider is a middleman between you and the lender who handles the logistics of the loan, including the payment and the plan. Most loan service providers will have a 6-month grace period after residency begins for you to figure out the type of payment plan you want to enroll in. For the government-sourced loans, there are additional repayment options, such as pay as you earn (PAYE) and revised pay as you earn (REPAYE).
A unique option for government-issued loans is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) plan. PLSF will forgive the balance of your loan if you make 120 on-time payments while working for a “not-for profit” entity. It sounds good. However, realize this may be more challenging for emergency physicians, since most people are employed by private groups instead of not-for-profit hospitals. It is something to keep in mind.
Finally, it is important to not forget about your loans, because you will be automatically enrolled in the standard repayment plan, which is thousands of dollars per month. This repayment can be impossible for a resident to pay. Make sure to go to your loan servicer provider’s website or studentloans.gov to file the appropriate paperwork. The White Coat Investor is also a great resource for general financial knowledge.
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." - Benjamin Franklin
You’re gonna be making money and the government is gonna want a piece of that. I don’t have a whole lot to offer here. Pretty much person-dependent. Some residents have families and children that complicate their tax return. I’m married without children. Few assets in general. So my return is fairly straightforward. If you’re uncomfortable doing them yourself, it is probably worth paying a few bucks to have someone do it for you, as long as they are reputable. It may cost some, but it’s better than the time and money spent if you file wrong, incur a penalty, or otherwise run afoul of Uncle Sam. Ask fellow residents how they do theirs. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
There are companies that will file your federal tax online for free, but will try to sneak in a charge when you include the state income tax return. Be aware of this, or click the option to just file federal - then file your own state tax return.