It’s hard to find quality financial advice that is specific to physicians and student debt. That’s one of the reasons I started my firm, Physician Wealth Services. It’s also why I was so angry when a client sent me this clip from the Dave Ramsey show where a young doctor called in and got terrible advice.
If you’re not familiar with Dave Ramsey, he’s actually one of the most successful financial “experts” in America today. He has a nationally syndicated radio show, a pile of bestselling books, and a flourishing company located in Nashville with over 600 employees.
Unfortunately, despite all of his accolades, he gave terrible advice to a physician who called in to his show asking for help. Not only that, he was pretty rude to him too.
On the clip, a physician named Rodrick from Pittsburg called and asked for advice about his $670,000 debt load. He’s a family medicine resident married to a psychiatry resident. According to the call, this number includes combined debt for both of them from medical school, graduate school, and undergrad.
As residents, they have a combined $108,000 household income. When they graduate from residency, they have a projected $400,000 household income.
However, Dave questioned his ability to get $200,000 a year in family medicine. He thought his income would be 25% lower. (Depending on where they ultimately live, though, geographic arbitrage is very real and could be used in their advantage.)
WHAT A MESS!
When Dave Ramsey heard all of this, he exclaimed “What a mess!” Then, he proceeded to tell him that if he had that much student loan debt he would be “disgusted, confused and in panic mode.”
Of course, those of us who are in physician families know high levels of student loan debt is the norm. In fact, the average amount of debt my physician clients have is roughly $200,000 – $300,000.
Rodrick’s situation, while not ideal, is not a “mess.”
I wish this was a total summary of the conversation, but unfortunately, Dave said even more to this physician to embarrass him on national radio. To hear what Dave said, view my rebuttal, and learn how I view student loan debt (which is a bit different than most) visit the full post HERE.