In an all too common occurrence, I've been reflecting on the amount of money I owe. It’s quite terrifying to think about the amount of debt that I’ve accumulated in the 8 years of pre and post graduate training I've endured. What’s even more fun is to think about gathering even more since I’ll most likely have 4 years or more with my residency/ fellowship all within the same area and have a distinct chance of staying on as faculty after finishing, at least for a year or two...so why not buy a house?
When I see the amount of debt that I have, what we owe on my wife’s car, and the credit cards (oh so stupidly used at times) I have flat out panic attacks. I freak out, consider the option of getting a part time job on the weekends, and briefly ponder robbing a bank. Briefly, people, briefly, but I still think about it.
I know that there are residencies out there where you can moonlight or earn extra money working past a certain time of day, but these are clearly not readily available nor are some of the programs tolerable beyong this fact. While these types of programs are quite tempting to apply to or rank highly I realize that residency is transient and a horrible training experience will only sour me on my profession, my chosen field, and the patients I care for. Plus my marriage will get the shit kicked out of it for a few extra bucks and a divorce would only increase the debt burden.
What frightens me the most, though, is the notion that I can’t make more money during this training. It’s not like I can get a 2nd job when times get tight or when unexpected bills fall on you. Not like medical school where an additional loan here or there could be applied for or the occasional male-strip club dancing that netted me a little fortune here and there from fat, desperate women (ala Dr. Hibbert).
I just keep hoping that my car will last long enough to make it through residency. I hope that the kids won’t need braces or any expensive medical care during this time. And I sure as hell hope that all the talk my wife does about once we “have money” is just talk and not serious – because it just makes me freak out more.