Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Debt to No Income Ratio

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.


Anonymous said...

"occasional male-strip club dancing that netted me a little fortune here and there from fat, desperate women "

Don't forget gay men - they frequent those a lot as well.

Ladyk73 said...

Oh my....
Is your marriage okay?
Is this what marriage does to people? You describe a possible divorce as a $$ issue, and not an emotional issue.

Wow....married people

I'll ow 60K by the time I am done woth Grad school, and my expect income is meager (social work).

But I have a HOUSE! And it is cheaper than an apartment...go figure.


(I love my house!)

Anonymous said...

lady k,
multiply your debt by 4.
realize you'll be making barely enough to make ends meet for the next 4-7 years.
then consider the difficulty of obtaining a mortgage, making additional payments on it, and then consider the effort it takes to keep a relationship working.
you might find that under these cirucumstances, it's hard to keep someone around as a regular date, let alone a spouse. $60K in debt is not a mortgage. the amount of money someone owes coming out of medical school is beyond a mortgage, without any sort of collateral.

Liz said...

True dat. Especially if you're married to another med student. When i frequent the various med/doctor forums i laugh at their $200,000 worth of debt. Try doubling that, people. That's what it's like to be a med student married to another med student. No house for us. Ever.

Ladyk73 said...

Oh...I am sorry...
I am not by any means trying to minimize your debt. I think it sucks. I think it sucks that other professions role in the dough for minimal investment in both time and money.

I admire medical Drs and the commitment, passion, and intelligence you all have....

I think it shameful how little many docs are paid.

Ladyk73 said...

I just live in a dying city....
And may only make 25-35K a year as a social worker-maybe!

I hope you can buy a house...believe it or not....I feel much calmer as a home owner than as a renter.

MSG said...


No problemo...not many people are aware of the crushing burden doctors start out with - they just remember the 80's where the money was rollin' in.

My marriage is fine, I just added that little bit because a divorce is expensive and I was talking about increasing my debt - you know...being stupid.