Options to Financing Your Doctor Dreams
Becoming a doctor is at the top of the list for many parents when they dream about what their child will be when he or she grows up. There’s a lot of prestige in saying, “My child is a doctor.” Rightfully so. Becoming a physician is hard work. From the study to the grueling hours, traveling the path to a medical degree isn’t for the fainthearted or the ambivalent. There have been many changes to modern medicine over the last few decades that has the United States on the cusp of a shortage of physicians. It’s not medicine itself that has changed so drastically, it’s the business end of things. If you’re serious about a career in the healthcare industry, and especially about becoming a doctor, there are some things you should consider.
You already know you’re going to be in school and then residency for years. That doesn’t bother you. What bothers you is how expensive medical school is. What bothers you is knowing it will be a very long time before you can pay off all those student loans. Another bother is that you know instant ramen isn’t very healthy but that may be all your budget can afford for the foreseeable future. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Schools do give scholarships, yes, but don’t stop there in your search for funding that isn’t going into debt. There are many professional organizations which award scholarships. Some only award scholarships to students headed into the healthcare industry. However, with a looming healthcare-provider crisis, you may be able to approach hospitals, clinics or even private practices to cover part of your tuition in exchange for a guarantee that you’ll work for them for a set amount of time after you graduate.
Speaking of a career in the healthcare industry, don’t count out going to work for a hospital or clinic now if you have the opportunity to participate in a tuition reimbursement program. You may have to work as a janitor or orderly, but those experiences are valuable. Seeing from another perspective how things work at your hospital can positively affect things like your level of patience and your bedside manner.
If you can score a healthcare industry job while you’re in medical school, you can potentially parlay those hours on the job as course credit, too, depending on what your duties are. With as much time as you’ll devote to your studies, doubling up on course credit while you’re earning a paycheck can be very helpful.
Explore your options if you’re serious about a career in the healthcare industry.