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  • Writer's picturePhysicians Financial Design


Updated: Oct 10, 2022

Today, I’d like to focus our attention on one specific group of people – those who are finally reaching the end of their training by completing a residency or fellowship. Congratulations! You’ve finally made it!

For maybe the last time in your life, we get to wish you a hearty congratulations on graduating from yet another step of training. Whether it is residency or a fellowship, you’ve finally made it to the end! This is the moment you’ve been striving for since you signed up for your first pre-med class. For many of you, that was 12 or more years ago! Think about all the life changes that have taken place over that time. For my wife, Nicole, her journey started in undergrad when she decided that nursing wasn’t going to cut it –she wanted a more prominent role in patient care. Then somewhere around that time she met me. Somehow, I convinced her to marry me, and we got hitched the summer before she started med school. Now, our journey together has included 8 years of training, 4 different cities, 3 different jobs for me, and 2 babies (with another on the way!). I’m sure your path has been just as unique, so take a minute to reflect and reminisce about all the people and experiences that have shaped your journey. And most importantly, don’t lose sight of why you’ve put yourself through all that.

Because my wife has kindly brought me along on this adventure, I’ve been able to experience many of those joys and pains along the way and we thought it might be beneficial to pass along some of the things we learned during her transition from Resident to Attending. We’ve compiled our list of helpful hints as you move forward into the next chapter of your story. Let me know what you think!

Celebrate and take in the moment.

o This is something you’ve worked so hard for and for so long, be sure to soak in every moment of graduation, every goodbye, and every “last time I have to do that”.

o Many young physicians tend to work so hard and be so focused on their goals that they forget to “stop and smell the roses.”

Plan and commit to staying in touch with your fellow grads.

o For the people who are most important to her, my wife schedules it on the calendar to make sure she reaches out frequently.

o Starting a Facebook group or a group chat would be a good way to keep the gang together, even if you can’t be together in the flesh.

If you have a break before you start your new role as an attending, be intentional to make the most of your time away from work.

o Make time for family and friends – even amongst the chaos. These are the people who supported you along the way. Make sure they know you appreciate them! Even a small gift or buying dinner as a token of your appreciation can mean a lot.

o Use the time to get situated into your new home. If you are buying a home, plan on the closing process to take at least 2 months. When we moved, we spent 6 months looking for a home and another 9 weeks to close. We didn’t get to move in until Nicole was a week into her new job! Talk about stressful!

o Don’t be afraid to rest! You’ve earned it and you’ll need some rejuvenation before you kick off the next leg of your journey. I know some can feel lost because they are so used to going 100mph all the time and rest can feel like “laziness”.

Be sure to use your new jump in income to your advantage.

o Don’t let the lure of shiny new toys (that your new income says you can afford) pull you away from your long-term financial goals.

o Increase your standard of living as slowly as you can. You will appreciate the smaller lifestyle improvements more if you let them come over time instead of bringing them all in at once.

o For more financial tips regarding the transition into an attending position, read my article “From Resident to Attending: 5 Financial Tips for the Transition

Finally, be proud of the work you’ve completed but keep in perspective that your original mission was centered on helping others. In fact, now would be a great time to look back on the mission statement you wrote prior to your residency interview process. Has anything changed since then? Not likely. The new paycheck will be nice, but ultimately, this journey was done for the good of your future patients. Providing great patient care is something that has always driven you, and I’d like to encourage you to never forget that. From someone who knows enough about the journey to know that it takes an exceptionally special person to do what you do, I want to say thank you for your commitment to your patients and to the field of medicine. And once again…one last time…CONGRATULATIONS!

Thanks for reading! For more articles geared toward young physicians and their money, click here or check out The Money Malpractice Podcast on any of the major platforms.



• RichMark Private Wealth Management. LLC is registered as an investment adviser with the State of Michigan, and only transacts business in states where it is properly registered, or is excluded or exempted from such requirements.

• Content should not be viewed at personalized investment advice. Market events and other factors may affect the reliability of the potential outcomes. Simulated growth is purely hypothetical and does not represent actual performance.

• Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment or strategy will be suitable or profitable for a client's portfolio.

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