Everyone thinks that we are rich, that money is pouring into our lives from every possible angle. Even as a medical student, people felt the need to believe that I had more money than they could possibly imagine. This is just not true at all. People are used to seeing all of the older doctors who have been working for many years and have had money saved and are enjoying all of the money they have saved. This is just not the case for everyone in Medicine contrary to common belief.
As a medical student, you have close to nothing. You make no money, you pay medical school thousands of dollars to attend, and you live off of loan money*. Right before you start Residency, you need to move, find an apartment, buy furniture, pay your deposit for your new apartment, and think of other random costs that you had no idea that you would incur. You are supposed to come up with money to pay for these expenses when you make no money. And then on top of that everyone around you thinks you are making the big bucks. It is such a terrible feeling to try and figure everything out when you do not have any money.
It all sounds terrible yes but there is light at the end of the tunnel, however long that tunnel may be. Some people pursue this field for the glory, others for the praise, and many more for the money. I want students to be aware that although in the end a lot of money is made, initially both as a medical student and as a resident, you do not make nearly enough. We go through the same financial struggle that the rest of the “below-average” income folks go through although the general public does not believe that. The reason for this article is not to scare you out of your desire to pursue Medicine but to realistically paint the picture that many people who are not in this field have obscured. Nothing that you pursue will be perfect and Medicine is very similar. Initially, your financial struggle will be real as you go through medical school and then through Residency but with time that struggle will become more and more manageable.
*This is the case for the average medical student not inclusive of those medical students whose parents pay their tuition every month and subsequently these students have no loans to worry about.