I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt

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mathwhiz
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I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt

Post by mathwhiz » Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:33 am

I've started dating a med school student. It's in the beginning stages so I don't know how serious things will become but one thing shocked me. She let slip she's $200,000 in debt and counting in student loans from her pricey private school undergrad and now med school.

That shocked me considering I'm the complete opposite of her. I'm six figures in the black and don't have any debts. Period.

Are there any programs I can suggest to her? Maybe a government deal where they pay her debt down if she agrees agrees to practice for a few years in an undeserved location like a native american reservation or a rural area. I have no idea how hard those are to get.

Cause this debt thing won't fly with me long term if things get serious regardless how much money she'll eventually make.

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Blue
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Post by Blue » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:06 am

When I finished med school ~ 10 years ago, the average student debt was ~ $120k IIRC so I do not think her debt is much of an outlier given her career path and is not a direct reflection on her spending habits.

Most of the loan forgiveness programs that I am aware almost always are associated with a markedly lower income, offsetting the loan benefit.

$200k may not be that much debt if she makes $400k/year as a radiologist.

OTOH, as an $80k pediatrician, it becomes a very serious issue.

Good luck on however it works out.

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Post by Lincoln » Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:40 am

I am in nearly the exact same situation, but I am now married to the 200k in debt resident. Luckily the debt is at a low interest rate (~3.75%) and it can be repaid over 25 years, which will come out to about $1k/mo. When my spouse finishes training and is making 250k+ it will seem like a wise investment. As an earlier poster alluded to, the loan forgiveness programs usually = a lower salary. There are plenty of docs on this board that could give advice and I believe I read EmergDoc say that he regrets going the loan forgiveness route, hopefully he will chime in...

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Post by norookie » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:03 am

A med student I'd met told me he was going to do some time treating (He was a grauating dental student) armed services personnel on base back home to help forgive his >.gov loan (200+k) for fixed number of years. If I understood him correctly he got paid a fixed amount plus bennies being employed by the .gov as a civilan dentist practicing on armed service personnel and after a few years his loan was forgiven and he was going to start his own practice.~Good Luck! :D

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Post by Triple digit golfer » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:18 am

If you just started dating her and it's in the beginning stages, discussing her debt isn't going to fly with her. So if you want to get rid of her, bring it up. Otherwise, I think you have to wait a good while before discussing it. Like, until after the marriage talk starts.

linuxizer
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Post by linuxizer » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:18 am

The major loan forgiveness programs I'm aware of are the HPSP (military), NHSC (primary care in under-served communities), and then a program by the NIH for clinical researchers. They are all best considered as a little help for sacrificing a lot to give back to the world, rather than as a smart financial move.

Frankly, you sound pretty judgy, which is not really appropriate. These days, even people who go to public school for med school rack up six-figure debt. It's just the way med school has gone. The reason they can charge that is that physicians make it back very quickly, unless they are going into our sadly under-compensated (relatively-speaking) primary care fields.

$200k likely means she is living on the student budget provided by the school and nothing more. It's not the cushiest of lifestyles, but nor is it poverty. Just have fun dating and don't worry about it for now.

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Re: I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt

Post by Ron » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:26 am

mathwhiz wrote:Cause this debt thing won't fly with me long term if things get serious regardless how much money she'll eventually make.
I guess you've already answered (as what is most important in your life).

Thank goodness my good wife married me for the future, rather than what the present was.

I'm not going to be judgmental, so I'll just leave the comment at that.

- Ron

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Dan-Fl
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Her loans and me

Post by Dan-Fl » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:26 am

Hi,
My read on this is that her loan is none of your business. If you find her interesting I think you need to accept her exactly as she is. Should she ask for advise, than you can offer some. It is so hard not to want to remake people in our own form, but this is a disaster for any relationship.
Good luck
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Re: I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt

Post by IL Int Med » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:58 am

mathwhiz wrote:
Cause this debt thing won't fly with me long term if things get serious regardless how much money she'll eventually make.

If money (debt) is a deal-breaker, then there's no point in your continuing the relationship...

Actually, many new doctors have $150K+ in debt these days. Having $200K is certainly not unheard off.

I think a more important factor is her lifestyle and spending habits. If one is frugal, $200K can be paid off in less than 10 years even if one is lower paid physician. Let's say she makes $120K. If Uncle Sam takes 1/3 and she lives on 1/3, she can still put $40K per year towards the loan. Obviously if she makes more, the debt can be paid even faster if she does not have an extravagant lifestyle. OTOH, if she makes $200K but spends $250K, then that's the real problem.

The Chinese have a saying: "Lifelong debts take a lifetime to pay off." Education is something you use for a lifetime, so what if takes a few years.

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Post by ClubberLang » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:12 am

linuxizer wrote:Frankly, you sound pretty judgy, which is not really appropriate. These days, even people who go to public school for med school rack up six-figure debt. It's just the way med school has gone. The reason they can charge that is that physicians make it back very quickly, unless they are going into our sadly under-compensated (relatively-speaking) primary care fields.
Judgy? Actually it's very appropriate when it's his future that he's thinking about. Why invest in the first place if you are not concerned about the future? Where is it written where he's obligated to support her debt? What if it was the other way around? What if she was in the black and he was the one that was 200 K in debt? She would likely be encouraged to dump him and nobody would think anything less of her.
Last edited by ClubberLang on Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Her loans and me

Post by ClubberLang » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:20 am

Dan-Fl wrote:My read on this is that her loan is none of your business. If you find her interesting I think you need to accept her exactly as she is. Should she ask for advise, than you can offer some. It is so hard not to want to remake people in our own form, but this is a disaster for any relationship.
Good luck
Dan-Fl
Actually it is his business if their goal is a serious relationship.
If this is deal breaker for him then he has a valid concern. Why waste time pursuing a relationship if this will only cause problems down the line?

What is outside his comfort zone may not be for you, and neither one of you are right or wrong...it's a matter of opinion. Ironically the ones who are bashing him for judging her are also judging. OP, don't listen to the shaming tactics. Do what YOU are comfortable with.
Last edited by ClubberLang on Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt

Post by gasman » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:21 am

mathwhiz wrote:I've started dating a med school student. It's in the beginning stages so I don't know how serious things will become but one thing shocked me. She let slip she's $200,000 in debt and counting in student loans from her pricey private school undergrad and now med school.

That shocked me considering I'm the complete opposite of her. I'm six figures in the black and don't have any debts. Period.

Are there any programs I can suggest to her? Maybe a government deal where they pay her debt down if she agrees agrees to practice for a few years in an undeserved location like a native american reservation or a rural area. I have no idea how hard those are to get.

Cause this debt thing won't fly with me long term if things get serious regardless how much money she'll eventually make.
I graduated med school 20 yrs ago with a comparable inflation adjusted debt. Also from a pricey private undergrad and med school. The debt was gone within a few years and now have a paid up mortgage and seven figure portfolio. Agree with the poster about lifestyle and spending habits being a more telling "financial compatibility" factor.

BTW, The pricey private schools were well worth paying up for. Name brand credentials still carry a fair amount of weight in landing good positions in medicine. Certainly not always true, but they never hurt. Granted that it will be much harder going forward for docs to earn as good a financial return on this type of investment.

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Re: I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt

Post by stan1 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:37 am

mathwhiz wrote:
Cause this debt thing won't fly with me long term if things get serious regardless how much money she'll eventually make.
If she's in debt $200K, driving a nice BMW, has an expensively decorated apartment, and thinks the loans are fine, then you need to worry. If she is living frugally while in medical school, feels bad about needing to take out the loans, and wants to repay them quickly once she has income, you probably have a good match.

Medical school shouldn't be limited to people whose parents can afford to pay the tuition.

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Post by chaz » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:46 am

Love conquers all. But tell her to be a radiologist.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

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Post by Kathryn » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:48 am

It is next to impossible to fund a medical education without substantial debt, wealthy parents, or some combination. This fact can come as a shock when one learns it. You seem to be dating a hard working, ambitious young woman with substantial earning potential who had the integrity early in the relationship to let you know her financial situation. One could do worse.

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Post by Patchy Groundfog » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:49 am

There's debt and then there's debt. Money borrowed to support a lifestyle is one thing, borrowing to increase your earning power is more like an investment, good or bad. Investing $100k in an art history MA = not smart; $200k in an MD = smart (most likely).

How are your savings invested? How does your expected return compare to hers?

Some of us just have an allergy to debt of any kind, but there are different ways of looking at it.

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Post by tfb » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:54 am

Why do radiologists make so much more? Just curious.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

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Post by nisiprius » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:39 am

I'm hoping that your reaction--"That shocked me considering I'm the complete opposite of her..." is just the sort of casual shock that happens in your twenties when you discover that other people really are different from you. Like my initial horrified reaction when I discovered that the girl I was dating put ketchup on hot dogs, when I was raised to put mustard on hot dogs. (We've been married over thirty-five years. And it still shocks me when she puts ketchup on hot dogs. Ketchup isn't for hot dogs.)

I'm fond of posting an image of a boulder with the words "Keep out of debt" carved on it. I'm appalled that people try to measure an undergraduate college education in terms of future dollar earnings. But this is different.

Med school is not just general education, it really is job training; and the chances are excellent that anyone who gets into med school ends up with pretty good lifetime employment and a pretty good chance of being able to pay back the loan. And I honestly don't see any other way for most people to become doctors other than to go into debt. So this is one case where the debt really can be regarded as "an investment in one's future."

"I'm six figures in the black and don't have any debts. Period." Well, that means that as a prospective couple, that's good. How you'd handle your joint finances would be something to figure out. Most likely she'd pay down her own debt out of her own earnings, but as a couple she'd get the financial security of knowing that the total household savings exceeded total household debt, and you'd have the financial security of a spouse with a good steady job, in an industry that's somewhat uncorrelated and decoupled from most others. (You don't say what your own job is).
Cause this debt thing won't fly with me long term.
Well, you'd better figure out if you really, really, really feel that way.

The person you marry is going to be quite different from you. And after you've been married a few years, the person you married will look quite different from the persona they saw during courtship. Let go of the narcissistic fantasy of meeting someone who's just like you, or fits you like an interlocking jigsaw piece. Your spouse is going to be a different individual, and always partly a stranger. And, after all, it is "for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health," and you need to be ready for that.

It's not great when couples have different politics, different religions, different financial patterns, but we all know couples that manage to cope. Fortunately, although love doesn't conquer all, it conquers quite a lot.

So, you're courting a med student, and you need to decide whether debt is really a deal-breaker, or whether it's just a "Gee, I never thought I'd marry a person who could possibly (vote for X, believes in Y, listen to that music, dress like that)."
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Post by yobria » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:55 am

I'd say borrowing $200K for a lifetime earnings boost of $5-$10 million is a rather savvy investment.

She's probably on an internet forum somewhere complaining she's dating a guy who'll be making less than she will!

Nick

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Post by SteveB3005 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:11 am

yobria,
She's probably on an internet forum somewhere complaining she's dating a guy who'll be making less than she will!
Telling them,"When he should be out making more money instead of wasting his time with a bunch of know it all's who call themselves BoobieHeads."
:lol:

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Re: I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt

Post by retiredjg » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:02 pm

stan1 wrote:If she's in debt $200K, driving a nice BMW, has an expensively decorated apartment, and thinks the loans are fine, then you need to worry. If she is living frugally while in medical school, feels bad about needing to take out the loans, and wants to repay them quickly once she has income, you probably have a good match.

I agree with this comment.

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ResearchMed
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Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:46 pm

Il Int Med has something important written in this bit:
Let's say she makes $120K. If Uncle Sam takes 1/3 and she lives on 1/3, she can still put $40K per year towards the loan
.

Change the numbers a bit, depending upon specialty, but look at the "and she lives on 1/3" part. (And eventually, it will be approaching the full 2/3 as income rises over time, debt gets paid off...):

Here is another way of looking at it: If she was planning to enter a different career that paid, after taxes [to make the comparison even], an amount equal to 1/3, with prospects after some/many years of the full 2/3 [which is where she'll end up under this scenario or the medical career], would you be letting her initial and future income be a dealbreaker?

This obviously also assumes she's living appropriately given her current circumstances and half of that debt isn't for that high-end BMW and a condo in a 5 star hotel residence, etc.

If the "lower income" in this scenario is also a dealbreaker, then I don't think it is just her debt situation that is bothering you.

RM

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Post by dayzero » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:50 pm

It's not like she has $200k worth of credit card debt buying manolo blahniks or whatever the hell those shoes are, she has $200k worth of student loans to become a freakin' doctor. Sheesh. Not many people have the resources to become a doctor without that kind of debt.

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Re: I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt

Post by cpbronco » Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:29 pm

retiredjg wrote:
stan1 wrote:If she's in debt $200K, driving a nice BMW, has an expensively decorated apartment, and thinks the loans are fine, then you need to worry. If she is living frugally while in medical school, feels bad about needing to take out the loans, and wants to repay them quickly once she has income, you probably have a good match.

I agree with this comment.
Yes, this is the key. If she is financially ignorant and living it up, then you won't be a good match no matter how much money she is making in the future. If she has the financial smarts to be able to pay off the debt in a reasonable amount of time, then don't let the big debt number scare you away.

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Post by mathwhiz » Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:42 pm

Well like I said it's in the early stages of things, so I'm evaluating her as much as she is me. She is interested in pediatrics and wants to open up her own practice one day. I do not know how lucrative this field is compared to others but I imagine not as lucrative as something like plastic surgery or radiology or aniestesology. I don't remember commenting on her debt other than to say, wow, that's a lot...you have to make lots of sacrifices to be a doctor now, etc. It's definitely not an issue I'm pressing right now.

I'm trying not to be judgmental here, just to understand what I'm potentially getting myself into. We're having a lot of fun together so I'm inclined to just keep this information in the back of my mind for now. No reason to mess up a good thing but I'll eventually need to either get comfortable with the idea or make it apparent that whatever we have together is on the just for fun road and isn't going down the serious road. I don't like misleading or hurting people unnecessarily.

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Post by Kathryn » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:36 pm

Would she continue "having a lot of fun" with you if she knew that there is an issue (her school loans) which she cannot change at this point that might be a dealbreaker to a commited relationship? It seems she has been upfront with you.....

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Re: I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt

Post by Fletch » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:50 pm

mathwhiz wrote:I've started dating a med school student. It's in the beginning stages so I don't know how serious things will become but one thing shocked me. She let slip she's $200,000 in debt and counting in student loans from her pricey private school undergrad and now med school. ......

Cause this debt thing won't fly with me long term if things get serious regardless how much money she'll eventually make.
Best wishes for your relationship(s) whether it is this one or not. These principles would seem appropriate for your situation and should help an excellent decision to be made:

* Involve those impacted in the decisions that will impact them,
* Honesty is the best policy,
* Marry for love, not money,
* Marry for a lifetime relationship, not just until things get tough,
* Marriage is a 100-100% thing (not just 50-50%), both parties have to be willing to give their all,
* Know thyself.

Fletch
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

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mathwhiz
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Post by mathwhiz » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:58 pm

Would she continue "having a lot of fun" with you if she knew that there is an issue (her school loans) which she cannot change at this point that might be a dealbreaker to a commited relationship? It seems she has been upfront with you.....
Not every relationship goes down the serious road and that's fine. Sometimes people are at different points in their lives where a serious thing isn't in the cards. You enjoy each other's company for the time you are able to see each other knowing there will be an expiration date on the "fun".

For example, she's going to be looking at residency next year that will probably involve a relocation to god knows where. Obviously, if I will have to contemplate a long distance relationship or relocate on my own to be closer to her uprooting my own life and well paying job for her, I'm going to have to make sure she's the right girl for me and I will eventually have an intention to marry her.

I'm way off from that now but debt is a red warning flag.

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preserve
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Re: I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt

Post by preserve » Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:20 pm

cpbronco wrote: Yes, this is the key. If she is financially ignorant and living it up, then you won't be a good match no matter how much money she is making in the future. If she has the financial smarts to be able to pay off the debt in a reasonable amount of time, then don't let the big debt number scare you away.
It is pretty obvious to me she is saying "If you want to marry me your going to have to pay $200k. Otherwise, move along buddy."

There is nothing financially ignorant on her part.. She gets down to business.

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Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:37 pm

Mathwhiz, you initially wrote:
Cause this debt thing won't fly with me long term if things get serious regardless how much money she'll eventually make.
Kathryn then wrote:
Would she continue "having a lot of fun" with you if she knew that there is an issue (her school loans) which she cannot change at this point that might be a dealbreaker to a commited relationship? It seems she has been upfront with you.....
And then you (mathwhiz) wrote:
Not every relationship goes down the serious road and that's fine. Sometimes people are at different points in their lives where a serious thing isn't in the cards. You enjoy each other's company for the time you are able to see each other knowing there will be an expiration date on the "fun".
... which is all fine and good if your "date" knows there is a likely dealbreaker making it very likely that this one of those relationships that is NOT going "down the serious road".

It is NOT at all clear that she is aware there is already a major barrier.
And that IS a real problem.

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preserve
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Post by preserve » Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:42 pm

ResearchMed wrote: It is NOT at all clear that she is aware there is already a major barrier.
And that IS a real problem.
How can she not be aware? Thats why many of them date three or four at the same time.
Last edited by preserve on Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ppc » Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:47 pm

tfb wrote:Why do radiologists make so much more? Just curious.
In Japan the median radiologist compensation is $150k, while in the United States the median compensation is about $400k. Both of these numbers are the net pay after malpractice insurance is paid. In Japan MRI's are much more available, and people live several years longer than in the United States. The American Medical Association has done a great job of limiting competition and boosting physician income. The Japanese pay half as much per person for medical care, and there are no waiting lines to been seen by a doctor.

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Post by preserve » Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:50 pm

ppc wrote:
tfb wrote:Why do radiologists make so much more? Just curious.
In Japan the median radiologist compensation is $150k, while in the United States the median compensation is about $400k. Both of these numbers are the net pay after malpractice insurance is paid. In Japan MRI's are much more available, and people live several years longer than in the United States. The American Medical Association has done a great job of limiting competition and boosting physician income. The Japanese pay half as much per person for medical care, and there are no waiting lines to been seen by a doctor.
I assume a high quality med school in Japan is also less expensive than one in the US also.

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Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:52 pm

preserve wrote:
ResearchMed wrote: It is NOT at all clear that she is aware there is already a major barrier.
And that IS a real problem.
The problem is that many of these women use sex as a weapon. Otherwise, men wouldn't bother them.
Excuuuse me!?

Just "who" might "these women" actually be?
Any nice female date?
Any female during her medical training?

Are "we" all on the right Forum here?

RM

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preserve
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Post by preserve » Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:28 pm

ResearchMed wrote: Excuuuse me!?

Just "who" might "these women" actually be?
Any nice female date?
Any female during her medical training?

Are "we" all on the right Forum here?

RM
[crude sexist remark removed]

Lets see where that gets you.

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Post by satori » Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:45 pm

As a parent of both male and female children, I would expect all of my children to pay off their own education debt, and not rely on their spouse to do so. IMO, the only pre-marriage debt that should be shared in marriage is that in which both spouses are benefiting (e.g. a mortgage on a house they both live in or a shared car). It could be argued I suppose that one spouse's educational debt does benefit both spouses due to increased earning power for the entire family unit, but I don't entirely buy that.

And I admit I would be somewhat alarmed if any of my children entered into a marriage in which they end up paying off a large part of their spouse's educational debt. But I'm also of the opinion that marriage is a loving and trusting partnership (or should be) and I can see an arrangement emerge whereby one spouse temporarily shoulders the lion's share of mortgage and household payments while the "debtor" spouse efficiently pays down the debt so that they as a family unit are education debt-free as soon as possible.

-- Hm, while composing this, looks like things got interesting. What is this about women using sex as a weapon? Are you saying that women use sex to entrap men into paying off their educational debt? I'm sure we can all think of examples of both genders getting what they want by less than sincere methods. (I know of a woman who put her husband through law school and after husband got his JD he divorced her - not nice.)

In general, people don't do what they don't want to do. A man who does something against his will because of the promise of sex is like the stegosaurus -- using his other brain.

~Satori

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Post by gkaplan » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:37 pm

[crude sexist remark removed]
Preserve, are you a Neanderthal or just a misanthrope?
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Post by retiredjg » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:44 pm

preserve, your comments are inappropriate. [We Mods agree. They've been removed.]

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Post by wshang » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:48 pm

Mathwiz,

You've probably figured by now out that pediatricians are among the lowest paid physicians. She will probably have to work many years to pay that off.

Of course, I wonder if your potential marriage might work out like my joke to my wife, "You got an M.D. the easy way!" Seriously, medical marriages are high stress. No one has mentioned that. I don't know if male non-doctor spouse marriages have as high a divorce rate.

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Post by kpanghmc » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:13 pm

It sounds to me that you shouldn't be dating any med school student if the $200k debt is a red flag for you. You'd be hard pressed to find a med school student without a large amount of student loans. Her debt sounds completely reasonable for her career path and I think you're projecting your own career's requirements onto her unfairly, and even worse, secretly.

As for preserve's comments, they're completely out of line. I'm going to have a hard time respecting anything he posts from now on.
Last edited by kpanghmc on Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by mews » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:18 pm

Kevin got to it first.

yeesh!

ta,
mew

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alvinsch
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Post by alvinsch » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:33 pm

I was shocked when the girl I was dating let on that she had a 15.75% reverse amortization mortgage on her townhouse. Even more shocking was that it turned out to be the best investment I ever made. We're celebrating our 25th anniversary this fall and were able to retire early thanks to our combined earnings power. You just never know but marrying brains is worth a lot!!

Good luck!
- Al

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Tall Grass
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Post by Tall Grass » Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:04 pm

"I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt."

Cause this debt thing won't fly with me long term if things get serious regardless how much money she'll eventually make.

RUN! You'll both be better off....
"A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart." - Jonathan Swift

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DiscoBunny1979
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Post by DiscoBunny1979 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:40 pm

ppc wrote:
tfb wrote:Why do radiologists make so much more? Just curious.
In Japan the median radiologist compensation is $150k, while in the United States the median compensation is about $400k. Both of these numbers are the net pay after malpractice insurance is paid. In Japan MRI's are much more available, and people live several years longer than in the United States. The American Medical Association has done a great job of limiting competition and boosting physician income. The Japanese pay half as much per person for medical care, and there are no waiting lines to been seen by a doctor.
-----------------

Just what will happen to all these boosted salaries once Universal Healthcare becomes law and everyone starts watching where the money is spent. Don't be suprised if people start asking for salary caps for these high priced positions . . . or else the jobs will be going over to India. Get scanned here, then the CTScan or MRI gets sent by computer to a Doc in India that charges 1/3 the price for diagnosis.

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Re: I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt

Post by saurabhec » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:09 am

mathwhiz wrote:Cause this debt thing won't fly with me long term if things get serious regardless how much money she'll eventually make.
Well it will fly with plenty of other guys so don't worry too much about it, between that and her medical degree she will be just fine without your debt-free balance sheet to secure her financial future.

Her debt does not seem unreasonable for some who is going to medical school and attended a private school for undergrad.

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LH
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Re: I'm dating a med school student and she's deeply in debt

Post by LH » Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:20 am

mathwhiz wrote:I've started dating a med school student. It's in the beginning stages so I don't know how serious things will become but one thing shocked me. She let slip she's $200,000 in debt and counting in student loans from her pricey private school undergrad and now med school.

That shocked me considering I'm the complete opposite of her. I'm six figures in the black and don't have any debts. Period.

Are there any programs I can suggest to her? Maybe a government deal where they pay her debt down if she agrees agrees to practice for a few years in an undeserved location like a native american reservation or a rural area. I have no idea how hard those are to get.

Cause this debt thing won't fly with me long term if things get serious regardless how much money she'll eventually make.
Look, medicine is a somewhat high risk leveraged kinda of deal.

you burn many years of your life.

You have a 10 percent fail to graduate rate.

You WILL be deep in debt.

Unless you are wealth or get a full tuition scholarship, you will be around 200K in debt, the average is 150K, but that includes people with means and scholarships with almost no debt, so 200K is NORMAL for medical school, depending how far along she is. She has done nothing wrong or abnormal that i can see. If she just started, well, she made the choice to go private versus public, and that in theory has to be paid. It is what it is.

Those loan forgiveness programs are usually not the way to go. with that debt, she should like others, aim away from underpaid family medicine and pediatrics. Those are the easier residencies though from my indirect experience of them (feel free to chime in and say I am wrong, I may well be, thats just what people who have gone through them have told me).

To make relatively easy money dermatology is real nice, but hard to get into, and the government may clobber them, since its hard to see(for me, I am no expert on this) why they make so much more than other specialties per se. But they have a great life, and make real nice money.

Radiology is nice too, for the work, they are paid well in medicine.

Surgical specialties like neurosurgery, heart surgery, ortho are paid very nice as well. But its surgery, and a hard surgerical residency. Like other other surgical specialties. General surgery, is likely paid near the lowest of the surgeries, its not fair per se, but is just historically how the government/medical economics has worked out. OB/GYN fits in surgery in the middle I think,but am unsure.

Emergency medicine is paid around general surgery level I think.

internal medicine is next I think.

The family practice pediatrics (psych maybe down here too, i do not know).

roughly, thats my perhaps wrong gestalt.

Basically, you go to medical school, blow your life during that stage, get deep in debt, then you pay it off in practice, and hope you do not get sued and screwed early on, and get stuck in less desirable locations, or forced into tort reform states.

Good luck,

LH

socca
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Post by socca » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:21 am

I can sympathize with mathwhiz. Marrying 'potential' is always considerably more risky than marrying 'actual'. In other words, marrying someone who already has a solid track record of achievement, responsible living, and good judgment is much less risky than marrying someone for whom this is all just theoretical. mathwhiz is suggesting that he's farther along the 'achievement' path than his potential mate, creating a fundamental mismatch.

Of course, most folks would agree that many other factors in addition to financial should factor into mathwhiz's marriage risk model. However, bogleheads isn't a dating website so I won't go there. 8)

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nisiprius
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Post by nisiprius » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:38 am

wshang wrote:Mathwiz,

You've probably figured by now out that pediatricians are among the lowest paid physicians.
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Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

eucalyptus
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Post by eucalyptus » Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:11 am

Run away. She should.

jimp
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Post by jimp » Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:46 am

Why do you ever have to marry her? Just live together as a couple and keep your finances fairly separate.

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