I was recently talking to a group of doctors and some of them were cribbing about how they do not have enough cash flow. For a layman this might come as a shock because they feel overcharged every time they step into a clinic…Here are the reasons some which the docs said, some mine:

1. Doctors start earning late: Absolutely no doubt about this! It takes a long time to do your MBBS, then you specialize further…well you are almost 32 by the time you start earning.

2. Doctors have a higher spending need: Doctors have to live like doctors, don’t they? So they spend more on clothes, car, the places they visit are expensive….so they have a lesser amount to save or invest.

3. Repaying educational loans: Not a very Indian concept, but people do borrow money to pay fees – and it has to be repaid.

4. Doctors are, well, for a better word, arrogant! Like all professionals they think ‘Investing / personal finance is easy, I do not need help. Well they are wrong. Their syllabus does not prepare them for anything in finance.

5. They are busy even when they start earning – they neglect their finances. (the fact that they neglect their own health is a matter of another story!)

6. They have no business sense – they do not know their costs, their variable costs, marginal costs, taxation, other revenues, etc. This puts them in a great stress – and largely have no clue about how to handle it.

7. They do not know how to sell their practice – running or otherwise!

Well there are many more reasons, some of which I have covered in my book for doctors. If you read carefully, most of these reasons come from a lack of knowledge of finance. Imagine asking doctors to attend a workshop on ‘Practice management’ or ‘Personal Finance’ – their immediate reaction is ‘We are not in it for money’ – well I think we are all in it for money, right?

If  99% of us work for money, how come only 1% of us make our money work for us?

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  1. Sir,

    “If 99% of us work for money, how come only 1% of us make our money work for us?”

    This line is seriously profound. A lot of finance knowledge is hidden in this one line. Gr8!

    Also
    “their immediate reaction is ‘We are not in it for money’ – well I think we are all in it for money, right?” is the only practical truth in this world.

  2. A very interesting post ! I have forwarded the link to this post to a few doctor friends.

    I would also like to know when the book will be available.

  3. When it comes to money, many of the doctors are biggest liars. Some of the private practitioners also accumulate huge unaccounted sums which they do not want reveal to anyone. These guys shed crocodile tears infront of everyone and complain of long working works and lack of sleep etc..

    No moment is wasted of Doctors telling us that how underpaid in India compared to their peers elsewhere. This is the profession where there no chance of negotiation and also accumulator of unaccounted sums.

  4. doctors in individual practice earn NOTHING compared to top executives in banks, software companies, etc.

    yes there are docs who know how to earn well – but they are the exceptions, not the rule

  5. @ krish “kach ke gharo me rahenewale doosaroke ghar pe paththar nahi feka karte”..everybody sailing in same boat…
    @subrasir,’well you are almost 32 by the time you start earning.’ rightly said..& may be after 37-38 become debtfree..at 40 start reading Subramoney… realising that they are on wrong tract of personal finance..i think it’s too late..the culprit is” Their syllabus does not prepare them for anything in finance.”

  6. Do you think engineer’s syllabus covers personal finance?
    Even they have to learn themselves.

    If engineers can learn, why not doctors?
    “I’m busy” is not acceptable excuse.

  7. @ Anand,fully agree with ‘“I’m busy” is not acceptable excuse.’…but issue is almost all professionals (be doc/eng) never think of this DEFICIT in SYLLABUS…so that it can be corrected.(sadly NO DRIVE)

  8. Hi Subra,
    nice post, true we doctors r so busy studying advanced medicine that we never bother abt wealth., but thats true for 95% docs, few docs r well aware of financial jagroan. i hope ur book is eyeopener. i’ll recommend it to my fellow docs.

    keep writing n keep enlighting!

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