Financial Planning basics for doctors

When a person graduates out of a business school or does his CA he is supposed to help other people in their business. However none of the courses help a person do their own personal financial planning. If we all work for money, should there be not some effort to teach how money is to be handled?

Let us see what are the things a fresh doctor should do at the very start of his/ her great career:

1. Write down your SHORT TERM GOALS and your LONG TERM GOALS: your short term goals will decide what you want to do with your immediate life. Your income stream is very important for the short term goals. Your attitude is far more important for your long term goals. So if you say ‘I want to build a big hospital with 500 beds at my age of 40’

To achieve this, you may take up a job in a hospital which may CONFLICT with your immediate goal of making money to buy a car (with own money). So one needs to carefully write down one’s goals. Preferably categorise them as follows:

– Immediate, Short term, Long term and Very long term.

– Must have (necessities), Wants (nice to have), Luxuries (great to have, cash and time permitting)

Once this is done, it is easy to Complete a Goal statement and making sure that it is SMART. Writing down the final Goal statement brings far more clarity, and you will realize that ONLY, and only when you actually do it. SO PLEASE WRITE IT DOWN.

2. In the process of becoming a doctor you must have realized the value of budgeting – for time and the money that your dad sent…now take the same forward to your business life. Your goals are already decided, not put your energy behind it. Remember money is also energy.

3. Keep an eye on receivables and quality of patients. There is no point in slogging for a client who will not pay. Or not pay on time. Both hurt, and hurt badly. Master your time, and have complete control over it. Distinguish between the patient who cannot pay (he deserves your time and sympathy) and the guy who does not wish to pay (do not waste your time on him).

4. Aim for a very high usage of technology. Attend courses to keep yourself updated. I have seen doctors buying expensive practice software but being scared to use it.

5. Establish high productivity standards for SELF and the people whom you  employ.

6. Hire a good accountant and keep proper records.

Speak to an Investment Counsellor an make sure that you are going in the right direction…

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3 Responses to “Financial Planning basics for doctors”

  1. I am one of your (silent) admirers but must say that item no. 3 is in poor taste. A doctor does not spend time with a patient looking only at the fee that the patient is going to pay. Money is only one part of the interaction between patient and doctor. Money is important for a doctor, just like it is for any professional, but it is not the only thing that is important.

  2. I know of enough doctors who will NOT TREAT A PATIENT who cannot afford their fees. I see nothing wrong with that. I choose which client will pay, and will pay on time. I do not see anything wrong with that. A doctor is a professional who has to be treated well. If he is a salaried doctor who has a big hospital / trust / Central Government to worry about electricity bills, and over heads, they can afford to do free work. For a doctor in private practice, there is no such luxury. He has to keep an eye on the fees. He can work in a charitable hospital for say 6 hours in a week, but he cannot be doing charity while at work.

  3. But then what about the hippocratic oath?

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