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4 financial challenges facing medical residents

4 financial challenges facing medical residents

Residency is a significant milestone. It’s one of the most demanding stages of your career, yet you also need to focus on these four key financial issues.

1. Figuring out your debt payments

Finishing medical school means you may need to start paying off your loans if you borrowed funds for medical school. Here are some things to be aware of:

Government loans

- Repayment rules differ by province

- Find out if you qualify for a student loan forgiveness program


Medical student and resident lines of credit

- Repayment rules differ by financial institution

- Payments can often be deferred but interest has been accruing since day one

2. Managing competing financial priorities

Once you start earning a salary, you may find you have competing financial priorities—all converging at the same time.

- I need to pay off my student debt

- I want to start a family

- I want to buy a home.

- How much should I be saving?

3. Preparing for the gap in income

Between the end of your residency and the time you start billing, there could be two or three months in which you have no income.

- Receive last paycheque as a resident

- Set up practice and start billing

- Receive first payment as a practising physician

4. Planning for the transition to practice

Depending on your field of practice, transitioning to clinical work will require various start-up and ongoing costs.

Exam fees

- $5,000 family medicine

- $6,000 specialist

Professional dues

- $13,000

Operating expenses for first year: solo practice

- $75,000

Initial office set-up: solo practice

- $50,000


Source: Canadian Medical Association, New in Practice Guide 2017

MD is the only financial management company dedicated to the financial well-being of Canada’s physicians and their families.

As a resident and new-in-practice physician, you have access to MD MedEd Counsel™—a team of MD Advisors and Early Career Specialists.

Learn more about MD MedEd Counsel or find an MD Advisor near you at

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