Medscape.com has released their Physician Debt and Net Worth Report for 2015. Again, keep in mind that this data is obtained by survey so it will suffer from inherent survey biases. With that said, let's take a look and see if we can learn something from this report.
- It pays to specialize - according to a 2009 report, "PCPs earned a cumulative average lifetime income of about $6.5 million compared with over $10 million for specialists."
- Your wealth parallels your pay - not surprisingly, physician net worth followed their compensation. The specialty reporting the highest net worth - orthopedics - is also the highest paid.
- You will very likely be wealthy - 77% of respondents had a net worth of greater than $500,000 by age 50. By age 65, nearly half of physicians will be worth more than $2 million.
- Gender gap? - female physicians have much lower net worths when compared to their male counterparts. But it's important to realize that female physicians are much more likely to work part time compared to male physicians (23% vs. 13%) and more likely to be in lower paying specialties - 58.1% of female physicians work in pediatrics (the lowest paid specialty) compared to 4% work in orthopedics (the highest paid specialty).
- Student loans will likely be a part of your financial life for quite some time - 20% of physicians 50 and older are still paying on their loans. However this does not seem to negatively impact your wealth-building. See #3 above.
- Very few of us "live like an attending" - "live like an attending" has become the catchphrase for financial irresponsibility in medicine. However, according to this report, only 11% of us confess to being spendthrifts. And a fully 85% of us "live within my means" or "below my means."
Take a look at the original report here please comment below with your own conclusions.