Financial Planning for Doctors And Healthcare Professionals: A Necessity

Misplaced perceptions of a noble profession.

The toil of several years. Long and relentless working hours. Rewarded by the pleasure of hearing that heartfelt thank-you from a recovered patient. 

This gratitude and delicate human relationships is a vital professional reward but is somewhat lost in the din created by the healthcare system of our country today. People are often disrespectful to doctors and accuse them of material gains in the midst of their misery. Doctors and healthcare staff today work in an environment filled with suspicion and mistrust. Moreover, incidents of violence inflicted upon them are routine now in several places. 

Is it true that doctors are today viewed in a bad light when it comes to money matters? That they are focused on earning instead of caring? The central point here is money matters in our society today, which gives rise to wrongful perceptions. We also need to seek if we should just learn to live with this problem and adapt to it or can we work towards a positive change.

The Reality

The reality is that doctors are extremely vulnerable to money matters. It is said that wherever there are scamsters or fraudsters in search of the victim, they catch doctors first. Doctors earn well but due to very low financial education, they are easy targets for many. They are often extremely busy and give little or no time to their finances. In many cases, due to his reason, there is a feeling of financial insecurity inside many professionals.

Additionally, the rise of institutional healthcare has placed great importance on money. However, this is the very nature of business in a capitalist society and if institutionalized, this is the only way a business can survive and grow. The juxtaposition of business with profession places the doctors in a peculiar position and often their actions are judged wrongly. A part of this is also because the person is unable to clearly voice resentment against the business system when it is crucially required, due to their own financial insecurity. 

Is there a solution?

It seems from above that several problems lie with money and it is a source of burden. However, if we use it well, money is a really good thing and has the power to transform lives positively. 

Ask yourselves a question: If I am able to secure myself financially, will I be able to work more efficiently and resolve the above dilemmas that are faced, and can I look at my career path in a better manner? 

Financial security refers to the peace of mind you feel when you aren’t worried about your income is enough to cover your expenses. It also means that you have enough money saved to cover emergencies and your future financial goals. You may even have a dependable cash flow that allows you to live the life you want. You aren’t worrying about how you’ll pay your bills or sudden expenses or what you will do in old age. And you aren’t burdened with a pile of debt.

The life hack lies in planning and managing wealth correctly. It is also about maintaining financial discipline. This is an entire process that looks at an individual’s complete financial picture and planning it in a way to achieve his/her short and long-term financial goals. Money can provide for a more confident today and a more secure tomorrow if we can save and fulfill the needs of our family like children’s education, planning for retirement, or even provide for exigencies. It comprises, among other things, drawing out definable financial goals, investing correctly to match these goals and wealth transfer to the next generation. However, every person has different life goals, environments, and attitudes, which result in different financial needs. Financial planning is an individualized process and the person needs to work towards it in its entirety. The process consists of learning a set of simple yet effective financial planning tools and applying them to suit one’s needs. 

They say that the best thing about a sweet sound is that it emanates from a source but reverberates in all directions. However, the sound at the source is clearest. If every individual of the healthcare profession works upon his financial planning needs, it has the power to result in long-term benefits for that individual as well as the society at large. As an example, if the professional feel financially secure, the attitude towards giving in to unreasonable demands of the system changes. It becomes easier to deal with conflicts that arise with respect to one’s ethics and morals vis-à-vis the day-to-day demands of our work environment. 

Money today is not only what it seems at face value but a powerful tool that can make our lives heaven or hell. The funny part is that often the quantum of money does not decide if it can achieve what we want it to achieve. Rather, it is what we can do with it when we need it. Unlike the barter system of yesteryears, it has storage value and can give unlimited freedom to anyone to do what they want. On the contrary, with undefined goals and directionless pursuit of money, it can also be a great shackle. This is where proper financial planning and professional help towards this end prove indispensable.

Written by Gaurav Jain

(Mr. Gaurav Jain is a finance trainer and author of two finance books. A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA, ICFAI), he holds an honors degree in commerce from Hans Raj College, Delhi University, and is a scholar from Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram. He has wide-ranging industry experience, spanning more than two decades. He has conducted various workshops/training for finance students and working professionals in several private and government institutes. Views expressed are solely of the author)

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