Residency

Tip of the week: Help residents manage debt

Residency Program Insider, November 18, 2008

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Between the country’s financial crisis and the possibility of a recession, your graduating residents face a daunting financial climate. It’s crucial that residents are prepared to manage the sometimes staggering amount of debt they carry from student loans.

Residency managers are not supposed to be financial experts, but you can point residents toward resources with information on debt management. Start by familiarizing yourself with some of the short answers to the questions you’re most likely to hear from residents. Examples of this vital information include the following:

  • Residents get a six month grace period before starting to repay the loans when they must either apply for deferment or forbearance
  • Residents may want to consider consolidating their loans to give them the maximum time for repayment
  • At some point, residents have to create a plan for paying off the loans when the deferments expire


Provide residents with education about the financial challenges they will face. Take advantage of resources within your program and institution. For example, if you have faculty members who used to be in private practice, ask them to give talks on the business of running a practice. Ask banks, financial services companies, or someone from your medical school’s financial aid office to give educational presentations to the residents.

This week’s tip is from The Residency Program Coordinator’s Handbook (published by HCPro, Inc.), by Dianna Otterstad, BA.



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