Doctors spend years studying a tough curriculum and complex information about the body, organs, and people. And they start their practice after passing all the exams, in the late twenties. So a doctor can know all about diseases and patient management but the one category in which they have to be wholly dependent on some other party is finance management. Most of the doctors in the world agree that they lack the knowledge and guidance to manage their money and often this becomes an obstacle in delivering healthcare. Finance Management for doctors has always been critical so they are either dependent on their relatives or friends who have some knowledge or experience in the field of finance or their CA or bank PR manager.
Choosing a financial planner or advisor is a crucial decision and must be done carefully for proper finance management for doctors, it is important to keep the following things in the mind:
- A doctor should always hire someone who has the expertise and real qualification in finance. It is important to run a background check to confirm that the person is a chartered financial analyst or certified financial planner.
- A good financial advisor will take a holistic approach when it comes to finances. He/She would take information about his clients and their family, their aspirations, dreams, financial goals, income, expenses, cash flows, investments, and more. He/She should have the clients’ best interests at all times.
- A good financial planner should create a financial strategy consisting of how much you need to save and spend instead of a product-centered strategy to achieve your financial goals.
- A financial advisor will always help the clients in insurance. MF, Stocks, FDs, real estate, loans even when he is not directly involved in those matters or it doesn’t include in his job profile.
- A truthful financial advisor will always be available during emergencies, will keep track of the plans and follow-up on a regular basis.
Knowing finance is not only important for the doctor’s personal finance management but also valuable for solving issues of patient care. For example, if a patient is broke or is unavailable to afford a particular medication, a cheaper one can be recommended by the doctors to ensure treatment. This shows care and support from the side of the doctor which in turn helps in good and effective doctor-patient communication. This ideology has been recognized by The American Medical Association (AMA), so they have recently adopted a new policy calling on medical schools and residency programs to include content related to healthcare economics. Under the health economics umbrella, the AMA recommends training on topics like modes of practice, cost-effective treatments and testing, practice management, and the economics of practices in various financing systems.
The process has begun and AMA has given grants to 37 of the 150 medical schools to develop curricula that incorporate instruction on these topics. AMA aims to provide new doctors with health economics expertise to deliver cost-effective treatment and understand how the system functions and affects patients.
Susan Skochelak, MD, AMA’s Group Vice President for Medical Education, said, ” No one expects medical students to have an education in finance, but it is important they understand the cost in a clinical context “