How To Get Medical School Loans & Handle Debt

What’s up, you guys? Hey. Thank you for watching this video.

In this video, I wanna talk about med school loans because a lot of people have been asking me, “Hey, I know you were a Caribbean student or an IMG. How did you get a loan? What did you do? How much is it?” All that good stuff, and since I’m a big mouth, I don’t mind telling people how much my school was.

I don’t know why everybody talks about- Nobody wants to talk about how much money they make or how much debt they have, and everybody’s lying all the time. I know most people don’t have that much money, or we don’t make that much money. Most people are in a lot of debt. Debt’s pretty common, but nobody wants to talk about it. They feel embarrassed. You don’t have to be embarrassed. Just figure out how to get out of it.

Debt’s good though. I don’t know if you guys know this, right? You listen to a lot of these financial guys, they get billions of dollars in debt. So they use somebody else’s money to make more money or to buy assets and stuff like that, so, essentially, that’s what you’re doing. You’re using somebody else’s money to buy an asset, which is this education. An education they can never take away from you! That’s awesome, right? Because if you default on a loan for, say, a restaurant, they can take that restaurant away. They can take all the assets in the restaurant. They’ll take the stove and the freaking plates. I don’t even know. But they can never, ever take away your education. It’s all right here. There’s no way to extract that. Not that I’m saying you need to default on a loan, but that’s something to think about. That can never be taken away. It’s a kind of interesting thought.

I went to St. Matthew’s in the Caribbean. A lot of you guys know that, and I wasn’t real smart about it. I just picked one school. I applied there. I didn’t get into a US school, so I just went ahead and went to that one. I applied- They tell you where to apply to get a loan.

I applied to Key Bank, which was- I don’t even know if Key Bank’s around anymore. It went to another company at this point, but at the time, Key Bank had this loan called the Metachiever, which was for medical students. The thing about going to a Caribbean school though is you can’t get federal money, okay? So a lot of the US students will get a federal loan, and the interest rates are super, super low. Like one percent. Although the interest rates, I think, are pretty low right now anyway. But unfortunately, you can’t do that because you’re going outside of the United States. Even if you’re a US citizen, they’re not gonna give you federal money to go to a Caribbean school.

So what you will have to do is get a private bank loan, but a lot of the big banks do have these loans out there that are geared towards medical students. They would, of course, like to have US students in these loans. But the US students can get lower rates, usually, with the federal stuff. So they generally try and do that, and then of course you should also look in your state to see if there’s some kind of a grant or something like that. It’s unlikely that your state is gonna give you money to go to a Caribbean school because there’s a higher percentage of dropouts from a Caribbean than as opposed to a US school, so the banks, they want sure things. So Caribbean students are not a sure thing. You should bet on yourself, though, because that’s the only sure thing that you can really count on is when you count on yourself. So that’s what I did. I bet on myself. I said, “I’ll take the money because I know I’m gonna make it back.”

So I got the Medichiever Loan, which was- The rates are not bad. They’re, like, four percent. Maybe, like, three percent on some of them. And every semester, they would give you money. So I would apply for- I’m sorry, maybe every year. So I would apply for…I think it was about $30,000 per semester. That included tuition and the money for me to live on. So $60,000 a year times four. That’s $240,000 and then interest on top of that. So that was about cost. I came out with about…I think it was $300,000 in loans because during that time in residency, you’re not making that much money. In residency, I think we started out with maybe $38,000 a year. Don’t quote me on this, but it’s around there. And I ended up- You get increased pay every year, but it’s not much. And you end up with maybe $50,000 per year at the end of your fifth year or whatever.

You have living expenses, and you just wanna not be in poverty. So the choices are to start paying your loan back or to defer the loan for until you’re out of residency. I chose to defer the loan, and I’m not sure that was a great idea honestly because that interest is accumulating. It’s gonna accumulate anyway, right? But if you’re paying zero on it, then you’re gonna accumulate more.

I decided I was gonna just suck it up when I was done, and I was gonna make so much money that I would be able to pay it back really easy. Well, that’s not quite the case. Maybe some specialties are, but for me, we’re making good money. But you’re not gonna pay the whole thing off in one year type of thing.

What I would recommend to a US citizen going to a Caribbean school- There’s a hitchhiker right there. That’s kind of weird. Anyway. You don’t see that much around here. In Wyoming, you see it. Everyone’s super nice, but in the city, fuck that.

So what I would recommend to a US citizen going to a Caribbean school is shop around for these Medicheiver– Well, mine was called Medichiever. But it’s potentially a medical school loan from a private bank, so try and look at the big banks. And, honestly, I don’t- I have not looked at this in, like, 10 plus years to see where- who’s giving good rates right now and stuff. But you just- I mean, it’s gonna change year to year. So if you’re seeing this video in five years, it doesn’t matter. It’s the same thing. You just go shop around to the big banks, find out- You can ask the schools what they recommend, of course. And then I would take that recommendation, and then find your own. And see if you can get the lowest rate possible.

So if you’re getting less than three percent interest on your loan, it doesn’t really matter. That’s almost nothing. It’s super cheap to borrow that money, so just go ahead and do it.

What I would not recommend is what one of my friends did. Is take the money and put it in the stock market, and save a whole bunch of money. Go super thin on your living expenses and then put it in the stock market and then lose the money. Don’t do that because…That’s a big problem. You don’t have a way to pay that back.

Oh, the specialties after. Okay, so this is maybe another talk. But I wanna touch on this. The money in medicine, okay? A lot of people don’t think about this, and they go and they’re like, “Oh, I wanna be a pediatrician.” Or they go to med school and they’re like, “I don’t know what I wanna be.” And they take out a $300,000 loan, and then they’re like, “Oh shit. I really like pediatrics, but pediatrics averages, like, $80,000 a year. So how are you gonna pay that loan back when you need- You have a family, you have a house, you have all these expenses. And then on top of that, you’re paying $2,500 a month for this loan. And then it’s a 30-year deal, so that is…Not everybody really thinks about that before. You go into it, you’re like, “Oh, I wanna help people. I wanna save the world.” All this bull(bleep), and then you realize, “Oh, (bleep), it’s just a job.”

I mean, it’s not just a job. Medicine’s not just a job. For most people, it’s really a calling. It’s a career. It’s definitely a career. You can’t just go in and out of medicine super easy, so it’s not like that. But it’s definitely a business transaction. Do not get fooled on that, and if you don’t make the right decisions on this business transaction, you’ll get hosed just like the stock market. You put some money in there, and then stock dumps. And then you’re f’ed, and this medicine is the same way. You put that money in, and if on the other end, you come out. And you are not making enough money. You’re screwed. You have to be very creative in order to get that money back, so just think about that before. I did not really think about it that much before. I just thought- My family was not in medicine. They were like, “Oh my God, you’re gonna make so much money as a doctor. It’s gonna be ridiculous. You’re gonna be able to pay anything back. Blah blah blah. Buy a mansion and all this stuff.” It’s really not like that.

‘Cause I finish when I’m 35. By this time, you’re waiting a long time. Most (bleep)ing football players are retired by then, and they’ve already made, like, $25 million. That’s the kind of money that maybe you can do that with, so don’t get too fooled. Medicine is good. You can make good money, but most people are not making deals that are $12 million a year for three years kind of thing. So it’s just not like that, but if you wanna do well- I mean, really look into this before. Look at the salaries of all the things that you’re interested in, and it sounds bad to say this, but don’t just pick one because you could get into it.

Or it’s pretty good, or you wanna save the world ’cause you’re not gonna save the world if you’re in debt. And you’re struggling, and you can’t pay for your rent. It’s just not gonna happen. You have to take care of yourself first and then other people later, but once you do that, you can go out there and establish non-profits and help people. You could do big things, but you really have to take care of yourself.

My grandmother, she’s 92, she always tells me, “Chair starts at home. Don’t forget.” The other awesome quote from her is, “Money’s not everything, but you can’t do a goddamn thing without it.” That’s what she always tells me all the time. She’s 92. It’s awesome.

So that’s major things I wanna touch on this video. Medicine is great, but it is also a business. It’s also your business, and it’s also your money. And the banks are (bleep). They’ll take your money. Believe me. They don’t care, and they’ll try everything they can to get it back with interest. And they don’t care if they have to bankrupt you or take your house or whatever, they don’t give a (bleep). They just want your money.

So if you’re interested in doing well with medicine, you really need to go into a specialty. You need to find one of the surgical specialties. And honestly, I went into general surgery. And it’s okay, but it’s not fantastic. Unfortunately, you probably have to do a fellowship to do very well. And even some of my cardiothoracic surgery friends…It’s tough to find a job in cardiothoracic surgery, which is kind of (bleep)ed up too.

You do general surgery for five years. One of my friends did a two-year cardiothoracic fellowship, and then he did a one-year cardiac transplant fellowship. So he’s now eight years into residency, and then he had to take a job where he was doing his fellowship because he couldn’t get a job anywhere because cardiothoracic surgeons just have a smaller pool of jobs. So that’s very important.

And you just wanna make sure that it’s addition, subtraction. It’s super easy. You’re gonna spend $300 grand on your education on average. I think maybe it’s more now, and then when you come out, that payment is gonna be how much? It’s gonna be $2,500 a month, it’s gonna be $3,000 a month. How are you gonna pay that back? What are the specialties that are gonna be able to pay that back and still have a good lifestyle and be able to help other people too. That’s one of the things you wanna do, right? Just make sure that all those things add up before you pick your specialty or maybe before you go into medicine. If you’re hot on pediatrics right now, honestly, I would never go into pediatrics. You’re a fool. Unless you’re gonna get your med school for free, you should not go into pediatrics. It’s not a bad specialty, but they’re just not getting paid. It’s just stupid. And family medicine, the same. You really have to have a good plan.

Unless you have a business plan where you have all these partners, they’re gonna take you in and pay for all your med school. Or you have a grant or something like that. It’s just not a good business deal, and you’re gonna be pissed off that you went into pediatrics your entire life if you can’t ever pay that back.

So business of medicine. It’s a great field. You can really help a lot of people, you can do something that you feel good about. But do not overlook the business aspect and the financial aspect, otherwise you’re gonna be really miserable. And honestly, a lot of these old bastards, they’re pissed off right now because they were making a (bleep)load of money before. And all the reimbursements went down, and they’re so pissed off. They can’t even function during the day. They’re pissed off at every single person, every interaction because they’re not making as much money as they used to. That’s the (bleep)ing truth. I always tell the truth. You know that (bleep).

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