The Big Financial Leap: From Residency To Attending

Your income could jump by nearly 70% in a year – this is how you protect it.

You've made it through the grueling years of medical residency, and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel: your first attending role and a major payday.

The average final year medical resident earns $68,000 per year while the average first-year attending physician earns $226,500 per year, according to 2023 Pattern data. That’s a 69.8% increase in income virtually overnight.

With great income comes great responsibility—specifically, the responsibility to protect your hard-earned income against unexpected events that could threaten your financial stability.

Your financial future and peace of mind are worth protecting. Here’s how you do it:

Understand Your Health Risks

The statistics are sobering—one in four Americans becomes disabled before reaching retirement age. To make matters more urgent, leading causes of disability for 30 to 34-year-olds include drug disorders, back and neck pain, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and migraines, according to the World Health Organization.

Even if a disability doesn’t sideline your career, your ability to work at a full capacity could be drastically altered by common functional disability types, like vision loss, hearing loss, mobility issues

Yet, the preparation to mitigate this risk often falls by the wayside. Why leave your future to chance when you wouldn't do the same for a patient?

Simply put, your earning potential is exposed to risks every day.

Protect Your Income With Own-Occupation Coverage

Disability insurance acts as a financial safety net, protecting your income if you're unable to work due to illness or injury.

For medical residents preparing to transition into their attending role, often  facing significant student loan debt, disability insurance is not just a safety measure -It's a necessity.

But choosing the right kind of disability insurance is its own challenge.

Here’s how to tell the difference between a policy that meets your needs and a policy that could leave you in dire financial straits:

  • True Own-Occupation: This type of disability insurance is tailored for the unique needs of physicians, offering coverage if you are unable to perform the specific duties of your medical specialty, even if you can work in another field.

  • Any-Occupation: This type of coverage is often a policy provided by employers or professional associations, but usually offers less tailored coverage and benefits.

The bottom line is that you can’t rely on just your employer’s coverage – doctors need own-occupation coverage to adequately protect their income.

Secure Your Policy During Residency and Save Big

The best time to secure disability insurance is during residency.

This is when premiums are most favorable, thanks to your younger age and healthier status. Purchasing insurance early protects you from future exclusions or premium increases related to health changes or career advancements.

Additionally, securing insurance during residency can provide access to discounts not available later in your career.

All told, buying during residency often results in big savings. Doctors who purchased their policy as an attending pay 18% more in annual premium-to-benefit amount compared to doctors who purchased as residents. On average, that amounts to $449 per year – or thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your policy – in savings.

Get a Trusted Partner to Quickly Shop, Compare, and Buy

The leap from residency to attending physician is significant, both professionally and financially.

As you embark on this new chapter, it's essential to protect your income with the right disability insurance. With Pattern, you can navigate this critical decision with ease and confidence, ensuring your financial future is secure.

Don’t waste days or weeks of your life shopping for policies on your own. We’ve helped more than 20,000 doctors shop for disability insurance because we’ve made the process quick and easy:

  1. Request Free Quotes: Start with a quick, 5-minute quote request.

  2. Consult with Our Experts: Benefit from a free consultation with our unbiased experts, who will help you compare policies and answer any questions.

  3. Secure Your Policy with Confidence: Choose the best policy for you and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with financial security.

Take the first step today: request your free quotes and secure your policy with the assurance of knowing you're well-protected against the unexpected.