12 FOCUS ON EDUCATION | 2018 | www.advanceweb.com some physicians are still in debt 20 or 30 years after they receive their medical licenses. In the United States, it remains the case that working hard to be able to do a job that most other people can’t do ensures that you’ll be paid better than someone who does a more common and less training-inten- sive job. Therefore, the best way to make the financial burden of medical school make sense is to shoot for the stars and try to become an expert in a medical field that most others have decided is too hard. There’s no way to get around the fact, though, that medical schooling simply costs more than it used to, and an increased market saturation has also pushed physicians’ salaries down. MEDICAL SCHOOL: THE BOTTOM LINE The question remains: Is medical school worth it? The truth is that deciding to be a physician has a financial impact that can’t be under- estimated. When you start to pour out money to fund your eventual career in the medical industry, everything begins to ride on your ability to make a substantial salary in the future. In many cases, you give up 10 or more years in which you could be working in order to pursue your dream. Even if you were only making $50,000 a year at a comparatively menial job, choosing medical school over an immediate career means that you’ll be $500,000 in the red in potential earnings before you even start working in earnest. Maintaining a positive mindset is one of the best things that you can do if you decide to take the path of becoming a physician. Learning to live frugally early on can lessen your debt burden and allow you to enjoy your wealth more when it finally comes pouring in. Also, having a clear picture from the get-go of which path you want to pursue can make medical schooling make much more sense financially. If you go into your training thinking that you want to be a pediatrician but decide somewhere along the way that you’d rather be an orthopedic surgeon, the results can be disastrous in terms of finances. Conversely, shooting for a high-paying career and then setting your sights lower on a path that’s easier to follow can raise your debt-to-income ratio substantially. Before you pick a path, do plenty of research into the different types of medical specializations. Then, project the amount of debt that you’ll accrue by following each one of your desired paths. In medical school, it’s best to stay on the path instead of jumping after every potential prize that you see lurking under a shadow. Is medical school worth it financially? Yes, it is. It might be worth a bit less than it used to be, and there are certainly more risks to becoming a physician than there were in decades past. The truth is, though, that medical professions aren’t going anywhere, and unfair economic con- ditions have a way of leveling themselves of their own accord. If people continue to take the risk of pursuing the dream of becoming a physician, the market will respond appropriately in time. Also, once you’re a full-fledged doctor, you’ll serve as a beacon of hope to those who are wondering to themselves if it can be done. When it comes to pursuing a career in the medical field, it makes more sense than ever to plan your route thoroughly and avoid taking unnecessary risks. However, the end results of your journey still more than make up for the struggle and financial impact. n MEDICAL SCHOOL  |  FOCUS ON EDUCATION The Therabox is the leading product on the market for stretching, strengthening and resolving any ankle/foot pain. The Thera-box is an exercise tool targeting muscle of the ankle/foot to treat foot drop, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains/strains and more. 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