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The Golden Handcuff Paradox of Physicians

Daniel Paull MD explains why frugality should be your friend, especially if you are a physician.

May 8, 2023

Wealthy people usually buy their luxuries last, while those without wealth usually buy them first.

It is a common tendency for physicians to buy a really nice house in a nice neighborhood, nice cars, furniture, etc, as soon as they get their attending salary.

They also usually have hundreds of thousands in student debt.

While they may have money flowing in, it is usually flowing out just as fast.

This does not accumulate wealth and they would not be considered wealthy.

This is called golden-handcuffing yourself, and it happens all the time.

Compare that to living like a resident for a few more years: paying down your debt, and then building wealth by spending significantly less money than you are making.

 

“This is called golden-handcuffing yourself, and it happens all the time.”

 

The tendency to live frugally is very hard for most new physicians, as they have been anticipating their attending salary and want to upgrade their lifestyle to where society thinks they should be.

Frugality is not something to look down upon, though, and in reality, may be your best friend.

 

Frugality is not something to look down upon, though, and in reality, may be your best friend. Click To Tweet

 

The less you golden handcuff yourself the more autonomy you will have and the happier you will be.

Nice things may make you temporarily satisfied, but they will not make you happy.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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