This article was posted by Dr. Christopher Yerington on September 13, 2018.
There is an article every year about trying not to receive care in America’s teaching hospitals during July or August because of all the new doctors… what a bunch of malarkey… the ‘new’ doctors are the most medically backed-up they will ever be during July and August of each and every year. I wish financial teachers backed up those same interns and residents. Sadly, they do not. Financial teaching to America’s doctors is failing them slowly and surely. What September means to me… time to revisit every Intern and Resident to get his or her incomes protected properly!
But for purchasing disability insurance at the end of my Intern year, my financial life would have been destroyed when I lost the good use of my left hand and forearm 11 years into my career in Anesthesiology. While I was disciplined financially, without great disability insurance, my family’s life would have changed considerably for the worse. Solid income protection is the cornerstone of any physician’s financial safety and security because your career income is by far your largest asset.
If you are an Intern, find a trusted source and get yourself an individual disability insurance policy. Make sure it is a true own occupation policy, guaranteed renewable & non-cancellable, with enough future income options to cover a good portion of your predicted attending salary from a top carrier in your selected medical field. If you have any problems at all… including procrastination… reach out to an independent insurance broker. You will never be younger or healthier than you are right now. Get this done. I’d be glad to help you if you’re the type that just wants your IDI completed, perfect and done. If procrastination is your issue, reach out; I’ll motivate you to do what you should do properly.
If you are a PGY-2 or greater not graduating this year in July or moving onto a fellowship program then you need to review your individual disability insurance policy… what, you don’t have one? See Intern directions above; hazing and shaming are to follow. In all seriousness, you should have done this already but if you do not have a great policy from a great company that is true own occupation policy, guaranteed renewable & non-cancellable, with enough future income options to cover a good portion of predicted attending salary then it is time to correct that. Like, today. If you do not know what you have, get it reviewed. Again, today. I do this for free for any Resident Physician in America. I’m a completely independent insurance broker, as well as educator and advisor, and I am advocating to you, right now, for you each to get yourselves protected properly.
Graduating Residents and Fellows: Place this date on your calendars (January 1st, 2019) and put the following (Review IDI — Individual Disability Insurance and make sure there is adequate FIO available for attending salary!!!). Yes, please add three exclamation points to your calendar entry. Some of you will begin making in excess of $400,000 and may need to ‘stack’ two individual disability insurance policies to cover your career earnings. If you do not know what you have as far as your own disability insurance goes or you are still only on the hospital’s or graduate teaching medical center’s group disability plan… please reach out. Today, this September, reach out to me personally or find an independent insurance broker and let’s fix this vital foundation piece of your future financial life.
This time in your life will really go that fast, your residency years. You want to start your financial life as a physician correctly. One big foundation cornerstone block in your financial pyramid is disability insurance. Done correctly, disability insurance protects most of your career earnings, which is nearly every single physician’s largest asset!
Attending Physicians: It is not too late to look at your own disability insurance. Statistically, 50% of attending physicians never get their policy(s) reviewed during their entire career. 50%. It’s a phone call, a little information, some copying of papers and an email to get your IDI reviewed. Do not wait until you think you might get disabled to review what you have in place. This happens at least monthly… a 50’s something doctor ‘checking’ on their policy for the first time in 25 years because they know what is coming. Do not wait.
Act today, do not procrastinate your financial security away. Did that rhyme? Perhaps it did not, not this time.
Dr. Christopher Yerington
Bio: Retired from clinical anesthesiology by a disability in 2010, Dr. Yerington has turned his love of teaching and service to others to his family, colleagues and community. He speaks and educates medical groups and residency programs about the importance of great disability insurance. Having attended law and business schools, Chris is a perpetual student, currently working on his financial certifications.