Scams Targeting Medical Residents.
Have you been targeted by a scamster. Chances are you were and you didn’t even know. Here I am going to list some common scams, medical residents may become a target of. Many of these attempts I have personally experienced or seen someone else get into.
1) WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE: When I was a medical resident, one insurance salesman wasted a whole day of mine to convince me to buy a “Whole Life Insurance”. He said it has ‘Cash Value’, and the earlier I buy it my rates will be cheaper. Some of my friends did buy it but they could not maintain the high payments of a ‘Whole Life Insurance’ – which are almost as huge as car payments. The truth is there is not enough residency stipend to maintain these payments. And most likely you will end up dropping it. I prefer a 30 year term life insurance as it is cheaper to maintain and runs out once there is a good likelihood of all debts being paid off.
Here is the link from MSN to learn more about Types of Life Insurances.
2) OPEN RETIREMENT ACCOUNT WITH US: One Insurance salesman wanted me to open a retirement account with his firm. He was well versed with the benefits offered by my residency program, including a matched 401K, which almost nobody saved into. Yet he conveniently forgot to mention it to me.
Ask your Residency Progam Coordinator about the benefis offered by your residency program. And save money in the 401K, especially if it is matched. Even if you want to open IRA then go to low cost funds like www.Vanguard.com .
3) PHYSICIAN RECRUITERS’ SCAM: In the final year of my residency a physician recruiter wanted me to go to an interview in a god forsaken place in he middle of no where. I told him even if I get a job there I will not take it. Yet he persisted. But so did I. I never went there as it would have been a waste of time. Later I find out that the physician recruiters sometimes get paid based on how many candidates they manage to get interviewed for a spot.
4) EARLY PARTNERSHIP: A friend of mine was offered an early partnership in a medical practice within six months of his employment. He was ecstatic. He signed it without realizing that a partnership does not have a base salary guarantee and his income instantly dropped into five digits, as he did not have enough patient base. Read my article on Timing your Partnership in a medical practice.