Money and Medicine: What a Physician Should Know About Making Money

Welcome to the comprehensive guide on money and medicine (or rather money in medicine). Before I begin, I have something to tell you.

Personal Confession

I have a confession to make. As much as I love medicine, business is still my first love. While in medical school, whenever I have time, I would read about business books. I would browse through business articles. I would think about how to integrate business with medicine. And I am constantly trying to sharpen my knowledge on the art of making money.

Because of my background and my undiminished fire for business, the money and medicine section is going to be the section I will most enjoy writing.

Stop Avoiding the Subject of Money

Most doctors don’t talk about money. Maybe they don’t know much about it or maybe they don’t want to remind people of their relatively high salary. Maybe talking about money would make them seem less like a caring doctor and more like a greedy doctor.

The truth is that medicine is business. And those who do not understand that will either leave medicine or work for someone else who understands that medicine is business.

money and medicine - Mr. Onionhead and Seal enjoying "blings"

Mr. Onionhead and Seal is enjoy the “bling-blings” that accompanies the life of doctors everywhere.

Financial Education is Lacking in Medical School – That Could Cost You Big Time!

My medical school does not teach about money. So far in my two years in UMDNJ-SOM, I have not learned about money, insurance, or medical practices, apart from a few guest speakers during lunch.

Part of the problem for the lack of a medically-oriented financial education is due to the schools. But students have to take the blame as well for not demanding it.

It is very easy to think that the money will fall into place once you become an attending. That may be the case. But tell me something. Do you know or hear of doctors who are very dissatisfied with their profession because of decreasing money and decreasing autonomy? The answer is most likely going to be “yes.” Physician salaries are not what it used to be. They are less than before. The decline in salary (and insurance reimbursements) could keep on falling in the future. Pretty soon, it could be you that will be complaining about decreased salary and decreased freedom to practice.

Everything that I wished my school taught me out medical finances can be found in the money and medicine section. If your school does not teach you about finances either, have no fear. You can find all the information here.

Medicine Has More Than One Path to Wealth

Most doctors are going to make a decent amount of money by working for someone else, whether it is for a hospital, a group practice, or even an university. But I also want you to know that there are so many more options out there than finding a high paying job in a high paying specialty. Every medical student is fighting to get onto the E-ROAD (or ADORE), which are attractive medical fields that offer a good salary first and a pretty chill workload second. The competition is fierce and many people do not make it.

I want to show you other options out there of making “good” money. I want to show you what other doctors have done to build their wealth, even if they were not walking the E-ROAD.

(By the way, for those who do not know what E-ROAD is, it is Emergency Medicine, Radiology, Ophthalmology, Anesthesiology, and Dermatology.)

What You Will Find in the Money and Medicine Section

In this section, you find expect to find information about the following:

  • different medical specialties (and their salaries)
  • different medical practice types
  • unconventional physician jobs
  • anything else related to money and medicine

By considering your financial options now, you will be fully prepared to take charge of your future right out of residency. Even if you are already done with residency, I’m sure there are some more things you can learn about money and medicine. Don’t let your profession as a doctor or physician keep you from taking responsibility of your finances.

How Much Do Doctors Make?

Making Money in Medicine

Deeper Look at AtlasMD and Concierge Medicine – Interviewing Dr. Josh Umbehr
I was actually very excited to write this section. I was lucky enough to interview Dr. Josh Umbehr, MD, who runs a concierge practice, AtlasMD, in Wichita, Kansas. At the time of the interview, he started a practice just one and half years ago. He reveals lots of information about concierge medicine and the challenges of starting a practice from scratch.

How Access Healthcare Thrived as a Cash-Only Practice – Interviewing Dr. Forrest
This is another section that I was very excited to write. I got to interview Dr. Brian Forrest, MD, who runs a cash-based (concierge-lite) medical practice, Access Healthcare, in Apex, North Carolina. Although this medical practice is somewhat similar to AtlasMD in that they do not accept insurance, Access Healthcare’s model takes on more patients. In addition, paying a membership fee is not necessary. Read further to find out exactly how Access Healthcare works and why it is so successful.

MedLion: Help to Set Up a Cash-Based Medical Practice – Interviewing Dr. Qamar
If you read the two previous articles, I may have convinced you to go into general medicine (i.e. family medicine, internal medicine, etc.) and to start a cash-based medical practice. But what if you need help setting up the practice? What if you just want to be a doctor and have someone else do all the back work (i.e. marketing, making sure your practice is legal, setting up the customer database, etc.)? If that is the case, you may want to consider licensing with MedLion. Read further to see how it works and it is the option for you.

How a Physical Therapist Makes Six-Figures with a Cash-Based Practice (and How You Can Do the Same as a Physician) – Interviewing Dr. Carter
This interview is quite a treat. You will see how a cash practice not only works for physicians, but also works for physical therapists. You will see why you should embrace the cash model yourself, if you want to save yourself from financial ruin in the future. In addition, get strategies and tactics on starting and running a profitable cash practice, straight from a person who has done it himself. (His cash practice became full after only a mere 6 short months. Insane!)

How to Balance Making Money with Helping Society
You entered medicine wanting to help people. But as you progress in your medical journey, you realize that you must also help yourself. How do you balance two goals on totally opposite side of the spectrum?

Medicare: A Game Primary Care Doctors Cannot Win
This article explains why a primary care doctor will have a hard time making ends meet by accepting Medicare. Learn how reimbursements rates are determined. Learn the hassles that come with accepting federal insurance. See what you should do instead.

Wanna Make Bank as a Doctor? Then This Is What You Gotta Do …
Find the secret to making a lotta money as a doctor, no matter what field you go into. This could be the most important article you have ever read.

8 Unorthodox Specialties That Can Make You Filthy Rich
This is the continuation of “Wanna Make Bank as a Doctor?” article. Previously, I’ve shown you the philosophy of getting rich as a doctor. Now I will show you options on how you can actually get rich in medicine.

How to Set  Up Your Own Medical Practice

My Cash-Based Practice: Book Review
If you want to start and run you own cash practice, you must read this book. See why this book is the best book out there on becoming your own boss, bypassing the hassles of insurance companies, and making more than you’ll ever make by “playing by the rules.” It was written by someone who has been there and done that — someone who started and is running a cash practice, making six-figures a year!

The Medical Entrepreneur: How a Serial Entrepreneur / Dermatologist Made a Boatload of $$$
If you want to open and operate your own medical practice the right way, make sure you read this section. In fact, this is mandatory reading if you want a practice that is wildly profitable, without breaking any of the numerous medical laws.

Making Money Without Practicing Medicine

A Future for Doctors Outside of Medicine – Interviewing Dr. Mudge-Riley
I am very excited to present the interview with Dr. Mudge-Riley. She has taken very non-traditional path, as a doctor. She graduated from medical school, completed 1 year of residency, and the  eventually started her own consulting business (which I heard is doing quite well). If you want to learn how doctors can survive and thrive apart from practicing medicine, you seriously must read this article.

More About Money in Medicine

How Money Always Ruled Medicine: The Rise and Fall of Medical Doctors
One of the most common reasons for pursuing medicine is to help people. But based on history, those in medicine are primary there to help themselves. Read more to find out how money is always the primary factor in medicine.

Is Being a Doctor Worth It Financially? Not as Much as You May Think
This section explores if it is worth it or not to be a doctor, from a monetary point of view. If you consider the cost of medical school and the low salary as a resident, is being a doctor better than being an average college graduate? The answer may be shocking.

Are Doctors Going Broke in Today’s Healthcare Environment?
This section examines a few cases where doctors are financially struggling with their medical practices. It will examine three qualities a practice will have that will likely lead to low or no profit.

Why Medical Training Is Not Enough: How an Ivy-League Doctor Got Screwed Over by the Healthcare System
This is a very chilling interview with Dr. Curtis Graham. He talks about the reasons why he went bankrupt and what you can do to prevent the same thing from happening to you. You cannot miss this.


  1. Benjamin Genovese says:

    Hi there!

    I am an undergrad and i am focused on the medical field. I would like to become a pediatric surgeon of some kind; neuro, cardio, orth, etc. I am worried about my finances AFTER becoming a doctor. I want to open up my own private practice, but there are so many questions i feel i cannot ask any doctors. How much money can i expect to make? and not salary, but the net amount of cash i will put into my bank account every month? What are the legal mountains i have to climb to own a private practice? Is being in medical school and trying to start a family a bad idea? I am getting married after i graduate from my undergrad college, should i wait till I’m in residency to have children? gosh so many questions

    • Hey Ben,

      You’re ahead of the game by thinking about all these important questions. There is no right and wrong answer. But you have to think very carefully. It is really hard to have a family while being a surgeon. You’ll have to do a lot of research and digging on your own.

      As for me, I plan to open my own private practice too, but it will be easier in my specialty than yours. Family-wise, I’m not sure I want one at the moment.

  2. Edward Syed says:

    I am in Osteopathic medical school, first semester and failed my osteopathic manipulative medicine class! I had pretty good scientific reserach background, but medical school requires lot of memorization that I am not good at any more. I am feeling very depressed and lost. Need some positive stories from other students who were in my shoes before…..

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