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The Dr has 1/2 million in student loans!
Old 02-15-2010, 12:15 PM   #1
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The Dr has 1/2 million in student loans!

A great tale of how NOT to get an education. Seems to me the Dr would have been better off skipping the higher education experience.

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She makes monthly payments on those loans—now $209,399—for $990 a month, with only $100 of it going toward her original balance. The entire balance of her federal loans will be paid off in 351 months. Dr. Bisutti will be 70 years old.

The debt load keeps her up at night. Her damaged credit has prevented her from buying a home or a new car. She says she and her boyfriend of three years have put off marriage and having children because of the debt.
The $555,000 Student-Loan Burden - WSJ.com
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:27 PM   #2
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A great tale of how NOT to get an education. Seems to me the Dr would have been better off skipping the higher education experience.



The $555,000 Student-Loan Burden - WSJ.com
No one should get an education anymore. Just march downtown and take the first government job you can find.

Ha
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:32 PM   #3
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Wow, interesting reading. Part of me feels sorry for these people, then the other part is asking why would you not read the fine print, actually just the basic rules of the program. If you are smart enough to be getting a college degree, surely you can understand what happens if you choose to default on your payments.

However, I think the collection charges that are added to the accounts are outrageous. I don't believe that individuals should be able to shed their student loans in bankruptcy proceedings, but something needs to be done to help people once they get into this kind of mess. Is there some kind of mediation process that can help them out so they can get back on track and pay back at least what they borrowed?
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:49 PM   #4
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Dr. Bisutti has another strike against her: as a family physician, she is among the lowest paid physicians, making it difficult to practice true LBYM.

Idealism and financial naivete are common in young physicians. I wonder about the financial guidance, or lack thereof, that she received during her education.

In Canada the Canadian Medical Association owns a financial services firm, MD Management. Among the services they provide is education to medical students and residents.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:55 PM   #5
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"Maybe half of it was my fault because I didn't look at the fine print," Dr. Bisutti says. "But this is just outrageous now."

Apparently math isn't her strong suit, either...

What is outrageous is that she willingly borrowed the money (more than once, this was the culmination of several different loans), got her degreee, then "neglected" to pay it back and now feels like she was somehow victimized by the lenders.

It's the new entitlement mentality- she is entitled to the money and we, her fellow citizens are entitled to pick up the tab when she fails to pay it back... might as well throw in a house foreclosure and a cash for clunkers deal to really sweeten the pot.
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:14 PM   #6
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She is responsble for her current dilemma but more out of naievete than stupidity (though I admit the two can be difficult to unwind). I feel terrible for her.

She needs a bankruptcy lawyer.
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:18 PM   #7
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Dr. Bisutti has another strike against her: as a family physician, she is among the lowest paid physicians, making it difficult to practice true LBYM.
The median income of a US primary care physician is $159,000. That's not as much as a specialist but $1000/month loan payments shouldn't be difficult...unless you're bad with money.
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:25 PM   #8
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No one should get an education anymore. Just march downtown and take the first government job you can find, sleep 30 years and then be happy ever after. Everyone could make a good low stress living harraassing one another to pay up on their taxes and levies and fees.

Ha
Alternatively, the US can do as the rest of the world - make education including higher education practically free.
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:28 PM   #9
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She makes monthly payments on those loans—now $209,399—for $990 a month, with only $100 of it going toward her original balance. The entire balance of her federal loans will be paid off in 351 months. Dr. Bisutti will be 70 years old.
And with her M.D., she cannot possibly earn ($990 x 12) = $11,880 per year more than she would have earned with a bachelor's degree alone? I don't believe that. I think she could easily afford to apply more than that to her student loans and she has the obligation to do so.

She just doesn't think she should have to do that like the rest of us.
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:40 PM   #10
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The median income of a US primary care physician is $159,000. That's not as much as a specialist but $1000/month loan payments shouldn't be difficult...unless you're bad with money.
That's business income, not profit. Subtract the expenses of running an office, insurance, etc.
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:58 PM   #11
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If you are smart enough to be getting a college degree
Are you implying that the "smarts" of the average college student/graduate is greater than the average of the population at large?
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:59 PM   #12
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That's business income, not profit. Subtract the expenses of running an office, insurance, etc.
We have a "chest cutter" that lives a few doors down from us.

We live in a middle-class neighborhood and we always wondered why he and his family did not "move up".

While I don't talk to him (he's rarely around), my DW does talk to his DW. Seems that his father was also a MD (same specialty), and when he finished his residency, he went into private practice, with his father.

Over the years, his father got older (of course) and retired. Our neighbor could not run the practice on his own, so he went in with a specialty group.

According to his DW, he hated the "rules and regulations" that were required, along with the high overhead of having an admin staff equal/greater than the doctors in the group (mostly requirements of HIPPA).

He went back to private practice, with his wife helping him in the office, along with his "retired" father.

While I certainly don't know their financial situation, I would assume that he would live in a better neighborhood, along with having better vehicles than they do.

I can only assume that overhead for the practice (including insurance) is quite large...
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:20 PM   #13
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She is responsble for her current dilemma but more out of naievete than stupidity (though I admit the two can be difficult to unwind). I feel terrible for her.

She needs a bankruptcy lawyer.
Bankruptcy should be a last resort; available only to those who are in dire straits and cannot realistically earn their way out of their predicament.

She does not meet these requirements- she is educated, has an advanced education,the ability to earn an above-average income, and an actuarially sufficient lifespan to handle this debt with a little belt-tightening and financial restraint.

This would be a bankruptcy for convenience, which IMO is way too easy here in the land of opportunity- just pick up the local yellow pages, flip it over to the back cover, and voila'- your pesky financial obligations just disappear! (with easy fee payment plans available for those who qualify!)
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:26 PM   #14
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That's business income, not profit. Subtract the expenses of running an office, insurance, etc.

According to everything I've read, it's "individual" income.

Table 15 -- Facts About Family Medicine -- American Academy of Family Physicians

There's also this article, which examines why some FP make $80k/yr and others make $200k/yr. (The $80k/yr is before hiring office staff and rent? C'mon. If that's the case, those doctors would be better off being a janitor.)

What Makes a High-Earning Family Physician? - Jul-Aug, 2005 - Family Practice Management


Even if the good doctor was making $80,000/yr, that's still enough to pay back $1000/month in loan costs.


Edit:
The US VA has physician jobs from 97,987.00 - 195,000.00 USD. Presumably, that includes all the benefits that government jobs have.

http://jobview.monster.com/Physician...-86078134.aspx
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:27 PM   #15
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Bankruptcy should be a last resort; available only to those who are in dire straits and cannot realistically earn their way out of their predicament.

She does not meet these requirements- she is educated, has an advanced education,the ability to earn an above-average income, and an actuarially sufficient lifespan to handle this debt with a little belt-tightening and financial restraint.

This would be a bankruptcy for convenience, which IMO is way too easy here in the land of opportunity- just pick up the local yellow pages, flip it over to the back cover, and voila'- your pesky financial obligations just disappear! (with easy fee payment plans available for those who qualify!)
Also, I don't believe you can discharge student loans in bankruptcy which is why many financial advisors say these loans should be the last ones to default on.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:46 PM   #16
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We have a "chest cutter" that lives a few doors down from us.

We live in a middle-class neighborhood and we always wondered why he and his family did not "move up".

While I don't talk to him (he's rarely around), my DW does talk to his DW. Seems that his father was also a MD (same specialty), and when he finished his residency, he went into private practice, with his father.

Over the years, his father got older (of course) and retired. Our neighbor could not run the practice on his own, so he went in with a specialty group.

According to his DW, he hated the "rules and regulations" that were required, along with the high overhead of having an admin staff equal/greater than the doctors in the group (mostly requirements of HIPPA).

He went back to private practice, with his wife helping him in the office, along with his "retired" father.

While I certainly don't know their financial situation, I would assume that he would live in a better neighborhood, along with having better vehicles than they do.

I can only assume that overhead for the practice (including insurance) is quite large...
Your friendly neighbourhood thoracic surgeon is probably LBYM and is lurking on the board in between procedures!

Seriously though....the overhead for many MDs in private practice can be 50% or more.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:05 PM   #17
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Obviously the 1k/mo, forever, is the least of her concerns ... the damage (lack of: credit, relationship/marriage, childern) is done.

I am sure she could have been gainfully employed after: high school/associates degree/bachelors/masters. And without all the damage.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:26 PM   #18
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I see this as a major problem with our higher education system, the cost is way of of control. Thank goodness two of my kids have theirs paid off, and my loans for them are paid off. When I started college way back in 1966 at a state school, lived at home it cost I think $500/year. Of course my parents, nor myself made a high salary at the time, my father was a house painter.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:15 PM   #19
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"Maybe half of it was my fault because I didn't look at the fine print," Dr. Bisutti says.
I wonder if she is at all concerned that this article could damage her practice. If I was aware of this situation, I would certainly avoid going to any doctor who could not be bothered to read fine print. Did she expect life to be spoon fed to her, or maybe she wants to live in the Cliff Notes version of her own life. If she won't deal with fine print details in her own life to this degree, I'm never going to trust her medical advice. What details of medical treatment, diagnosis or possible rare complications did she likewise avoid learning about. I'd hate to think she will just tell me "Sorry your treatment was ineffective or turned out badly, there was probably some fine print I skipped."
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:21 PM   #20
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I wonder if she is at all concerned that this article could damage her practice. If I was aware of this situation, I would certainly avoid going to any doctor who could not be bothered to read fine print. Did she expect life to be spoon fed to her, or maybe she wants to live in the Cliff Notes version of her own life. If she won't deal with fine print details in her own life to this degree, I'm never going to trust her medical advice. What details of medical treatment, diagnosis or possible rare complications did she likewise avoid learning about. I'd hate to think she will just tell me "Sorry your treatment was ineffective or turned out badly, there was probably some fine print I skipped."
Give the doctor a break. 99.999% of people do not read the fine print; that does not mean they are careless in other aspect of their lives. In fact, the lawyers design the fine print so you don't bother to read it. When you got a mortage, did you read every single page of the bank documents?
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