10 key notes on physician debt & net worth — 70 percent live within their means

Medscape released a report detailing physician debt and net worth.

Here are 10 key notes on physician net worth and debt:

1. The specialists with the highest net worth are urologists, plastic surgeons and dermatologists. All report a net worth of more than $5 million on average, and 20 percent of urologists report exceeding that mark.

2. Around 70 percent of physicians report living within 10 percent of their means. However, 25 percent of the respondents said they spend too much and carry credit card balances.

3. Among female physicians, 21 percent say their partner or spouse makes more money than they do. By the same token, 8 percent of males have spouses or partners who are bigger earners. Barely half of female physicians have a spouse that earns less than them, compared with 74 percent of male physicians.

4. The most common debt source for physicians includes car and loan payments. Student loans and tuition costs for the physician's child come in at numbers three and four.

5. Two-thirds of physicians report having a mortgage on their primary residence, which is in line with the national average.

6. Seventy-three percent of physicians report not having significant losses in the past year. But the rest of the respondents either reported a big loss of money or assets owing to practice issues, bad investments or divorce.

7. Older physicians have a higher net worth than younger physicians; 30 percent of physicians age 55 to 69 report a $1 million or greater net worth. The report suggests older physicians could have a higher net worth due to paying off student loans and homes, and focusing more on retirement.

8. Thirty-one percent of male physicians and 44 percent of female physicians had a net worth under $500,000.

9. Men begin to widen the gap between male and female physicians at net worth of $2 million to $5 million; 20 percent of male physicians fall into that category compared with 12 percent of female physicians. The study authors attribute the gap to fewer women in the highest-paying specialties and more females working part-time at some point in their careers.

10. Most physicians said they don't feel the need to compete against other physicians. Around 59 percent of female physicians said they rarely or never feel competitive, compared with 53 percent of male physicians.

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