Prioritizing finances after dental school

As a busy mom myself, one of the phrases I hear most from others (and think often to myself) is “I don’t have time for this.” It is natural instinct to “push things to the back burner” if they do not require your immediate attention. However, making a financial plan while in dental school and after should receive the same attention as practicing dentistry. This can be difficult when you are prioritizing a career that you have invested so much time and money in. However, if you do not prioritize your finances along with your dental practice, you may find yourself quickly approaching an inflexible financial situation when you least expect (or least need) it. Making a financial plan may not come naturally to you, as you have focused years on dentistry and not finances. Most dental schools offer very little (or nothing) in the way of financial education, which makes it even more important for you to be financially proactive yourself.

5 ways to take part in Wellness Month 2017

Dental school can be incredibly stressful. Even the healthiest and most confident student can succumb to hard days, external pressures and self-doubt. Depression and burnout are real concerns. In spring of 2014, ASDA lost our past president, Jiwon Lee, to suicide. Later that year, then-president Dr. Kris Mendoza wrote, “We wished we would have known that she was suffering. Everyone wishes they could have helped her. But she kept her troubles to herself.”

The importance of timely annual income certification for students loans

Perhaps you are a dental school graduate with large sums of debt and you find yourself with no choice but to enroll in an income-based repayment program for your federal student loans. In many cases this could cause your payment to drop from around $5,000 a month to under $1,000. The difference in your payment typically causes unpaid interest to accumulate separate from your outstanding principal (the amount you originally borrowed).

Your annual interest is based on your outstanding principal. So if you borrowed $450,000 of student loans and your interest rate is 6.5%, your annual interest is $29,250. If five years has gone by and you accumulated $100,000 in outstanding interest, you are still only being charged based on your original principal amount.

Don’t overdo it

In high school, I started going to the gym every day and avoiding junk food because I wanted to be healthier. I couldn’t run 400 meters without getting winded. I spent hours in front of my computer. My favorite Saturday lunchtime tradition was getting a pizza from Pizza Hut and eating it all myself. At first, exercising more and eating less junk food did make me feel healthier. I felt more alert. I could finally run a mile without stopping. I became more confident in myself and less clumsy when I walked.

But with my aspiring-dentist Type-A personality, exercise and eating became parts of my life that I liked to work on obsessively. When I moved away to college in Boston, hundreds of miles away from home, I was excited to make my own decisions.

Boxing my way to wellness

Jab! Cross! Hook! Uppercut!

I am no Muhammad Ali, but you can typically find me at a local boxing gym after a long day of clinic and classes pounding away at a heavy bag with my hot pink Everest ® gloves.

At a towering 5 foot 2 inches, I am not your typical image of an Ultimate Fighting Champion. Not to mention with pieces of plaster and alginate stuck in my hair from doing lab work, I certainly do not look the part. However, looks are deceiving. I pack a mean uppercut and one-two punch.

Steps to purchasing a practice

So…you graduate from dental school and you want to buy a practice. You know what state you want to practice in, but not much else; they didn’t teach you the business side of dentistry after all! So where do you start?