Money Monday: How residencies affect your finances

Happy July 2nd to all of our dental students starting residency today! Now that you’re moving on with your dental education, I bet you’re all wondering, “What happens to all of my student loans while in residency?”

If you are at a dental school based residency program you can defer these loans. If you are in a non-dental school based residency program, like hospital or community based residencies, then you can apply for forbearance. This is pretty much the same as deferment, but your interest is still accumulating during this time. Lastly and least popular, you can just start paying your loans back. If you file your taxes the year before you graduate dental school showing an income of $0, then your first year of income based repayment will be based on this amount. Do this early to avoid lots of tedious paperwork to have this on record with the government after the fact.

In terms of stipend and tuition during residency, every program is different, so it is important to do your research. For most GPRs, you get a stipend and there is no tuition. On average, the salary for a GPR is around $40,000 per year. In Gainesville, Florida this doesn’t really create a financial problem, but if you live in a big city, or an area of the US with a much higher cost of living, extra loans during residency may be necessary.

One of my good friends, Lauren Tabis, Florida ‘12, is starting her General Practice Residency at the VA in Gainesville today. Here are a few questions I asked Lauren about her Happy July 2nd.

What are you most excited for on this very special Monday?:
Usually the first few days are orientation, so it will be fun to meet everyone and get acquainted with my new ‘home’ and the people I am going to work with.

What are your goals for this year for yourself during residency?:
My goals include getting faster and more proficient at common dental procedures, experiencing more advanced dental procedures, gaining experience with hospital-based dentistry, and treating patients with complex medical histories.

What advice do you  have for current dental students interested in doing a GPR?:
If you definitely want to do a GPR or AEGD, or even if you are unsure, find a program near you and email the director to go shadow. If there is a program further away that you would love to have a shot at, then go visit there over one of your breaks. It always helps to make your name and face known before you apply. Do lots of research and apply early!

~Carolyn Norton, Contributing Editor, Florida ’14

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Comments (1)

  1. Ashley Phares, contributing editor

    Keep your eyes peeled for Summer Mouth which will be hitting mailboxes soon! You can learn more about paying back your loans and get answers to lots of other financial questions! This will definitely be an issue you’ll want to keep 🙂


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