Hello I hope I'm not out of line being on here (I'm not a female nor an MD) My wife though is a recently graduated MD and has just started her intern year. This morning she had a break down and I took her to the ER and she has been admitted to the pyshic ward under suicide watch. She was haveing feelings of wanting to drive her car off the road into a pole with her seat belt off. She's a hard working person and very motivated but having the responsibilty of wether people could live or die has made it too much for her.
So where we are at is that she feels burdened with our dept and not being able to finish residencey. i was hoping for some guidance to relay to her till she could get on here herself. Are there areas she could look for a job that wouldnt require residencey? We are doing this on our own so all the dept is ours.
Wow, that is very scary. I think you did the right thing by taking her to the ER. Suicide is a major risk for physicians, especially women physicians, and you were right to take it seriously. Now she can get proper treatment. It may be that after she feels better, she may feel like returning to internship. Several of my medical school classmates had some major psychiatric issues, but they got proper treatment, got better, and all but one continued on with their medical careers.
If she does not want to continue in medicine, there are a couple of books about non-clinical careers for physicians, published by the AMA Press: "Leaving the Bedside" and "Strategic Career Management for the 21st Century Physician." I don't have them handy, but they basically talk about other fields where medical education and/or experience is valued. The pharmaceutical insurance industries are obvious ones, but there are whole lists of possibilities. If she has any other marketable skills, she could pursue a totally unrelated field as well.
There is also a forum here on MomMD that specifically discusses nonclinical career options for physicians. It is a private forum, and she can get permission to join by following these directions:
Medical debt is a difficult problem because it cannot be discharged by declaring bankruptcy. However, there is something available called Income Based Repayment. It is new and I don't know much about it, but it does allow people to decrease their monthly payments, and it also has ways to completely wipe out the debt after a certain number of years. Google it.
I hope she feels better soon. She is welcome to join us here on MomMD.
Thank you. Shes very aware of herself and knew she needed help and asked me to take her to the ER. I will have to research those articals and get her on this site also, so that she can speak with others like her. I will have her check the forum you mentioned also.
We are doing the income based repayment, It will definantly help but the loans are still there. the other thing out there is a federal bill that will eliminate all government debt after 120 payments as long as you are working for a Non-for- profit employer. So shes thinking of maybe teaching or doing research. She is a very motivated person and hard working and works well with others and teaching. So I can beleive she could do anything as long as she doesnt have the responsibilty of patients lives to contend with.
Oh no, I'm so sorry your wife is having such a difficult time. Thank goodness you took her to the hospital to get some help.
Just wanted to chime in real quick about the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan that was mentioned above- it may offer your wife some hope that she is not necessarily stuck in medicine if she really doesn't want to be there. For someone who really, truly, wants out of medicine- it's a godsend!
I'm a physician who is $150+ in debt and never did residency. Long story, but for the past 5 years, I've been a full-time stay-at-home mom to 2 kids, one of whom has special needs. I'm married and work part-time (evenings and from home) as a biology instructor at a local community college and earn maybe $10-15K per year. Under the IBR plan, my monthly payments work out to $225 per month (which is still a burden, but not nearly as much as the original payments of $1000+ per month!) The payments are calculated based on both my husband's and my income. After 25 years of consecutive payments, any remaining balance on my student loans will be forgiven. If, however, I work full-time in public service (e.g., state or local or federal govt- including teaching at a community college!) then the remaining balance on my debt is forgiven after just 10 years of consecutive payments.
So, for me personally, this means I can afford to stay home with my special needs child as long as he needs me.
Hope this is helpful- regardless of what she ends up doing in the short term, just knowing that there are other options out there may help her see a light at the end of the tunnel. Please keep us posted on how your wife is doing. I will be thinking of her and wishing you both the best.
Oops, just saw that our posts crossed in cyberspace. So is your wife already on the IBR plan? In that case, she may initially qualify for up to 3 years of economic hardship deferment (that's based on her income only, not yours!)
Are her loans held through the federal govt? To qualify for the plan you described (120 payments)- you have to have a Direct Loan, with the federal govt. If her loans are held through a private lender, she can consolidate with Direct Loans in order to take advantage of the 10-year Public Service forgiveness provision. (If she's already consolidated once, she's still allowed to re-consolidate in order to take advantage of this option.)
Yes we are already doing the IBR. Thank you, I just want to find out what I can to help her and myself come to terms with what might be to come. We both have worked hard for what have, she especially, but she feels like she has left me down, whihc she hasn't. I just want to find out options that we have. We have no children yet but would like to and things have become complicated. I love my wife, and i want her to be happy. We just need to find what we need to do. Thank you though I didnt know that it would be forgiving after 25 years if she wouldnt work for a non profit organization.