Is Academic Medicine a Financially Viable Career? Exploring Financial Considerations and Resources

Julie Gilbert, Pooja Kothari, Nelson Sanchez, Dennis J. Spencer, Maria Soto-Greene, John Paul Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: As a result of the common belief that professionals in academic medicine make less money than their private practice counterparts, as well as the rising cost of medical school and subsequent loans, medical students and residents alike are dissuaded from pursuing careers in academia. However, with greater knowledge of loan repayment programs and financial planning, students can make informed decisions about entering the field of academia. Methods: Using the Kern model, a workshop was developed to educate medical students considering an academic career about financial resources, loan repayment, student debt, and the importance of budgets. The workshop also encouraged reflection on personal and financial factors that influence career choice. Results: The workshop was implemented at five regional conferences with a total of 113 participants. After participating in the workshop, survey data showed that participants were statistically less likely to agree with the statement "Student debt will hinder my ability to pursue an academic medicine career," and more likely to agree with the statement "Academic medicine is a financially viable career choice for me" and "A career in academic medicine will provide a comfortable salary." Over 95% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that each objective was met. Discussion: This workshop provided an interactive and reflective method to increase participants' awareness of factors that influence financial considerations when considering postgraduate career choices. It highlighted factors that may be particularly relevant for an academic career choice and of resources available, especially loan repayment programs, to ensure a financially viable academic career.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10958
Number of pages1
JournalMedEdPORTAL : the journal of teaching and learning resources
StatePublished - Aug 17 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


  • Academic Medicine
  • Faculty Development
  • Financial Resources
  • Loan Repayment
  • Promotions & Tenure
  • Student Debt


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