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Advice to urology residents from 50 practicing urologists

What career or financial advice would you give to current urology residents?

We posed this question to urologists who filled out our Urologist Compensation Survey and compiled 50 of the responses below. You will notice that some of the advice is repetitive, which simply means it was given multiple times. That might be the advice to pay most attention to!

Financial Advice:

  • Live like a resident
  • Live like a resident for 5 yrs
  • Live like a resident for the first two years out
  • Live below your means
  • Live below your means. Start investing/saving early
  • Live within your means
  • Start investing early and pay off your loans early.
  • Live on far less than you make. Get out of debt ASAP. Don’t fall for the lie that stuff will make you happy. Diversify your income streams
  • Save as much money as possible after you graduate.
  • Begin contributing to retirement ASAP and pay down high interest student loans
  • Must save 25% of take home; the 75% left is your real income
  • Get own-occ disability insurance before leaving residency. 
  • Invest early, max retirement accounts, get disability insurance
  • Learn personal finance early!
  • Follow the White Coat Investor
  • Read white coat investor
  • Work towards financial independence.
  • Figure out Roth IRA as intern

Career Advice:

  • Know your worth. Accept nothing less
  • Use student loans as leverage for negotiating
  • Learn about contracts and RVU negotiations
  • Negotiate first contract carefully
  • Bargain to the hilt with your employer
  • Don’t be afraid to ask blunt and tough compensation questions. Interview at multiple places.
  • Prioritize what matters, you don’t have a ton of leverage to negotiate right out of training, have to prove your value first
  • Understand the complete package of benefits and cost/value and not just focus on starting salary number
  • Grass isn’t greener – please water your lawn, strike a balance between yolo and fire while also creating a safety net around you
  • No job is perfect
  • Know your value. Be willing to work to build a practice.
  • Take time to learn about the business side of practice
  • Make sure you like the people you’re working with and compensation structure is fair
  • Find good partners
  • Work with good people
  • Find people you enjoy working with. 
  • Understand the business behind what you do and don’t trust a hospital or administrator to take care of you.
  • Don’t be hospital employed
  • Don’t jump for the hospital big number
  • Don’t work for big hospital systems or groups
  • Think heavily about what you give up by becoming an employee at a health system. 
  • It’s scary, but in my opinion private practice gives you way more options and freedom than hospital jobs. Salary is only going up for me as I get busier.
  • Be prepared to leave or re-negotiate your first job within 5 years. 
  • Take advantage of being slow when starting your first job.
  • Try to visualize your ideal practice set up and interview at practices that will support that. Practice administrative responsibility in residency, as the learning curve is quite steep.
  • In the current shortage of urologists, be willing to move and take new positions
  • Protect your time and set boundaries on how much/type of work you are willing to do
  • Don’t overreach
  • Do what you love
  • Get advice from those 5 years or less out of practice.
  • Value support provided, ie APP or nurses
  • Work hard, keep learning and evolving as a surgeon, have fun