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The 10 Best Cities for Medical School Graduates

September 15, 2020

Graduating from medical school is just one milestone in the quest to become a physician. Your next step is likely a residency, and for some, the process may also include a fellowship and board certification.

 

Regardless of where you ultimately end up, though, it’s crucial to take your time when deciding where to start that process. To help you narrow down your list of options, we looked at HospitalCareers.com to get an idea of the best cities for medical school graduates.

 

Determining Best Cities for Medical School Graduates

It’s difficult to create a definitive list of the best cities for medical school graduates because the right city for you may depend on your field of expertise, your personal preferences and several other factors.

 

But in its list, HospitalCareers.com provides a comprehensive view of what’s important to medical graduates. That includes cities with the best hospitals and job markets, places with a relatively low cost of living and more.

 

10. Rochester, Minnesota

For many healthcare professionals, the primary pull of Rochester is that it’s home to the No. 1 hospital in the country: the Mayo Clinic. The city also has a relatively small population of just under 120,000, which could make it more manageable for medical graduates who aren’t used to a big city.

 

The city’s cost of living is 94.1% the national average, making it a solid choice for new graduates who are gaining their financial footing. Plus, according to medical professional networking service Doximity, the nearby Minneapolis metropolitan area has one of the highest average physician salaries in the country at $369,889.

 

9. Jacksonville, Florida

While Rochester, Minnesota, is home to the Mayo Clinic headquarters, the medical center has a campus in Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville is a much larger city, with a population of more than 900,000. But you won’t have to worry about dealing with the cost of a larger city — Jacksonville’s cost of living is even lower than Rochester’s at 93.5% the national average.

 

Despite being a low-cost area, medical graduates don’t have to go anywhere to enjoy one of the top 10 physician salaries in the country. According to Doximity, it’s $338,790. What’s more, the city has the fifth-smallest gender wage gap between male and female physicians.

 

8. Durham, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina, has one of the lowest average physician salaries in the nation at $266,180. But for graduating medical students, working at one of the best university hospitals in the nation, Duke, can be incredibly appealing. The medical center is ranked nationally for 11 adult specialties and nine children specialties.

 

Also, like Rochester and Jacksonville, Durham has a relatively low cost of living at 95.2% the national average, which means your salary will go further than most areas in the U.S. The city of Durham is home to roughly 280,000 people.

 

7. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston isn’t just known for being the capital of higher education in the U.S. It’s also home to some of the most well-known medical centers in the country, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.

 

The former is ranked No. 12 overall in the nation, while the latter ranks in the top three hospitals in the nation for psychiatry, diabetes and endocrinology, and rehabilitation.

 

The only reason to think twice about Boston is its cost of living, which is 162.4% the national average. Also, its average physician salary is relatively low, at $305,634. The city’s population is just under 693,000.

 

6. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is one of the most culture-rich cities on our list, especially if you love music. It’s also home to another excellent university hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which ranks nationally in seven adult specialties and 10 child specialties.

 

The city’s cost of living is 101.4% the national average, which isn’t a deal-breaker but is something to consider. That said, the average annual physician salary is on the high end at $337,914. The Nashville-Davidson area is home to more than 670,000 people.

 

5. Austin, Texas

Austin is the fastest-growing big city in America, which means a lot of opportunity. Its population is just short of 1 million people, which also makes it one of the largest cities on our list. And according to U.S. News & World Report, it ranks as the No. 1 place to live in America.

 

Some of the largest hospitals in the city include St. David’s Medical Center, which was the first health system in the state to be recognized as Employer of the Year by the Texas Workforce Commission, and Cornerstone Hospital of Austin.

 

The city’s cost of living is 119.3% the national average, which could be a non-starter for some. Also, the average salary for physicians in Austin is relatively low, at $299,297.

 

4. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City isn’t known for its world-renowned hospitals. Its healthcare industry, however, is among the fastest-growing in the city, with an expected 30% jump over the next 10 years. This means a lot of opportunity for recent medical graduates.

 

What’s more, the state’s capital has one of the lowest cost of living on our list at 85.4% of the national average. According to Salary.com, the average physician salary in the area is $254,195, which is low compared to the other cities on our list but compared with many cities with high costs of living, your money could go further here.

 

Oklahoma City is home to 655,000 residents.

 

3. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City’s average physician salary of $351,300 ranks No. 11 in the country, making it an ideal destination for many medical graduates. It’s also an excellent choice if you enjoy outdoor adventures.

 

The state of Utah has one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, which means you won’t have too much trouble finding a job. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s unemployment rate sits at 4.5% for July 2020, compared with 10.2% overall in the U.S. However, the city’s cost of living is 118.9% the national average, which could be a deal-breaker.

 

Despite being the state’s capital, Salt Lake City has only 200,000 residents.

 

2. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is the largest city on our list, with more than 1.5 million residents. Despite its size, the city has a cost of living that’s just 89.4% of the national average. That said, the average annual salary for physicians is also relatively low, at $276,224.

 

In terms of stability, roughly 18% of San Antonio residents work in healthcare or bioscience, making the city a safe bet for recent medical school graduates. Some of the best medical centers in the city include Methodist Hospital-San Antonio, Baptist Medical Center and University Hospital-San Antonio.

 

1. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland sits atop our list for a few reasons. First, it’s home to the Cleveland Clinic, which has been ranked the second-best hospital in the country behind the Mayo Clinic. Second, the city boasts five large hospitals, which employ more than 100,000 people combined. That’s more than 25% of the city’s population, which sits at about 381,000.

 

Finally, Cleveland has the lowest cost of living on our list of the best cities for medical school graduates — it’s an impressive 72.6% of the national average. One thing to keep in mind is that the average physician salary in the city is $312,448. But considering the low cost of living, that salary will go further than most of the top salaries in other cities.

 

How to choose where to live when you graduate from medical school

Making the decision on where to live after you leave medical school can be challenging. Depending on the residency process and other requirements for your field, your options may be limited based on your specialty. If you have multiple options, though, it’s important to take your time and research all of the factors that are important to you.

 

For example, consider the quality of the healthcare system, as well as the opportunities that might be available to you. Also, look at average salaries in the area and how they compare with the cost of living. Finally, remember that you not only have to work in one of these cities, but also live. Think about your personal preferences and the quality of life you’ll be able to enjoy in each place to make a decision.

 

Additional Sources

 


 

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Millennial employee working
2020-09-08
How to Attract Millennial Employees in 2020

Millennials have a reputation for job-hopping, always looking for the next opportunity. Research shows that 21% of millennials have changed jobs in the past year, which is three times the percentage of non-millennials who’ve done the same. This trend may, however, may not be exclusive to the millennial generation. Interestingly, research finds that millennial employees are just as likely to change jobs in their 20s as baby boomers were in their 20s.   The trouble for hiring managers, however, remains: how can you hire and keep millennial workers? Recently many companies have started to come upon some answers. Their method of retaining millennials: benefits. Here are some of the most successful:  

Flexibility

One of the easiest ways to interest millennials and younger employees is simply to provide them with more flexible working hours. Many millennials view the classic, nine-to-five office grind as an antiquated way to work. As such, they look for jobs that offer them the flexibility to do other things. They don’t just value a stable job; they want their lives outside of their jobs to be fulfilling as well.   As working from home becomes the norm for many businesses, it's easier than ever to offer employees a variety of options. Programs like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams have become standard workplace programs, and they enable employers to provide millennials with the flexibility they desire.  

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is quickly becoming more common among millennial employers. With 82% of millennials saying they’d likely have pets before becoming parents, more and more employers are starting to structure their benefits around the millennial lifestyle.   Around 50% of Fortune 500 companies offer pet insurance as a benefit, and the pet insurance market continues to grow every year. As the number of pet owners continues to increase, this benefit grows even more popular!  

Student Loan Repayment

It’s no secret that student loan debt is more widespread than ever before. Millions of millennials are repaying thousands of dollars in debt after graduation. With that in mind, one of the best and most effective methods of hiring and keeping millennial employees is through student loan repayment programs. There are several ways to offer this benefit:
  • Student Loan Signing Bonuses
  • Employer repayment
  • Contributions to 401(k) plans
 

Student Loan Signing Bonuses

The simplest and most self-explanatory of these options is to offer an employee student loan signing bonus. Some companies, for example, pay $1,000 toward new employees’ student loan payments at the time of hire. This method, while great for bringing new talent in, is not as effective in retaining millennial workers.  

Employer Repayment

Some employers also contribute directly to their employees' student loans. For instance, Nvidia offers employees up to $6,000 a year to a total of $30,000 for student loans.   Notably, Nvidia’s program is one of the most generous, and employees will happily join your company for smaller amounts of support. Even with these smaller amounts, employer repayment is not only a great way to bring in new employees but also to retain them over time.  

Contributions to 401(k) Plans

Some employers offer retirement contributions to employees to attract new talent and decrease turnover. When your employees pay off a certain percentage of their student loans, they may qualify for full 401(k) plan matching.  

Work with Technology

Millennials are tech-savvy and they look for a tech-savvy workplace. Provide digital documentation and accessible benefits. With widespread technology, it’s easier than ever to design benefits around your millennial employees.  

Ongoing Performance Reviews

Millennials operate best with constructive feedback, even more so than previous generations. They want to feel involved in the company, and they want to know how their work is affecting the team as a whole.   Millennials are looking to grow in their careers, and your feedback is immensely valuable to them. The best way to do this is to provide regular performance reviews. There’s no reason to wait for feedback when contacting someone takes seconds.  

Professional Development

Millennial employees value programs that foster professional development. One common reason millennials job hop is to find new opportunities for growth, but if their current employer already supports career growth, they may be more likely to stay. Mentoring, training and professional development courses are highly desirable for millennial employees. They also encourage employees to learn and grow with the company.   These benefits provide effective, budget-friendly ways to keep employees engaged and happy at work. If you’re looking for more tips on how to retain millennial workers, we’ve linked more details here.  
  Notice About Third Party Websites: Education Loan Finance by SouthEast Bank is not responsible for and has no­­­ control over the subject matter, content, information, or graphics of the websites that have links here. The portal and news features are being provided by an outside source – the bank is not responsible for the content. Please contact us with any concerns or comments.
Doctor researching how to pay off medical school debt
2020-08-12
Best Tips for Paying Off Medical School Debt

Working as a healthcare professional can be lucrative, but the cost of your education can be overwhelming. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average cost of medical school at a public university is $243,902, while the average price at a private school is $322,767.    By Kat Tretina   With such expensive totals, most students have to borrow a significant amount of money to pay for school; the median amount of student loan debt for medical school graduates was $200,000 as of 2018.    You could spend 20 to 30 years repaying your debt, and with high-interest rates, pay hundreds of thousands in interest charges. Paying off medical school debt can be challenging, but there are ways to manage your loans more effectively.   

7 best ways to pay off medical school student debt

Follow these tips to save money, reduce your monthly payments, or pay off your medical school loans early.   

1. Make payments during your residency

Many medical school students opt to defer their payments during residency so they can focus on this grueling stage of their education without worrying about their loan payments. However, deferring your payments can cause more interest to accrue on your loans, adding to your overall cost.    If possible, make partial payments during your residency. The American Medical Association reported that the average first-year resident makes around $60,000, so you’ll have some income coming in that you can use. If you can’t afford to make full principal and interest payments, even making interest-only payments or flat $25 monthly payments can reduce charges and help you save money over the long run.   

2. Pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

As a medical school graduate, you may qualify for loan forgiveness through PSLF if you work for a non-profit hospital, medical facility, or government agency. If you have federal student loans and work for a qualifying employer full-time for ten years while making 120 monthly payments, your remaining loan balance will be forgiven tax-free. The following loan types are eligible for PSLF: 
  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Unsubsidized Loans
  • PLUS Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans 
 

3. Apply for an income-driven repayment plan

If you have federal loans and cannot afford your monthly payment under a 10-year Standard Repayment Plan, apply for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. Under an IDR plan, your payment is based on your income and family size.   During your residency and while establishing your career — while your income is relatively low — an IDR plan will reduce your monthly payments.    Plus, if you still have a balance after 20 to 25 years of making payments, the remaining loan balance is forgiven. However, the discharged amount is taxable as income.   

4. Use your physician signing bonus to make a lump sum payment

To recruit healthcare professionals, some hospitals and healthcare facilities offer signing bonuses. According to the American Medical Association, the average physician signing bonus is $32,692. If you’re eligible for a signing bonus, use it to make a lump sum payment against your student loan debt. It can make a significant impact on your balance and repayment term.    For example, let’s say you left medical school with $200,000 in student loan debt at 6% interest with a 10-year repayment term. If you received a signing bonus of $32,692 and applied the entire amount toward your student loans, you’d pay off your loans 25 months ahead of schedule. Plus, you’d save $23,274 in interest charges.   

5. Research loan repayment assistance programs

If you’re willing to work in an underserved or rural area as a healthcare practitioner, you may qualify for loan repayment assistance and get some or all of your student loans repaid. There are national and state programs. For example, the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program provides primary care clinicians who serve for at least two years at approved sites with up to $50,000 in loan repayment assistance.    For a list of potential loan repayment programs, check out the Association of American Medical Colleges’ database  

6. Refinance your student loans

If you’re wondering how to pay off medical school debt faster, student loan refinancing* is one of the most effective techniques. When you refinance, you work with a private lender like Education Loan Finance to take out a new loan for the amount of your existing debt. If you have private loans or a mix of private and federal loans, you can consolidate them together and qualify for a new interest rate and loan term.    If you have good credit, you may qualify for a lower interest rate, allowing you to save a substantial amount of money. How much could you save? Consider this example.    If you had $200,000 in loans at 6% interest and a 10-year repayment term, you’d pay $66,449 in interest charges by the end of your repayment term.    However, let’s say you refinanced your debt and qualified for a 10-year loan at 4.25% interest. Your monthly payment would drop, but you’d still repay just $45,850 in interest charges. By refinancing your loans, you’d save $20,599 in interest.   

Original Loan

Balance: $200,000 Loan Term: 10 Years Interest Rate: 6% Minimum Monthly Payment: $2,220 Total Interest Paid: $66,449 Total Repaid: $266,449  

Refinanced Loan

Balance: $200,000 Loan Term: 10 Years Interest Rate: 4.25% Minimum Monthly Payment: $2,049 Total Interest Paid: $45,850 Total Repaid: $245,850   Use the student loan refinance calculator to find out refinancing could help you cut down on interest charges.*   

7. Make extra payments

Instead of making only the minimum payments, pay extra each month to reduce the interest that accrues. Over time, paying extra will help you save money and pay off your debt ahead of schedule. Increasing your payment by just $100 per month can make a difference, even if you have six-figures of student loan debt.    With $200,000 of student loans at 6% interest and a 10-year term, your minimum monthly payment would be $2,220. If you increase your monthly payments by $100 — paying $2,320 toward your debt each month — you’d pay off your loans six months early. And, you’d save $4,147 in interest charges.  

The bottom line

Medical school can be expensive, and if you’re like most students, you had to borrow money to pay for your education.    Paying off medical school debt may seem intimidating, but you likely earn a good income with your degree. You have multiple options for managing your debt, and you are likely a strong candidate for student loan refinancing.    If you decide that refinancing is right for you, you can check your rate online with ELFI.*  
  *Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply.   Notice About Third Party Websites: Education Loan Finance by SouthEast Bank is not responsible for and has no control over the subject matter, content, information, or graphics of the websites that have links here. The portal and news features are being provided by an outside source – the bank is not responsible for the content. Please contact us with any concerns or comments.
Woman negotiating her salary
2020-08-10
Earn What You’re Worth: How to Negotiate Your Salary During the Hiring Process

If you just got that job offer you’ve always wanted – congratulations! That’s great news, but there is still more to do. Now, you enter the salary negotiation process. You want to be paid what you deserve, and you’re going to have to do a little work to ensure that you are. While there is no secret formula for the perfect salary negotiation, there are many ways to make your salary negotiation more successful. Here are 8 tips on how to walk out of a salary negotiation with the salary you want.   

Take Your Time

The first thing you should do after you receive a job offer is to request time to consider the offer. On the most basic level, this allows you time to decide whether to take the job, but it also provides you with time to develop a negotiation strategy based on the offer. Now is the time to think about things like the minimum salary you are willing to accept or possible benefits you would like. Keep these things in mind constantly throughout the negotiation process.   

Know Your Value 

The second step in getting the salary you deserve is knowing what you are worth to an employer. Take into consideration all of your experience, your location, your skills, certifications and leadership experience. All are important in calculating your value to your future employer. List out all these factors that make you valuable to an employer, and make sure that you will be able to clearly explain each of these factors to your potential employer.   

Do Your Research 

Before starting salary negotiations, it’s important to be prepared. You should look at the national average salary for your position, as well as what similar companies in your area pay those in your prospective position. Not only will you be prepared to make a good offer, but you will also look knowledgeable about the industry.   

Explain Your Value 

Now that you’ve done the research and listed what you bring to the table, it is important to use this information in salary negotiations. Clearly explain and justify the salary you are asking for.    Another tip is to ask for slightly more than you expect. That way, if your employer negotiates down, you are still more likely to get a salary you are comfortable with. If they don’t negotiate down, then you’ll get more than you expected. It’s a win either way.     

Be Confident 

When you’re trying to sell a prospective employer on yourself, confidence is key. Confidence can fill any holes in experience or top off an already perfect applicant. It should be clear to both you and your employer that you know how much you are worth. After all, you have done the research and the preparation, and you will bring your value to your prospective employer. If that’s not worth being confident in, then few other things are.   

Be Likable 

While it may seem like a given, it’s worth noting that being likable will get you a long way. Your prospective employer will be far more willing to give you what you ask if you make your case in a likable way. On the flip side, being harsh and confrontational could jeopardize your job offer altogether.   

Consider Alternate Forms of Compensation 

There’s more to compensation than just money, so it’s important to be open to other forms of compensation as well. This is where you bring in the other possible benefits you thought of. You may be able to negotiate for extra vacation days, better stock options, work from home days or any number of other benefits. They may come at the cost of a little pay, but in the long run, they may also make you happier.    Also, consider what you stand to learn. Especially early in your career, it may be worth taking a lower salary to work somewhere where you will be learning new, valuable skills regularly. Overall, the things you learn could prove to be more important than money. Of course, the decision of when to accept less compensation is completely up to you, and you should not be pressured into taking a low offer if you don’t truly feel that it would benefit you.   

If You Have to, Walk Away 

If your negotiations have hit a dead end and you are unable to negotiate an offer that you find suitable, then consider walking away. You should not start a job where you feel that you are not being fairly compensated. Your prospective employer will thank you for it. A disgruntled employee right off the bat is something no company wants. If you do walk away, remember to be gracious about it. As much time as you have spent negotiating, the prospective employer has spent just as much of their own time trying to hire you.    Remember, don’t consider this failed negotiation as a waste of time. These things happen, and it will provide you with more experience for future salary negotiations, a recurring part of any career.   

The Bottom Line 

Salary negotiations can be stressful, but if you do your research, you should have no trouble acing them. Hopefully, you will come out with the salary you are looking for.    With your new job, you may want to consider paying down your student debt, and a great way to do that is through student loan refinancing. Take a look at what it can do for you here.  
  **Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply.      Notice About Third Party Websites: Education Loan Finance by SouthEast Bank is not responsible for and has no control over the subject matter, content, information, or graphics of the websites that have links here. The portal and news features are being provided by an outside source – the bank is not responsible for the content. Please contact us with any concerns or comments.