However, despite their debt, only 30% devised a monthly budget and adhered to it. Most orthopaedic surgery residents did not create any budget at all.

Overall, 71.8% of residents rated their financial literacy at or below average. Of the 28.2% who considered themselves to have above average financial literacy, 51% said that they derived their knowledge primarily from personal research, while only 4% had completed courses that covered personal finance, investing, and savings.

Survey responses about financial retirement savings and planning were also dismal. A total of 74.1% believed that they were less prepared in terms of retirement savings than their peers outside of residency or fellowship.  About half (48.2%) reported setting aside no money for retirement, most often because their expenses do not allow for savings.  Only about half (50.6%) even knew whether their institution offered a retirement account.

Notably, only 35.3% of respondents said that their institution had programs that provided advice on savings and retirement. 

A total of 84% of residents surveyed expressed interest in learning more about personal investment, savings, and retirement planning.

“This study suggests a role for formal financial education in the orthopaedics curriculum to prepare residents for retirement and help with both investing and debt management,” Dr Jennings said.

Reference

Jennings JD, Quinn C, Rehman S. “Orthopaedic Surgery Resident Financial Literacy: Assessing Knowledge in Debt, Investment, and Retirement Savings.” 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Abstract number P-281.

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