Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Bonnie Koo, a board-certified dermatologist who received her MD from Columbia University. As the Wealthy Mom MD, she serves as a financial coach to female physicians, helping them build wealth through education and mentorship.
[01:19] Wealthy Mom MD
[08:40] Financial Advice for Medical Students and Residents
[17:12] Loan Forgiveness and Repayment
[21:41] Defining Wealth for Women
[26:16] There are Many Ways to Practice Medicine
[29:24] Best Piece of Advice Dr. Koo Has Ever Received
The Beginning of Wealthy Mom MD
As an attending physician in academia, Dr. Koo didn’t have a full patient panel, which freed up her time for other things. In 2015, she discovered Facebook groups for female physicians that talked about finances. She was invited to become an admin in these online communities because she was one of the few who actively answered questions and shared insights.
Dr. Koo’s friend encouraged her to start a blog about money matters, but she was reluctant at first because the White Coat Investor was already a good resource. But her friend convinced her that she could write from a different angle: from the perspective of a female physician. This was the beginning of Wealthy Mom MD. Her blog has since evolved into a coaching practice.
Financial Tips to Live By in Medicine
Spending habits will differ depending on the situation but everyone should try to live within their means to avoid accumulating debt. When choosing a medical school, consider applying to an in-state school to save on costs. It’s important to educate yourself about how interest, loan repayment, loan forgiveness, and taxes work so you’re not blindsided later on.
Defining Wealth for Women
In the past, women have been barred from handling finances. But even until today, women are not properly educated on how to manage money. It’s no accident that women are less financially savvy. Not just that, our society as a whole is uncomfortable with fiscal discussions. We need to talk about finances more; conversations can start with us. By opening up topics about money, we learn and empower each other to make better decisions.