Money Minutes for Doctors #8 - A Stronger Financial Path for Women in Medicine

Welcome to the eighth edition of our monthly financial podcast, Money Minutes for Doctors. This month we take a look at financial trends unique to female physicians. Todays doctors are going to be working harder, logging longer hours, and getting paid less; thus the need to stay engaged with one’s finances, and to work closely with a qualified financial advisor to build financial security. This month Ms. Katherine Vessenes, JD, CFP®, RFC, Founder and President of MD Financial Advisors, uses her expertise in guiding female clients to examine some of the mistakes that female doctors make as well as taking a look at strategies to build a solid all-around financial foundation.


About Ms. Vessenes:

Ms. Vessenes works with over 300 physicians and dentists from Hawaii to Cape Cod. Her firm uses a team of experts to provide comprehensive financial planning to help doctors build their wealth and protect their wealth while reducing taxes now and in the future. Katherine is a longtime advocate for ethics in the financial services industry; and has written three books on the subject of investment strategies. She has received many honors and awards including: numerous tributes from Medical Economics as a top advisor for doctors, multiple 5-Star Advisor Awards, honored as a Top Woman in Finance, in addition to being selected to be on the CFP® Board of Ethics. Katherine can be reached at: or 952-388-6317. Her website:

Quick Summary:

Top Money Mistakes Women Doctors Make:

 The top 10 fears that all women (including physicians) have about money [1]

  1. Fear of running out of money

  2. Fear that if they don’t marry they will not be able to support themselves

  3. Fear that they are not smart enough to learn about finance

  4. Women do not ask for raises for fear of being fired and therefore make less money over their lifetime

  5. Fear of falling victim to financial scams

  6. Fear of becoming a financial burden to their families

  7. Fear that if they take time off to raise children their finances will suffer

  8. Fear their retirement will be spent helping an aging relative

  9. Fear they won’t have enough cash on hand for emergencies

  10. Fear that their financial decisions will let others down 


The top 5 problems we see with Women Doctors and their Money:

  1. Female doctors make less than male doctors, even when accounting for the same specialties and time out for children.  

    Takeaway: women doctors need to negotiate their contracts more effectively

  2. Women are less likely to have us review their contracts in advance vs. male peers

    Takeaway: if this is not your area of expertise, have your contract personally reviewed by an experienced expert.

  3. Many women doctors either remain single or marry a person who will not be making as much money — becoming the chief family breadwinner. 

    Takeaway: this is your money — stay involved!

  4. Women doctors have not caught up to the new financial normal: doctors in general will be working harder, making less money and paying more in taxes. There is no margin for error for today’s doctors & if you make a financial mistake it can take you years to recover.

    Takeaway: track spending for a month. Most can find easy, painless ways to cut expenses to get ahead financially.

  5. Some Women doctors tend to trust their colleagues, or on-line pundits more than a qualified professional. 

    Takeaway:before you act on your colleagues’/online blog/news article etc. advice please get a second opinion from a trusted, qualified, ethical professional.


 Summary: This is your money, you worked hard for it so make sure you protect it and keep as much of it as you can! 

Katherine Vessenes can be reached at Katherine@mdfinancialadvisors.comor 888-256-6855. Her website: 

[1] source: Emma Johnson, . "Top 10 Money Fears And What To Do About Them." Forbes Woman. 23 Sep 2010: n. page. Web. 16 Jul. 2012. <