From Resident to Attending: How Your Salary Changes and How to Prepare

Residents give their blood and sweat to patients. It is also a learning experience for them. They indulge in practical life but often they are not prepared for the shift from resident to attending. Although their paychecks reflect this trajectory, they don’t know how to deal with this overwhelming change. Here we are going to take a deep dive into the salary changes and finances to give you a better outlook. 

For instance a neurologist’s salary shifts to $273,000 but this comes at the cost of increasing finances. During the shift, you need some extra cash to make the transition. If you are clueless things might get out of hand. But don’t worry we are here to help you. Let’s get started. 

Emergency Fund

Residents should have an emergency fund prepared so they don’t struggle financially. When you shift to attending you may have to change hospitals, move to new cities, and get a new apartment nearby. These things are expensive and you need to have extra cash by your side.

You also have to pay your student loans so have a plan in your hand from the start. You have to deal with it as soon as possible and if you have the money the shift will be smooth.

Save for retirement 

You might be thinking, isn’t it too soon to save for retirement? Well, the sooner the better. You need to sign up for different insurances as well such as disability insurance to make sure things are in your hand. You will have a salary increase as well so don’t overspend and come up with a strategy to organize things. 

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If these look overwhelming to you then you can hire a financial coach as well to deal with the sudden changes. They will sketch the whole scenario for you and you will have a clear view about things.

Avoid Luxurious Lifestyle

We understand the urge to spend lavishly on things you love and as soon as you get your first paycheck you will want to get your hands on expensive things but hold on. For instance, a $300 meal sounds fantastic but you need to hold your horses. It is good if you do it once in a while but don’t go for fun things at the expense of your budget. You need money for future adventures. So stay conscious and don’t jump into the race mindlessly. These habits can cost you a lot.

Tax Savings

Now the real fun begins. Based on your contract type there will be additional taxes you have to pay. So be sure to set aside a good sum of money to better deal with it. People have at least $5000 put away for taxes. So make sure you don’t fall into bad habits and take care of your finances so you can pay taxes once you are out in society.


The shift from resident to attending may seem overwhelming. But with planning and strategy, you can save money and effectively manage finances. Follow all the steps above so things become easier for you. There are no rules, so take a deep breath and enjoy this new change in your life. 

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