julie101 Registered User
#1

I have a mortgage and a fairly good career but would love to be a doctor. I am gearing up to make the move (studying and saving) but I really cannot see how people afford the fees and loss of earnings and accommodation costs? What are the loans like now from banks? The 100k loan would have suited me best (I know it's no longer available) as I will have to keep paying mortgage and am not near any colleges so will need to pay accommodation costs also. Any advice would be much appreciated as funding is the only thing holding me back and I can't understand how so many people can afford GEM - am I missing something?

#2

Hi there,

I'd say most get a loan and the rest are wealthy enough to pay out of pocket. It's certainly not cheap.

As for loans, as far as I'm aware, only a tuition loan is available and this money goes straight to the college from the bank.

You could contact the banks, your situation is different as not all Gems will have a mortgage and maybe there will be other options open for you.

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nomoreexams Registered User
#3

60k loan from AIB and I worked part-time. It's very difficult. If i had known how hard the financing would be, I probably would have rethought it, but now that i'm at the end of the 4 years it has been worth it. Bear in mind the aftermath of qualifying - long stints all around the country and not fantastic pay (when you bear in mind the €850+/month loan repayment and rent)

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julie101 Registered User
#4

nomoreexams said:
60k loan from AIB and I worked part-time. It's very difficult. If i had known how hard the financing would be, I probably would have rethought it, but now that i'm at the end of the 4 years it has been worth it. Bear in mind the aftermath of qualifying - long stints all around the country and not fantastic pay (when you bear in mind the €850+/month loan repayment and rent)


Thanks so much for the replies. Nomoreexams I think your username says it all! Did you have any mortgage or other ties financially nomoreexams or was it very tight even without that? What take home fortnightly pay approx has a doc in first few years? I have looked at pay scales etc but that doesn't take into account overtime which would add greatly to income I assume? Do most doctors enjoy their jobs among your friends and what do you think you might specialise in? I am thinking GP would be the line I would work in due to a slightly better work life balance - is this niiave are their hours more manageable?

nomoreexams Registered User
#5

The name is derived from before GEM ironically enough. I still have 1 more exam to go. I have no mortgage, just rent, a car and general expenses. As an intern it will be approx €900 fortnightly, initially you won't pay tax because of the time of year you start. Overtime can make a difference though (depending on the hospital, some won't pay for unscheduled overtime). It's capped more than it used to be because of working time directive. The salary will increase annually but not significantly at first. I wouldn't say most "enjoy" their job, I'd say it's not the worst out there. You have to get used to being bullied by co-workers and being a general dogs body, but there are up sides and it seems to be what you make of it. You'll probably change your mind a 100 times about what you want to specialise in, I wouldn't even be thinking of that until you get some clinical exposure. GP currently has one of the shortest training times, however there can be a delay getting on to the scheme depending on popularity. Days are long, no real breaks, and during the course if you do decide to work part time, you will suffer exhaustion that you never thought possible. I know I sound negative, but these are things I wish someone had told me.

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julie101 Registered User
#6

nomoreexams said:
The name is derived from before GEM ironically enough. I still have 1 more exam to go. I have no mortgage, just rent, a car and general expenses. As an intern it will be approx €900 fortnightly, initially you won't pay tax because of the time of year you start. Overtime can make a difference though (depending on the hospital, some won't pay for unscheduled overtime). It's capped more than it used to be because of working time directive. The salary will increase annually but not significantly at first. I wouldn't say most "enjoy" their job, I'd say it's not the worst out there. You have to get used to being bullied by co-workers and being a general dogs body, but there are up sides and it seems to be what you make of it. You'll probably change your mind a 100 times about what you want to specialise in, I wouldn't even be thinking of that until you get some clinical exposure. GP currently has one of the shortest training times, however there can be a delay getting on to the scheme depending on popularity. Days are long, no real breaks, and during the course if you do decide to work part time, you will suffer exhaustion that you never thought possible. I know I sound negative, but these are things I wish someone had told me.


I really appreciate such an honest post thank you. Am I niiave in thinking life of a GP is easier? Would income be fairly good as GP? I know it's very early to be talking about specialising but I really want some work life balance sorted by the time I am thinking about having kids.

nomoreexams Registered User
#7

julie101 said:
I really appreciate such an honest post thank you. Am I niiave in thinking life of a GP is easier? Would income be fairly good as GP? I know it's very early to be talking about specialising but I really want some work life balance sorted by the time I am thinking about having kids.


Work/life balance would almost certainly be better as a GP, but then by the time you'd be finished, so much may have changed so it would all be speculation at this stage. As for the financial side, from what I have heard GP's don't have the same earning capacity as a hospital consultant or a surgeon. Costs of setting up your own business are high and salaries within someone else's practice are not very high. This too can vary - if you specialise within a certain field you can increase earning capacity by training in surgery and performing minor procedures in a practice. If you're very concerned about work/life balance I would think long and hard about medicine. It is not conducive to a good social/home life for quite some time. It's a lifestyle not just a job. I would look into other medical professions, such as pharmacy, OT, physio. Although they too come with their own set of issues.

julie101 Registered User
#8

nomoreexams said:
Work/life balance would almost certainly be better as a GP, but then by the time you'd be finished, so much may have changed so it would all be speculation at this stage. As for the financial side, from what I have heard GP's don't have the same earning capacity as a hospital consultant or a surgeon. Costs of setting up your own business are high and salaries within someone else's practice are not very high. This too can vary - if you specialise within a certain field you can increase earning capacity by training in surgery and performing minor procedures in a practice. If you're very concerned about work/life balance I would think long and hard about medicine. It is not conducive to a good social/home life for quite some time. It's a lifestyle not just a job. I would look into other medical professions, such as pharmacy, OT, physio. Although they too come with their own set of issues.


Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to all my questions. I am thinking very seriously and trying not to make rash decisions. I am between medicine and clinical psychology but both are very long routes. Talking to someone on the ground really helps.

nomoreexams Registered User
#9

julie101 said:
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to all my questions. I am thinking very seriously and trying not to make rash decisions. I am between medicine and clinical psychology but both are very long routes. Talking to someone on the ground really helps.


No worries, good luck with the decision. It's not easy, there are a lot of things to consider. Finances are definitely a big part of that, but lifestyle is probably an even bigger factor. Living in the sticks for months on end is a big concern of mine. If I have children, what do I do- leave them with my partner in Dublin while I head off to Letterkenny/Portlaois/Waterford, bring them with me and stick them in daycare- Dad getting to see them at the weekend??? It's not a very family friendly career, particularly when going in as a GEM where you're that little bit older so family is an issue in your early career as opposed to 10/12 years down the line when you're a consultant.

Talk to as many docs as you can. Get different opinions and be very sceptical, don't let current medical students sway you either (me included), there's a lot of rose tinted glasses and a lot of ignorance.

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julie101 Registered User
#10

nomoreexams said:
No worries, good luck with the decision. It's not easy, there are a lot of things to consider. Finances are definitely a big part of that, but lifestyle is probably an even bigger factor. Living in the sticks for months on end is a big concern of mine. If I have children, what do I do- leave them with my partner in Dublin while I head off to Letterkenny/Portlaois/Waterford, bring them with me and stick them in daycare- Dad getting to see them at the weekend??? It's not a very family friendly career, particularly when going in as a GEM where you're that little bit older so family is an issue in your early career as opposed to 10/12 years down the line when you're a consultant.

Talk to as many docs as you can. Get different opinions and be very sceptical, don't let current medical students sway you either (me included), there's a lot of rose tinted glasses and a lot of ignorance.


Thank you I will do just that. Yes my age is definitely a factor due to the stage of training I will be at in my 30s and I have to remember that when making decisions. Thanks again - good karma for you to show such kindness for a stranger ☺

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Nonoperational Registered User
#11

julie101 said:
I have a mortgage and a fairly good career but would love to be a doctor. I am gearing up to make the move (studying and saving) but I really cannot see how people afford the fees and loss of earnings and accommodation costs? What are the loans like now from banks? The 100k loan would have suited me best (I know it's no longer available) as I will have to keep paying mortgage and am not near any colleges so will need to pay accommodation costs also. Any advice would be much appreciated as funding is the only thing holding me back and I can't understand how so many people can afford GEM - am I missing something?



I was lucky enough not to have to take out a large loan, if you do I would seriously consider it. If you want to be a GP the quickest possible way is to do intern year where you will earn €40-45k before tax with the re-introduction of the living out allowance etc from this July. Thats not a large wage if you are essentially paying back a mortgage sized loan.

After intern year it is possible, but reasonably difficult, to go straight into the GP training scheme. There is no guarantee you will get this in the area you want it and you stay in this area for 2 years rotating through medicine, obs/gynae, paeds and psych. During this you are paid as an SHO which will probably be close to €45-50k per year depending on overtime etc. You then do 2 years as a GP registrar with a basic salary of €53k and an allowance of around €12k to compensate for the out of hours cover they provide.

My point is that the money is fine if you have no dependents and no loans. If you start out with a large loan, family, debts etc then it can be very tight and you have to ask yourself if its worth it.

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julie101 Registered User
#12

Nonoperational said:
I was lucky enough not to have to take out a large loan, if you do I would seriously consider it. If you want to be a GP the quickest possible way is to do intern year where you will earn €40-45k before tax with the re-introduction of the living out allowance etc from this July. Thats not a large wage if you are essentially paying back a mortgage sized loan.

After intern year it is possible, but reasonably difficult, to go straight into the GP training scheme. There is no guarantee you will get this in the area you want it and you stay in this area for 2 years rotating through medicine, obs/gynae, paeds and psych. During this you are paid as an SHO which will probably be close to €45-50k per year depending on overtime etc. You then do 2 years as a GP registrar with a basic salary of €53k and an allowance of around €12k to compensate for the out of hours cover they provide.

My point is that the money is fine if you have no dependents and no loans. If you start out with a large loan, family, debts etc then it can be very tight and you have to ask yourself if its worth it.


Ok that is very informative many thanks for all the figures - they are all gross figures I assume rather than take home pay? Once qualified fully as GP in a town working in a practise with say 4 others would a gross figure of €80k be realistic as gross pay or would it be considerably more or less? Can I ask what area you specialised in and if you enjoy the job?

Flange/Flanders Registered User
#13

Nonoperational said:
I was lucky enough not to have to take out a large loan, if you do I would seriously consider it. If you want to be a GP the quickest possible way is to do intern year where you will earn €40-45k before tax with the re-introduction of the living out allowance etc from this July. Thats not a large wage if you are essentially paying back a mortgage sized loan.

After intern year it is possible, but reasonably difficult, to go straight into the GP training scheme. There is no guarantee you will get this in the area you want it and you stay in this area for 2 years rotating through medicine, obs/gynae, paeds and psych. During this you are paid as an SHO which will probably be close to €45-50k per year depending on overtime etc. You then do 2 years as a GP registrar with a basic salary of €53k and an allowance of around €12k to compensate for the out of hours cover they provide.

My point is that the money is fine if you have no dependents and no loans. If you start out with a large loan, family, debts etc then it can be very tight and you have to ask yourself if its worth it.


Intern salary is 33k basic with the new allowance? Tho overtime will bump that up.

Im final year gem, it is a tough slog but strangely enjoyable. As regards part time work, it is possible but don't expect to be getting a's.......tho results aren't the be all and end all. It is hard to finance, if you can live at home it's a big advantage. I relied on credit union loans, an aib interest free loan (That's unfortunately mo longer offered), part time work and help from the parents.

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Recap Registered User
#14

If you aren't living at home during the course, you could put up the place for rent and use that income to pay the mortgage off.

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Nonoperational Registered User
#15

julie101 said:
Ok that is very informative many thanks for all the figures - they are all gross figures I assume rather than take home pay? Once qualified fully as GP in a town working in a practise with say 4 others would a gross figure of €80k be realistic as gross pay or would it be considerably more or less? Can I ask what area you specialised in and if you enjoy the job?


Yes they are gross including an estimation of overtime.

Not too familiar with GP but I would expect a GP doing a full week of sessions would expect around 100k. I'm not a GP though and I'd say it differs a lot and there may be partnership options etc.

I'm specialising in cardiology. I do enjoy it, it has it's ups and downs particularly as you are more junior. There is a staggering lack of respect for junior doctors in this country in my opinion.

Flange/Flanders said:
Intern salary is 33k basic with the new allowance? Tho overtime will bump that up.

Im final year gem, it is a tough slog but strangely enjoyable. As regards part time work, it is possible but don't expect to be getting a's.......tho results aren't the be all and end all. It is hard to finance, if you can live at home it's a big advantage. I relied on credit union loans, an aib interest free loan (That's unfortunately mo longer offered), part time work and help from the parents.


Yes 33k basic with allowance and prob 10k or so OT.

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