Get your medical career off to the right start


A medical career can be both personally and financially rewarding. You can plan a predictable path that goes from medical student to general practitioner to specialist. This might seem simple and straightforward, until you start walking that path and encounter some of the hidden obstacles.

Your biggest concern throughout your career will be balancing the demands of your professional and personal life. Medical interns, and those completing their community service, know all too well the pressure and long hours that come with the job. That pressure doesn’t disappear once you’re fully qualified, trying to manage your career, patients, family life and finances.

Nedbank offers a unique private-banking experience to aspiring and qualified medical professionals to help you with your banking needs and take some of the pressure off your shoulders. Our medical professional consultants are assigned exclusively to help clients in your field. This gives them an intimate understanding of the journey that you’re on, the obstacles you’re likely to encounter and the best ways to overcome them.

Here are 4 key lessons that our Private Clients Team have learnt over the years of dealing with clients just like you:

1. Know your goals

You’re in a fortunate position, because your life as a medical professional offers a variety of career paths to take. You can commit yourself to a life of service in the public health system (which might eventually lead you into the realm of policy making and administration), go into private practice, or pursue opportunities in the academic and medical research fields.

These decisions all have some pressures in common, like having the lives of patients in your hands, but other stress factors will be unique to the path you choose. As a public healthcare provider, for example, you can go home after your shift and not have to worry about cash flow, salaries and upcoming credit instalments to keep a practice going. If you know you want to work in private practice, it helps to get a head start by planning early. You might not have all the specifics at hand, but it pays to be prepared for the considerable capital outlay this is going to require. You may be able to start saving towards the cost of equipment you’ll need, but credit is always going to play an important part in the survival of your medical practice. It helps to make sure you have a clean credit record and that you get the right financial partners on board.

2. Go slow – don’t over-extend yourself

When you start earning a decent salary, it’s easy to over-extend yourself by spending more than you can afford. A good salary is obviously not to be sneezed at, but it can also lead you astray unless you maintain sound financial discipline. You have to tailor your money choices to your circumstances and your career plans.


You’ll need a bank that understands working capital solutions specifically for medical professionals


For example, if you have student debt, it makes sense to pay it off in full before taking on more debt – especially debt you don’t really need. Sure, you’ll want to get vehicle financing if a car is a professional necessity – but a compact, fuel-efficient city run-around might meet your needs perfectly well, rather than a top-of-the-range status car.

You have a long career ahead in which you’ll be able to accumulate wealth and status symbols. When you’re starting out, rather look towards the long term and be wary of the temptation to accumulate more material possessions than you can afford.

Don’t be shy to lean on the expert guidance of the Private Clients Team. An outside voice can often give you a new perspective that allows you to make the right decision.

3. Build your credit profile

This is good advice for anyone, medical professional or not. Your credit profile is like a health check on your finances, and it can play a big part in affecting your cost of credit. Your credit profile becomes even more important when you prepare to open your own medical practice. Without a clear credit record and a decent credit score, it becomes more difficult to secure credit at the best rates. This could hinder your plans of starting your own business or make it more expensive to borrow, which will eat into your profit margin.

Maintaining a clean credit record is easy enough, provided you don’t over-extend yourself and skip your debt repayments. You can lighten the load a little by using loan consolidation to simplify your debt position. One easy way to start building a credit record is to use a credit card. These are easy-to-manage credit solutions that put you in control and can help overcome cash crunches. We offer a credit card to all our clients in the medical profession, even if you’re not yet fully qualified and don't have credit record yet.

4. Partner with the right people

Running your own medical practice doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Finding the right partners with the right mix of skills – both inside and outside your business – is essential to securing your success. Your financial well-being, for instance, will depend heavily on enlisting the right accounting and financial management partners. Managing your cash flow can be challenging if you’re dependent on patients and their medical aids to settle their bills, so you’ll need a bank that understands working capital solutions specifically for medical professionals.

Remember, our Private Clients medical professionals team works exclusively with clients in the medical field, so that our consultants can have the insight and experience to offer expert guidance on managing your personal and business finances.

Your status as a Private Clients accountholder also means that you’ll receive a range of exclusive deals and benefits – partnering with us sets you up for lifelong success as a medical professional.