Sharing the responsibility of managing finances doesn’t always come easy but outsourcing some of the accountability can be one way to make those key decisions. After all, you’ve worked hard to achieve professional success and you might be hesitant to trust others with your hard-earned money.

Dr. Murray Erlich, a former psychiatrist who provides life and career coaching for doctors, speculates that the issue often comes down to personality.

“Doctors tend to be perfectionists and devote a great deal of attention to detail,” he says. “It’s inherently challenging for them to delegate things to others, so it often goes against the grain – for the type of personalities that often go into medicine – to relinquish control.”

For some physicians, reticence to delegate money management may be simply because they believe they can do it themselves.

“Doctors are smart people, and for some maybe there’s the illusion that if you’re smart at medicine, you can also be smart at investing,” suggests Dr. Erlich. He adds, “I think there’s opportunity there for physicians to realize that delegating their investment portfolio to a financial advisor, much like they would refer a patient to a specialist, can reduce their stress and free up some of their time.”

Physician burnout can be related to money

Finance is often a key contributor to physician burnout and it can take root as early as medical school, when physicians begin to take on debt. The concern with financial insecurity increases when physicians transition from residency to practice when the debt accumulated is compounded by new goals. Amongst the other financial decisions, balance is needed to try to repay the debt while building wealth and saving for retirement.

Work pressure

Physicians have a busy career and often have limited time or energy to make informed financial decisions. This can impact the ability to make the most efficient decisions to reach your long-term financial goals.


The ability to earn a higher rate of income is an asset as a physician. But because doctors enter the workforce later than other professionals, their total earning years are shorter. Not only that, but the income jump doctors experience as they move from residency to practice can result in lifestyle changes, where spending surpasses saving and debt repayment.


Physicians’ high earning potential also comes with increased taxes. Incorporating can help you defer and reduce personal income taxes, but it also means additional costs and complexity.

Practice management

If you own or manage your own practice, you need to know how to manage the financial side of running a business: budgeting for fixed costs, understanding the variable costs, what revenue is needed to breakeven and how to navigate tax intricacies. Historically, though, most doctors don’t have formal business training. They aren’t taught business management skills or entrepreneurship in medical school and get little, if any, on-the-job training.


Physician compensation models have become more varied and complex – salary, dividends or a mix of both – and deciphering these structures requires specialized expertise.

Financial complexity

As your career advances, your financial situation may become more complex. Student debt, irregular income streams, tax implications and unique investment opportunities demand specialized knowledge and professional monitoring.

Five reasons to work with a financial specialist

Self-reliance served you well in medical school, but it’s not always the best approach to managing your finances — especially as demands on your time continue to grow. While it may go against your natural inclination, delegating the management of your finances has clear advantages.

1. Benefit from professional guidance

Just as patients gain from your expertise, entrusting your finances to an advisor means you’ll benefit from a plan that takes into consideration all the facets of your financial health. An advisor will help you make the most of your finances, freeing up time to focus on what matters most to you.

2. Tap into tax efficiencies

Taxes can significantly impact your overall financial well-being; an advisor will work with your accountant and/or tax specialist to consider tax-efficient strategies to reduce tax liabilities and preserve more of your income.

3. Ensure accountability

Tracking your progress is a critical component of financial success. A Scotiabank Healthcare & Professional Specialist will establish clear, achievable financial goals based on your unique circumstances, make shifts if there are changes in your life or financial situation and help you stay the course, so you don’t stray from your long-term plan.

4. Make rational investment decisions

When markets fluctuate emotions can get in the way of your investment strategy. a financial specialist or advisor offers a level-headed, objective approach to making decisions based on research, data and your long-term investment strategy.

5. Buy back your time

Time is a precious commodity for physicians. While you could choose to go it on your own, self-directed investing requires significant time and effort to research and stay updated on market trends, economic indicators and individual investment opportunities.

Put yourself first

Take charge of your wellness by making your health – including your finances – a priority. Delegating management to a Healthcare & Professional Specialist can provide relief. And remember, delegation doesn’t mean losing control.

“Sometimes people think in absolute terms that they’re either in control or they’re not, but that’s not really what it’s about,” says Dr. Erlich. “Yes, you are delegating responsibility, but you still have oversight.”

For more advice on delegating financial responsibility, contact us today.