• Maddy Padgett

How To Doctor Your Taxes

I cannot vouch for all medical students, but from my experience we don’t really have the best reputation at university for being the most financially competent kids on the block. Therefore, when I got the chance to attend a talk by Dr Kevon Parmesar on everything he wished he’d known about managing his finances before he became a doctor; I couldn’t help but feel that this kind of talk was somewhat overdue. A talk that is even more pertinent when you consider that over the 10 years some doctors pay has dropped 30% and there is the increasing cost of medical school. It is clear now, more than ever, that doctors, both present and future, need to be more financially skilled.

I have to admit that I went in expecting to be largely talked down to by a man who used fancy financial jargon to make the mysterious world of money even more alienating to those of us not already in the know. However, this was not the case at all and his talk really surprised me. Dr Parmesar was so down to earth and having been a medical student himself not so long ago knew exactly what sort of questions we would have, and more importantly, what advice we actually needed.

Kevon had three steps for us to focus on. 1) Optimising our income. 2) Optimising our expenses. And lastly, 3) Optimising growth and assets. Those three things might sound simple enough to some people but to me they were overwhelming and quite frankly a bit scary. As all good doctors do, Kevon broke down these daunting topics into conquerable chucks for us to digest. He added in his own advice tailored specifically to university students like suggesting having Depop or Etsy shops that we can run from our halls as a bit of passive income on the side. He even debunked the mysteries of the many different types of ISA, something that I personally have been trying, unsuccessfully, to wrap my head round for years.

He didn’t just stop with what we can be doing now to help ourselves be fiscally efficient machines, he let us into loop on maximising our salaries as F1s and F2s as well. I am quite pleased with what I learnt about wage supplements for hard to fill specialties and where to look for locum shifts with higher pay rates but the one piece of knowledge that I truly think I will be trying to share with every medical student I know is that we can get tax relief on expenses that are necessary for our job as a junior doctor. Royal college exams, GMC registration fees, stethoscopes even. And that’s just to name a few. Brilliant news in my eyes!

Dr Parmesar's whole vibe put me at ease, which is an absolute task when you’re talking about money. It can be an awkward one. He was so candid and realistic, making everything he was teaching us about feel almost obvious. I left the session in a pleasant haze of financial savvy. I genuinely did not expect to ever leave a zoom call feeling like a boss-ass money literate woman.

If you missed the talk there is a recorded version still up on the TOOLS TO: TALK Facebook page or everything Kevon talked about can be read on his brilliant website https://www.juniordoctorfinance.co.uk/ - I don’t say this a lot, but I would totally recommend!