I’m a single male doctor in my late 30’s and I was married for a short period of time. I still get some chuckles when I tell people that the marriage only lasted 8 months. I just didn’t see the need to drag it out for a decade and a half before deciding that it was socially acceptable to get divorced.
Marriage carries a very heavy emotional burden and so I hope that anyone who pursues it finds immense pleasure in it and can make it a really successful one. But being a single male doctor in this society can be a wonderful blessing that you shouldn’t give up too easily.
Being A Single Male Doctor
It is much, much, much easier being a guy when it comes to staying single. Our society unfortunately is dysfunctionally sexist and places pressures on women that no man has to worry about.
I can show up to events alone, I can live alone, hang out with guy-friends without any pressure to be a in a relationship. I can walk the streets late at night and leave my door unlocked at night – real luxuries that us dudes take for granted.
For any women reading this, I hope you understand that I don’t know shit about what it’s like being a woman and can only write from the perspective of being a single high-income man.
The MD thing gets you a pass. Your face might be tore up but if you have an MD and act the part of someone sophisticated and not raised by a pack of wolves, it won’t take much to prove yourself to the opposite sex.
I’m not sure what it’s like being a male doctor and dating other guys. My gay doctor friends my age are all married.
We date so that we can have sex flings, romantic flings, companionship, or just to cure loneliness.
If you’re in it for sex then that’s easy, any dating app, and I mean any dating app, especially the ones that advertise to “wholesome individuals” is a digital meat market for the male doctor. Grab your condom and your Rocephin and dive right in.
Dating friends of friends is the preferred way to meet people you can tolerate in the daylight. People are willing to introduce you to their single female friends if you display some normalcy. The cost is that you have to make the effort of going out with your friends and you’ll soon meet their friends and so on.
Sexual Tension at Work
There are few pitfalls as a single male doctor. Your nurses will flirt with you and your patients may hit on you so you need to be able to handle that properly unless you want to deal with losing your job.
If you got a little sex addiction then I recommend hiring sex workers – it’s far cheaper, will create far less of a headache, and you’ll be helping someone out as opposed to praying on someone.
The smartest thing to do is to tell your nurses that you are married or in a committed relationship. You can go as far as wearing a wedding ring but that might actually backfire.
And don’t date patients. That one is really obvious. There is no damn reason whatsoever for you to date your patient. It’s a bad idea and can blow up in your face on so many different levels that you didn’t even consider.
Early on during your wealth accumulation phase it’s helpful to use the energy you have to pick up extra shifts or take on a leadership role in order to earn more money.
It only makes sense to do so if you are saving this money. If you work more to send on experiences and consumer goods then you might just be spinning your wheels.
One of the best options which wasn’t available to me back in my time is adding on some telemedicine to your workflow.
If you are already a hardworking Urgent Care doctor then doing a few telemedicine shifts a week can bring in the extra income which you desire.
Especially if this comes is in the form of independent contractor income, you’ll enjoy not only higher wages but also better tax savings.
This is probably one of the best parts of being single, you get to live in whatever situation you like and you won’t have to worry about anyone else’s comfort or lack thereof.
I’ve lived in a 200 sqft studio in San Diego and then a 140 sqft studio in Portland. I loved these places because they helped me focus on optimizing my lifestyle and spending.
The Cost of Moving
Moving is an expensive endeavor once you account for rent deposits, realtor fees, and paying for moving companies to transport all our belongings.
As a couple it’s common to want to both downsize and upsize at the same time. Each person will end up throwing their unwanted stuff away while together wanting to design the place uniquely to their own style.
As a single male doctor you can move quite inexpensively especially if you don’t own much. Pack your car with the essentials and move in with your mattress and add a bed later.
Real Estate Agility
Another advantage to being single is that you can capitalize on a good deal. I had settled into my first Portland apartment when I first moved there and had bought nothing but a used bar stool and a mattress. My landlord decided to raise the rent from $800/month to $1,000/month.
Since I hadn’t gotten a 20% raise from any other sources it didn’t make sense for me to pay this extra premium. I found a much smaller apartment a few blocks away and moved there without even renting a car – nothing wrong with hauling a mattress by hand a few blocks away.
After living in this micro-studio for a few months I was able to jump on a real estate steal, a studio condo for $140k. I still had months left on my lease but negotiated with the landlord who was ready to raise rents anyways so it was a win for both of us.
An inefficient financial mentality floats out there that single individuals get no tax benefits and are therefore worse off financially; meaning, if you were married or had children then you’d keep more of your income. Nonsense!
Whatever money you’ll save on taxes you’ll like spend twice over on buying into, getting out of, or maintaining a marriage.
For those of you who haven’t been married and find the above statement as false or plain bitter, at least we can all agree that children cost a lot more than the measly tax savings you get for having extra dependents.
Location Independent Work
When I moved to Spain for 3 months I was still able to earn some money online as a physician by doing telemedicine.
Some companies allow their doctors to work remotely from another country while others don’t allow this. Perform your own due diligence and if it’s a good option for you to earn your income from another country then do so.
I would have saved a lot money living in Spain and earning my money in the US due the lower cost of living there. However I had to return prematurely to deal with a medical board investigation.
Live in Another State
I don’t have to live in another country and could just live in another state. This can be a wonderful opportunity to see the rest of the US without having to take on the cost of short-term travel.
I can rent an AirBnb in the Colorado mountains or I can live in Alaska for a few months while doing telemedicine there. I can continue living within the US border so I can do all the telemedicine I want without having to fake my location with a VPN.
There are rare circumstances when you and your partner can get on the same page and develop the same financial goals.
Of course, there is never a perfect scenario in a relationship and it’s as important to compromise as it is important to stand up for your basic needs.
When you’re single there isn’t anyone else to worry about when you make financial decisions. If you want to give up your car and live car-free then you won’t have to worry about your partner who has zero intention of braving the elements with a bicycle.
When I first started budgeting I had no idea what I was doing. Even after I learned how to properly budget it was hard enough sticking to a plan while battling the day-to-day spending temptations.
When you’re a single male doctor then the most common urges to fight are:
- dining out
- buying gadgets
More importantly, when you have a certain financial goal you want to hit then it’s okay to cut out all luxury spending and totally clamp down on your spending without making another person suffer.
I can break up this section up into several topics, full-time work, per diem opportunities, job satisfaction, and income abilities.
When you’re a single male doctor you can not only change your job but you can change your city and state where you work. Not that this is always advisable, but in booming economic times many new opportunities can present themselves which allow you to earn a higher income.
The reason this is harder to do as a couple is because such job moves will cause some stress, disrupt your hours, change your commute time, or require you to relocate.
I moved to NorCal to start a new relationship with woman who was working as a full-time medical professional. I had just retired and was looking for ways out of clinical medicine.
It’s not like you can step away from full-time clinical medicine and suddenly have 10 different income opportunities fall in your lap. You have to try a bunch of different things, do a ton of interviews, talk to a church of people, and accept that most of these will be dead-ends.
In the end things didn’t work out well for us because my definition of working and income were very different from hers. I knew that I had a couple of years of uncertainty ahead of me while she was trying to find some predictability and settle down.
Build the Income Portfolio
I didn’t know it at the time but I was building a portfolio of diversified income. I was interviewing for non-clinical jobs and taking on some free consulting gigs while working on some side-income gigs. In fact, I am still doing this nearly 2 years later.
Income diversification takes a lot of time and effort and sacrifice. You have to be willing to work for peanuts while you can prove your worth. Then you can build a portfolio so that the next decision maker who comes along looks at your resume and is impressed.
As a single male doctor you can remain flexible and cut your spending down while you are building your income streams. Or work much harder at one gig to make up for the lower income from your other gigs.