Are you thinking of becoming OMFS? That is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. I have some vital information for you. I will be treating all you need to know on becoming an OMFS and how to about OMFS student loan repayment strategies. Read on.
In this article, you will get to read on the following topics;
- Becoming an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
- What an Average Oral Surgeon Salary Looks Like
- OMFS Student Loan Repayment Strategy
- OMFs Available Job Opportunities
You should know that, out of more than five dozen different occupations with huge student debt that oral and maxillofacial surgeon is the second most expensive to become.
OMFS student loans have a significant impact on you when you finally earn “real money” at the end of a 12- to 14-year educational journey after high school.
When managing this debt the right way; OMFS student loan repayment strategies could mean the difference between reaching financial abundance in your mid-40s and feeling insecure.
Becoming an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
You finally decided on becoming an OMFS. But I should warn you, the journey ahead won’t be an easy one.
Oral surgeons complete about as much education after graduating high school as they complete from kindergarten to 12th grade.
- First, you obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree while completing the necessary prerequisite for dental school. You might expect a typical $30,000 level of student debt for this degree.
- Second, you must gain entry to one of the 66 ADA accredited dental schools in the US. This usually takes four years and costs anywhere between $250,000 to $550,000 of student debt
- Third, you need to complete a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery. These residency programs take between four and six years. You can also earn your MD by taking additional classes through an affiliated med school. This could add an additional five or low six-figure sum to your student debt.
Boston University has a nice chart showing a typical six-year residency with the MD path. This can prepare you well for work within a hospital system.
For those who seek to earn money as quickly as possible and pay down their debt, the four-year residency could be better purely evaluated under return on investment.
What an Average Oral Surgeon Salary Looks like
Many doctors I’ve spoken with have said that oral surgeon salary is all over the place depending on what kind of practice environment and geographic location you’re talking about.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the average oral surgeon salary nationwide for 2019 was $242,740.
This seems a bit low to me. Many of the OMFS doctors I’ve worked with started around $250,000. Practice owners often make in the mid 300,000 to 400,000 range. One doctor claimed to have a friend in Maine earning over $800,000 per year as an oral surgeon.
Assuming that $400,000 is more in line with actual oral surgeon earnings, how would a doctor handle their $600,000 student debt from becoming an OMFS?
OMFS Student Loan Repayment Strategy
Let’s assume Connie decides to do a six-year oral surgery residency program. She accumulates $600,000 during her first couple years of the OMFS curriculum while she’s getting her MD.
She decides to consolidate at the end of her MD program and get her loans set up on the Pay As You Earn Plan. When she graduates after six long years of training, she should have at least four years of credit towards the 20 that she needs.
We will assume she starts earning $400,000, but that she writes off $75,000 per year from depreciation, retirement contributions, and business interest expenses. That means her Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is around $325,000. We’ll adjust that upward for 3% inflation.
These results are incredible because they reveal a huge misconception about paying off student loans in full after becoming an oral surgeon.
Even at a high income, the PAYE program allows Connie to pay less than half what she’d have to pay with refinancing.
Connie would need to pay taxes of $358,606 in 16 years after she earns her MD (assuming she starts repayment right then instead of waiting until residency ends).
If you use present value to answer the question of what the OMFS degree costs in today’s dollars, you’d see that the difference in cost of the two approaches is roughly $234,000 in 2018 US dollars (the column farthest to the right).
OMFS Available Job Opportunities
As a practicing OMFS, they are so many job opportunities for you, so I have carefully listed them below;
St. David’s Medical Center
$2 per hour
Round Rock, TX
HCA Healthcare – Central and West Texas Division
Baylor Scott & White Health CWS
Round Rock, TX
1. Why Do Oral Surgeons Have so Much Student Debt?
Most oral surgery residents place their loans into deferment, allowing interest to grow at a rapid rate. Residency is where I see a lot of the financial carnage happen with OMFS student loan repayment strategies.
2. How Can Oral Surgery Residents Cut Their Student Loan Interest?
One of my top tips for oral surgery residents is that they demand to have their loans placed into repayment on the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) program.
3. Which are the best-paying cities for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons?
The metropolitan areas that pay the highest salary in the oral and maxillofacial surgeon profession are Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, Grand Rapids, and Philadelphia.
4. Which are the best-paying states for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons?
The states and districts that pay Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons the highest mean salary are; Maryland ($276,280), Indiana ($272,360), Nebraska ($266,810), California ($264,380), and Iowa ($263,270).
5. What is the average Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Pay vs. Other Best Jobs?
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons earned an average salary of $242,370 in 2018. Comparable jobs earned the following average salary in 2019; Surgeons made $255,110, Orthodontists made $225,760, Physicians made $196,490, and Dentists made $175,840.
In conclusion, many oral surgeons could qualify for some of the lowest interest rates in the country on a refinancing.
That said, when implementing OMFS student loan repayment strategies, you need to make sure you’re putting your earning power as an oral surgeon at the top of your priority list.
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