Financial Wellness: CFMS Longitudinal Wellness Initiative
Scholarship and Bursaries
You do not need to finance your entire way through medical school on your own! There are institutional scholarships and bursaries that are up for grabs. Some are entrance awards that are given upon being admitted into first year of medical school, while some others are merit-based awards for scholastic achievements in medical school. Beware that some may require specific applications. Bursaries are also available, especially if there is a strong case for financial need or hardship. We suggest that you review the attached cheatsheet on the financial aid available to you. You can explore the financial aid website of your school, as well as other more general awards available to all Canadian students. Of course, you should always apply to your respective provincial financial aid program.
Student Line of Credit
You may already have heard of student lines of credit! They are a common financing tool that medical students use throughout medical school and into residency. With the use of our four-year budgeting cheatsheet (down below!), you may realize that you will be short of funds after accounting for your cash inflow and cash outflow during the four years. Student lines of credit are a popular option to ensure that this financing gap is closed. Even if you find yourself not needing any funds from a line of credit, many still consider opening an account because of the perks associated with the line of credit (e.g., cash bonus, gift cards, gifts, credit card annual fee waivers, and many more).
Disability insurance provides protection in case of an accident, illness or death. It can protect your future income and/or give loved ones the financial support they need if you can no longer work. It provides a tax-free source of income that pays you if you are unable to study or work as a result of sickness or injury. The CFMS and the provincial, territorial medical associations (PTMAs) have teamed up to deliver advantageous insurance offers to Canadian medical students. Check out the provincial medical association in which your medical school resides for more information. We already have all the links in your cheatsheets for your easy navigation!
While we recognize that there exists many online budgeting tools out there already, we wanted to include an Excel-based version that allows for easier tinkering and so that you can save it on your computer for further modification down the road. Also, having a budget for four years will provide a solid ‘roadmap’ for your financial wellness - what is my financial reality at the end of each year and ultimately, at the end of medical school? Do not be afraid or discouraged if you do not meet your budget. You may find yourself needing to re-adjust after your first year based on more realistic spending habits. The CFMS and MD Financial Management have teamed up to provide financial advice to you during your medical school years - consider speaking with a MD advisor as you build this roadmap!