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2021 Report
Women Physicians Financial Preparedness

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Physicians Married to Another Physician How Their Pairing Sets Them Apart

Physicians Married to Another Physician; How Their Pairing Sets Them Apart

Are you married to another physician? If you answer “yes” to this question, you have something in common with nearly 30% of your peers, reveals the 2021 ACP Physicians’ Financial Preparedness Report.

partner chart

Dual-physician households have been growing and are particularly common among internists in their early- or mid-career. By contrast, only 16% of physicians who have been practicing for 30+ years have or had a physician spouse.

Here are some differences that emerged from the data when comparing dual-physician households to other married physician households:

  1. More student loan debt to be factored into repayment plans
    Not surprisingly, physicians who are married to another doctor reported higher spouse student loan debt than doctors who are married to someone outside of medicine.
  2. Started saving for retirement during residency
    Two-physician households are more likely to have started saving for retirement during residency versus other married physicians who started post training or even later in their career.
  3. Plan to retire at a younger age
    One important characteristic of physician couples is their anticipated age of retirement. The study indicates that respondents in two-physician relationships reported plans to retire before age 65 while other physician households plan to work into their 70s.
  4. Higher household income
    As expected, two-physician households have a combined income that is statistically higher than other married households, with 46% of dual-physician households earning upwards of $400,000 annually.
  5. Retirement savings portfolio is not statistically different
    Despite the advantages of two breadwinners and higher-than-average household income, dual-physician households are not statistically different from other physician households when it comes to how much they have saved for retirement at their age and career stage.
  6. Male internists are three times more likely to have a stay-at-home spouse
    Another interesting finding regarding physician relationships: Only 11% of female physician households have a stay-at-home spouse, versus 35% of male physicians in the same age group.

partner job chart

The 2021 ACP Physicians’ Financial Preparedness Report and related articles are the result of data and insights captured from more than 1,250 practicing internal medicine physicians including 469 women ACP members. Each shared their attitudes and behavior around personal finances, debt, retirement savings and estate planning. Find more information on physician benchmarks, retirement planning, and other financial insights at