Paycheck Protection for the GME Market

The medical market is one of the biggest for disability insurance. If you sell disability insurance, there’s a good chance you’re already serving this market—but you may be missing a big segment: the graduate medical education (GME) market. It’s huge and a great opportunity for experienced disability insurance agents.

The Long Path to Becoming a Doctor

As doctors are responsible for saving people’s lives, it’s probably a good thing that becoming one takes years of education and training.

First, would-be doctors need to complete their undergraduate studies. Then, they need to attend a medical school. Even once they’ve earned their M.D., they’re not done: they still need to complete a residency program.

According to the AAMC, residency training can take three to seven years to complete. Resident doctors receive a graduate medical education by participating in hands-on training programs offered by programs accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education. During their residency, they provide patient care under the supervision of an attending physician. If residents opt to pursue a fellowship, their training can take another one to three years.

A Promising Future

Some jobs may start to disappear as technology and society change, but the healthcare industry will continue to flourish. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 761,700 jobs for physicians and surgeons in 2021. This figure is expected to grow at a rate of 3% between 2021 and 2031, which will result in an additional 21,400 positions.

All these new doctors will need to go through a residency program.

Resident doctors in a graduate medical education program don’t earn as much as doctors who have completed their residency, but they still earn a decent amount. According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for resident doctors in the U.S. is $87,919. This is above the mean annual salary for all occupations, which was $61,900 as of May 2022, according to the BLS.

Resident doctors have also invested a great deal of time and money in their education. If an injury or illness prevents them from working, they might have trouble paying off their medical student loan debt. The Education Data Initiative says the average medical school graduate has $250,990 in total student loan debt. That’s a lot of money to pay back if you can no longer work in the field for which you’ve trained.

Income Protection That Can Grow

With an above-average income and substantial investment in their careers, resident doctors already have reason to protect their paychecks. When resident doctors complete their graduate medical education programs, their paychecks go up—as does the amount of paycheck protection they need.

Residents’ earning potential depends largely on the specialty they choose. According to Medscape’s 2022 Physician Compensation Report, a physician specializing in public health and preventative medicine can earn an average of $243,000 a year, whereas a physician specializing in plastic surgery can earn $576,000 a year. No matter which end of the spectrum an individual physician is at, their pay is several times larger than what they earned as a resident.

Serving the GME Market

Resident doctors can benefit from an individual disability insurance policy that follows them as their career advances. The right disability insurance agent can help them secure such a policy.

This is a rewarding and potentially lucrative market, but it’s not an entry-level market. To succeed, you’ll need to already have experience writing doctor accounts. After you identify potential hospitals, you’ll need to find out whether they’re suitable and meet carrier criteria.

Are you ready to level up? DIS can help. If you’re already serving the physician market and have a relationship with a teaching hospital, the GME market may be a good match for you. Our Graduate Medical Education DI Sales Guide has more information about the market, a roadmap that explains how to break into the market, plus materials to help you make your pitch. Download our new Graduate Medical Education DI Sales Guide.


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