10 things doctors should splurge on

By By Jonathan Forde Hughes
Published November 4, 2019

Key Takeaways

What is actually worth it for a doctor to splurge on? Everything you’ll find on this list will help keep you healthy or comfortable, make you more efficient, protect or boost your ability to earn income, and free up time. Here are the 10 things a physician should splurge on.


An MDLinx survey revealed the extent to which shoes are a priority for doctors. Of the 255 people who responded, 29% agreed and 70% strongly agreed that their choice of footwear was important. And it makes perfect sense—you’re on your feet all day. Fifty-one percent of physicians who responded said they’re on the go all day long and 37% said they alternate between sitting and standing. 

Splurging on a high-quality pair of shoes won’t just make you look good, but it may save you some pain. Fifteen percent of respondents said they had flat feet, 13% said they had plantar fasciitis, 11% experienced pain, and 7% had bunions. 

Personal technology

Do you really need an iPhone 11 Pro? Perhaps dermatologists and plastic surgeons looking to showcase their latest work would benefit from its impressive camera, but the rest of our readers can likely save some cash get by with an older model. It’s time to upgrade when your outdated phone, or other personal technology, is slowing you down. Maybe apps, your camera, or screen refreshes aren’t loading as fast as they used to. Maybe your laptop would make a better paper weight. 

The reasoning is simple. Your time is money. Any time spent waiting for pages to load, programs to run, or applications to quit is time and money lost. If your personal technology is broken, or lagging, it’s time to fix it.

Work clothes

It helps to look the part, and according to a 2018 study published in BMJ Open, patients have definitive preferences for how their physicians dress. More than 4,000 patients from 10 U.S. academic hospitals were presented with pictures of physicians in various types of work clothing. The patients then rated the physicians across five domains: knowledgeable, trustworthy, caring, approachable, and comfortable.

Fifty-three percent of the patients said what doctors wear is important to them while they are receiving care. Surprisingly, more than a third said it influenced how satisfied they were with their care. If your job allows it, you might want to stock up on formal attire, pairing it with white coats. This combination was a patient favorite. 

Continuing Medical Education

It pays to stay at the top of your field. There’s no better way to stay in demand as a doctor than to continue expanding your knowledge and skills. Yes, your employer and your state medical board likely require you to complete CME. You can look at it as checking the box, or you can look at it as a growth opportunity. Surgeons can master new skills, such as the use of robots in the operating room. Physicians can acquire more knowledge, positioning themselves as resources worthy of promotion within their institutions. Both splurge examples may help you provide better care and may lead to increased earnings.

Health and wellbeing

As the saying goes, health is wealth. At the very least, if you’re not healthy and feeling well, it becomes harder to make money. Splurges that bolster both are encouraged.

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