The average medical school student graduates with $176,000 of student loan debt. That amount can be even higher if a student attends a private or international school or completes other graduate degrees prior to their medical school acceptance, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. And because the life of a medical school student is so incredibly demanding, many go years without a paycheck, years without investing and years being completely uninvolved in the world around them; many do not have time to watch the news, learn about mutual funds or even eat a normal sit-down meal. (For more, see: Why Doctors Can't Manage Money.)

For all these reasons, new doctors need financial advisors to help them navigate the tricky waters of dramatic leaps in income and catch up on their investment portfolios. (For more, see: A Guide to Financial Education for Doctors.)

Lifestyle Continuation

Many medical school students dream of the day when they're finally physicians earning six-figure paychecks. After driving beat-up cars, going years without vacations, and working toward the moment when all their efforts lead them to their end goal, all they want is to have something — anything — that's new and nice. 

However, one of the easiest ways for new doctors to pay off their medical school debt quickly is to practice lifestyle continuation, which means living like they are medical residents for just a few years longer. (For more, see: 5 Ways to Trick Yourself into Saving Money.)

Doctors start out as students and then they become medical residents for a few years. As residents, earn a modest salary of about $45,000-$55,000 per year. When they graduate from residency, they experience a big income jump. Help your clients understand that instead of embracing this income jump, they should continue to live on $50,000 a year and put all the extra income toward their student loans. This is the best way to reduce debt and get on track financially. (For more, see: Student Loans: Paying off Your Debt Faster.)

There are so many loan repayment options available to physicians — including opportunities to practice medicine in rural areas and have portions of student loans repaid, income-based repayment, and public service loan forgiveness. All of these options are worth considering as a way to pay back student loans more quickly. Encourage your new doctor clients to do research and see which programs are available to them. (For more, see: What New Student Loan Repayment Options Mean.)

Wealth Building

It's important to emphasize wealth building. Because physicians typically earn high incomes, they have a unique opportunity to build wealth not only for themselves but also for their families and future generations. By saving and investing significant portions of their income, they can be well on their way to being millionaires at a young age and ensure they don't have to work when they are in their 70s and 80s. (For more, see: Retire a Millionaire in 10 Steps.)

The Bottom Line

Doctors have high potential for building long-lasting wealth, but many of them overextend their lifestyles to reward themselves for years of hard work and studying. In order to best help young doctors, financial advisors should do three things. First, they should encourage lifestyle continuation and discourage lifestyle inflation. Doctors are used to living below their means while they are students and residents, and if they continue to live that way for the first few years of their careers, they can pay back their student loans quickly. They also should do their research to find out if they qualify for any loan repayment options. Lastly, advisors should encourage physicians to focus on building their wealth. (For more, see: How Advisors Can Tap the Doctor Niche.)