Vince Rapisura Advocates for Financial Wellness Among Doctors and Democratization of Beauty at Dermatology Event

At the recent True North: Mapping the Future of Dermatology event organized by the Philippine Dermatological Society in Baguio City, financial literacy expert Vince Rapisura delivered a compelling talk addressing the unique financial challenges faced by doctors and proposing innovative solutions to democratize beauty in the Philippines.

Rapisura began by outlining the financial profile of medical professionals, using data to highlight that despite being high earners, many doctors fall into the category he humorously labels as HENRY — “High Earning, Not Rich Yet.” He explained, “…if you take a look at the range of doctors, nasa middle class to upper middle income class ang mga doctors sa Pilipinas. So kung titingnan natin, konting kembot na lang ay pupunta na sa rich. I therefore conclude na ang mga doctors po ay HENRY.”

The financial literacy advocate pointed out that doctors often focus intensely on their practice, leaving little time for business development or investment, which can lead to lower savings and investment rates. “I think malaki talaga ang clash ng ethics ng pagiging doktor and creating a business out of it,” Rapisura noted, adding that this might be why doctors have a lower financial literacy level compared to other professions.

Addressing the lifestyle challenges doctors face, including the “I deserve this” mentality due to overworking and long periods of education, Rapisura emphasized the need for a structured approach to personal finance. “It’s not how much you make, but how much you keep that matters,” he advised, promoting a budgeting rule of 5, 15, 20, 60 — a guideline that allocates percentage of income toward insurance, savings, investments, and expenses respectively.

One of the most intriguing parts of his presentation was the call for the democratization of beauty, which Rapisura described as a potential tool for lifting people out of poverty. Explaining the concept of a beauty premium, where a study showed that very attractive high school graduates can earn as much as 15% more compared to the average looking. This economic phenomenon, where more attractive individuals tend to earn more, led to his proposal: “What if cosmetic treatments were made affordable for the mass market? Low markup but high volume, less demanding on clients.”

Rapisura’s proposals extend beyond individual financial advice to a broader social impact, demonstrating a visionary approach to tackling issues of wellness and inequality. His talk not only highlighted the financial “unwellness” prevalent among doctors but also showcased innovative ideas that could transform the beauty industry and enhance economic opportunities for underprivileged groups in the Philippines.

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