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Finder Editorial Review Board Member: Kristin Burton, MPAS, PA-C, CAQ-HM

Certified physician assistant, money coach and keynote speaker on a mission to help others reach financial independence.

Kristin Burton head shot

Kristin Burton, MPAS, PA-C, CAQ-HM

  • Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS), certified physician assistant (PA-C), Certificate of Added Qualifications in Hospitalist Medicine (CAQ-HM)
  • Founder of Strive Coaching
  • Affiliate faculty member at Butler University and adjunct faculty member at Franklin College
  • Expert in health care, paying off debt, financial planning, budgeting and saving


Kristin Burton earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Health Services from Butler University. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Butler University, graduating with high honors throughout.

Other certifications

  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, American Heart Association’s Lifelong Learning Center, Nov. 2020
  • Advance Trauma Life Support, American College of Surgeons, Nov. 2019
  • Basic Life Support, American Heart Association’s Lifelong Learning Center, Dec. 2018


As a certified physician assistant, Burton has spent the last five years practicing medicine with a specialty in pulmonary/critical care. She’s also an affiliate faculty member at Butler University, an adjunct faculty member at Franklin College and frequently speaks to graduating classes about life after PA school.

In 2019, she went on to found Strive Coaching, a financial coaching firm offering both one-on-one guidance and online self-paced courses to help people get their financial life organized and moving forward. It was her own journey of paying off $161K in student loan debt in 16 months — all while attending graduate school — that inspired her to share her learnings with others. She recently launched a brand new money boot camp designed specifically for new healthcare professionals.

Publications and accomplishments

From guest appearances on money podcasts to speaking to graduating PA students, here are just a few of Burton’s accomplishments over the last decade.

    Featured publications

    • Making Sense of Cents
    • PA Startup Podcast
    • The PA Platform Podcast
    • Physician Assistant Insider Podcast
    • The Price of Avocado Toast Podcast

    Keynote speaking engagements

    • Butler University PA Program, graduating class of 2020 and 2021
    • Franklin College PA Program, graduating class of 2021
    • Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis PA Program, graduating class of 2021
    • Hofstra PA Program, graduating class of 2021
    • Southern California PA Program, graduating class of 2022
    • Society of Army PAs National Conference, April 2021
    • Illinois Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (ISDPA) Midwest Dermatology Conference, June 2021

    Community service

    • Board member of Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants, 2019 to 2020
    • Big Brothers, Big Sisters member, 2016 to present
    • Walk to End Alzheimer’s team captain, 2016

    Industry insights from Kristin Burton

    We asked Burton to flex her expertise on financial planning and paying off debt by answering a few questions.

    Which method of paying off debt is most reliable?

    “The best way to pay off debt is to create a detailed budget and assign a specific amount of money each month to extra debt payments. List your debts from highest interest rate to lowest. Through your loan servicer, set up a monthly auto payment with your extra money to go to your loan with the highest interest rate. Continue until it’s paid off, then move on to the next loan on your list. This will give you the mathematical advantage of clearing high interest debt first, while avoiding some of the behavioral aspects that make debt payoff hard through automation.”

    What’s your advice on managing finances with a new spouse?

    “Have an annual money meeting that starts with dreaming of your ideal future together. This allows you to create a joint vision, and then set large financial goals together that will help you arrive there. Before each month begins, have a shorter budget meeting to ensure both partners have a shared interest in creating the budget for the month ahead. Above all, give each other some grace!”

    What’s the most common mistake people make when paying back their student loans?

    “The most common mistake made during student loan payback is approaching the situation without a plan. If you have low-interest student loan debt, you may make an intentional choice to make minimum payments while aggressively investing. If you have high-interest student loan debt, your plan may either be aggressive payoff or refinancing. All student loan debt isn’t the same. Ensure you know the details of your specific loans, and have a plan created from the very beginning.”

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