Here's my guess about the excellent lifestyle myth, and admittedly it may be a bit cynical.
Some of those pods who are making a ton of money and NOT working long hours may be the ones who are hiring associates on the cheap and feasting on their hard work. Now this generally doesn't happen without at least an initial investment of labor to build the practice, but perhaps the myths of "great lifestyle" and young feasting might intertwine.
My other guess is that bunion surgery (and I believe all surgery in general) used to pay quite a bit more than it does today. If you knocked out 5 Austins in a row, you could be home in time for dinner and afford that nice new car too.
I'm going into residency knowing the hours are going to brutal. And I can only hope that I will be lucky enough to be so busy out in practice.
To the OP: the biggest downside is having people asked "What's podiatry?" after putting in all that time and hard work. Although as time has gone on, I have had to explain it to fewer and fewer people which has been very encouraging. I don't think the general public knows the full extent of our training and capabilities yet, but we can continue to work on that aspect.
Last edited by Podophile; 04-30-2012 at 08:08 PM.