Academic anesthesia: Safe haven from AMCs or an AMC by another name?

Sep 12, 2014
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I've heard various arguments encouraging new grads to enter the workforce in the employ of an academic department. Reasons for this have included fewer hours, more stability and better camaraderie/support.

However, there is a real loss of pay seen in the academic world, with little increase when one ascends the various ranks. In a sense, there is a large amount of money skimmed off the top of one's efforts.

What do you guys think about this analysis?
 

caligas

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Academics offers some non monetary awards that are not found in many private settings. Money and vacation tend to be much less in academics, but exceptions exist.
 
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secants

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So I asked almost every interviewer last year about what % of your graduates do you retain/hire and it was maybe 1-2 people they keep, usually the chiefs or people doing a fellowship and coming back. Case in point, it's not exactly easy to get an academic job. Not to mention you start really low as a clinical instructor, taking year(s) to work up to associate professor+.
 

FFP

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When one part of the market is going south, one cannot expect the rest of the market not to adept. Academic chairs are not stupid people. You can expect the same corporate crap, even the same or lower overall salary+benefits long-term. Especially after the number of applications for academic positions has gone up to at least 3 times what it was a few years ago.

Unless one is a "researcher" type, one will be pretty unhappy in a world ruled by many people with pompous but unimpactful CVs, people who publish more and more while actually studying and practicing less and less. Just think about the percentage of Anesthesiology (associate) professors you know who are completely unimpressive clinically.
However, there is a real loss of pay seen in the academic world, with little increase when one ascends the various ranks. In a sense, there is a large amount of money skimmed off the top of one's efforts.

What do you guys think about this analysis?
That is something you can bet on. Unless an academic group is private.
 
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BobBarker

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Academics is the original AMC. Chair who doesn't take care of patients makes the most money.
 
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nycitygas

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Applications for academic positions have exploded in these tumultuous times. I cant imagine chairs not noticing this and beginning to low ball applicants.
 
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I stayed on for a year after I finished residency. Obviously I didn't want to be on the treadmill. Take from that what you will. That was in 2007. Times weren't like they are now either.
 

kazuma

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Or you could be in a situation like Texas Tech El Paso where an AMC takes over an academic department and the residents are left scrambling to find a place to finish their training.

An AMC taking over the original AMC.
 

nycitygas

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Academic anesthesia still pays relatively well compared to other fields. The academic offers I had were well over 250k and I can't think of anyone working for less than 200 (even at the ivory towers).

I have a close friend whose a neurologist at an Ivy League institution and he makes barely over 100k. He absolutely makes less than the CRNAs working at his hospital. and probably less than the NPs he manages. Another GI attending I know was offered 150K at a well known midwest academic center. I have heard rumors of ID attendings being offered sub 100K salaries on the east coast.

Things could be worse. Private practice anesthesia/critical care is awesome.
 

aneftp

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Depends on the "package" offered by academics.

Most have close to "free" family health care for family members. Private family of 4 u are looking at close to $10k in health premiums along plus higher deductibles. Generous matching retirement programs plus access to not only 401a, 403b and even 457 retirement plans.

Some have programs for "free" tuition for ones spouses or kids.

Some of super liberal sick leave that is paid. In private practice no such thing often times.

Paid 2 weeks cme. Some let u take random days off for 3-4 day weekends. In private u have to take entire week often times.

So academic place offering 4-5 weeks vacation but letting u take random 1-2 days on Friday/Monday's off can stretch days offs combined with post call. Plus cme weeks.

So you gotta look at entire package especially since most places u will work only 45 hours compared to around 50-55 hours in private practice.

Someone working for $300k in academics working 45 hours w2 excluding benefits I mentioned above. ThAn compare someone making 450k self employed no benefits call 1:5/6 days 50-55 hours.

So you have to take the entire package into consideration. U are always going to make more in private as years go on. But the spread yield may not be as great as the raw numbers look after you factor entire packages in.