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All about The $$$$$$

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Athomeonarock, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. Athomeonarock

    Athomeonarock Senior Member
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    I recently posted in the Socialized medicine thread that i would be willing to work for less than what some doctors make.

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=114917

    I personally think that anywhere around 100 grand is decent money. I got some passionate negative responses to this

    QUOTE "don't trip off that high horse of yours, but where i live (NY) 100k is lower middle class. sorry if i don't plan on investing 10 years of my life in training for something that will leave me counting pennies and unable to save much for the education of my children or my own well earned retirement.'

    Anyway, what do you all think. Personally i think Medicine is a great career, but there are much better ways to get rich. (Law, Business, Airline Pilot, Drug smuggler, ect)
     
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  3. basupran

    basupran ortho, study, cars, lift
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    YOU might be willing to work for less money, but many of the people entering medicine are not willing to work for less money. Though many feel it is a calling in life, they cannot justify going to the poorhouse for it (ie medical education). If medicine did not have the reasonable salaries it offers right now, it would not be able to attract the best students...
     
  4. TRUE

    TRUE slacker extraordinaire
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    I'd have to agree. To attract the top minds, you have to pay top dollar. That's the way it works in just about any business. That's why research often gets the shaft even though in reality you're helping people as well. If you substantially cut physician's salaries, I'm afraid the quality of your healthcare system might drop as well.
     
  5. evines

    evines peek-a-boo
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    Here's another interesting question . . . how many of you would NOT go into medicine if it "only" paid 100K a year?? Just curious.
    I'd still be a doc, no doubt.

    Edit: I agree that higher salaries attract brighter minds. That's why teachers/researchers should get paid more, but that's an entirely different subject.
     
  6. Athomeonarock

    Athomeonarock Senior Member
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    maybe im strange, but i think 100k is a good salary, not that doctors dont deserve more, but i would work for that.
     
  7. prmd4555

    prmd4555 Member
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    The problem is the way that doctors are expected to finance their medical education - going into huge amounts of debt. There would need to be a large overhaul of how medical education is paid for.
    I would definitely consider going into medicine for 100K a year if it means that every person in this country has access to adequate health care.
     
  8. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    dude, here's what you're failing to grasp. as a single person in rochester, i'm sure you could live quite well on 100k. HOWEVER, let's say i've got 2 kids and live in manhattan. i take home about 60K or 5K/mo. An apartment w/ 3 bedrooms in a decent area of NYC is 500k minimum. that's a mortgage of about 3K/mo. taxes, heat and building fees are about another 1K. that's 80% of my salary and i have yet to pay for transportation for me and my family. i have yet to put one bite of food into any of our mouths. i have yet to put an article of clothing on the backs of my children. i have yet to save one red cent for their education or my retirement. i have yet to pay for any entertainment of any sort. so PLEASE, accept that the market is what it is for a reason, and stop trying to force your narrow view of "good enough" on everyone else. it's just silly.
     
  9. Ischemia

    Ischemia Member
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    Hey,

    A salary of 100k/year is reasonable, though in my opinion, too low. I don't know what section of NY that person is from, but that is more than enough for anyone to live comfortably on, so long as one does not live too lavishly. Most of the country gets by on much less.

    There are other ways to make much more money, but few offer the security and guarantee of comfort that does medicine.

    Often times, pre-med students delude themselves into thinking that they are going into medicine solely because of the love of the profession (a profession which most of them have little familiarity with). The ones that authentically believe that are far too naive and idealistic. Medicine, indeed the economy, works only because people are compensated for the services they provide. Most people do not work for free. Why should one feel ashamed to admit that a major motivating factor in the pursuit of going into medicine is to make a good living? If the average physician's salary was 40k/year, few would invest in the additional education required to get there.

    In my opinion, we are entering into the most noble profession that exists. That, however, does not inherently distinguish it from other professions in terms of reimbursement. We go into medicine to work to help people, of course. But, equally as important, we work to make money so we can enjoy life. This is a beautiful tenet of American society.

    This post is meant more as a general comment on motivation than a reply to the OP or anyone else.
     
  10. Herpeto

    Herpeto Senior Member
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    I know if I decide to go into medicine that I don't want to work for just $100K. If I end up at a school that charges $40K just for tuition and then living expenses on top of that, my final debt tally will be nearly $250K. Now if I was only to make $100K, it would take quite a while to pay off my debt while trying to raise a family, own a home and save for retirement. My main motivation on the money issue is so that I can work for 13 years full time and then have enough to retire. Now by retire, I mean go back for a PhD in a subject I love and do that for the remainder of my life. This way the minimal salary I will get from my final job won't preclude me from doing the traveling I enjoy.

    Herp
     
  11. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    i gave a specific example of someone w/ a small family trying to get by in manhattan. do you disagree w/ my numbers? 100k is NOTHING for a family in NY these days. honestly, it's true. If you wanna argue that they don't HAVE to live in manhattan, that's fine, but should dr's really be priced out of large geographic areas? also, housing in the boro's or eastern long island even is 375-400k just for capes in most safe areas. honestly, my example is accurate. if you don't think so, back it up w/ #'s. better yet, think it over, you'll see i'm being accurate.
     
  12. Athomeonarock

    Athomeonarock Senior Member
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  13. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    People often underestimate just how much money doctors really make. I often come across posts on SDN that say that people ought to choose other professions if they're interested in making a lot of money (e.g., business or law). These posts are a bit ridiculous. Look, the average primary care physician, who has been in private practice for 3 years, will work 4-5 days a week and NET approximately $150,000/yr; granted, these 4-5 days will be long and hard, but that still leaves 2-3 days off every week. Clinicians in procedurally oriented specialties (e.g., gastroenterology, cardiology, surgery and the surgical subspecialties, etc.) make enormous amounts of money. The average surgical subspecialist nets well over $200,000 per year, and there is a huge range in compensation. My cousin, who is an orthopaedic surgeon, makes approximately 1 million dollars per year. My point is that doctors, regardless of specialty, have incredibly high earning potentials, especially if they are financially savvy.

    People who preach the sanctimonious garbage that no one should be attracted to medicine because of the high income are full of it. The money is there, and there is nothing wrong with an affinity for it, PROVIDED THAT an individual's primary motivation for becoming a physician is altruistic and rooted in compassion. Medicine is a service-oriented profession, and so one needs to feel to the compulsion to help and care for others, but the desire to make a substantial amount of money in the process doesn't necessarily taint this motivation.
     
  14. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    If you're a quarter of a million in debt, $100k/yr is not a lot of money. First of all, taxes will cut into it right off the bat and you'll only be taking home ~$65k. So let's say you have $6k/month you can actually spend. Unless you intend of being single, if you have a family, you'll have a house payment, car payment, your student loans, the list goes on. Considering the amount of time you sacrificed getting through med school, I don't think the lifestyle you'll have is fair.

    And remember the point someone else made. During the 6-11 years you're in school or making chump change, your friends are building up their 401k's and savings. Making only $100k/yr, you may never catch up with them considering the debt you have.
     
  15. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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  16. Athomeonarock

    Athomeonarock Senior Member
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    I totally agree
     
  17. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    Another thing that people forget is that educational debt is tax deductible. My dad told me that you can deduct the entire amount of your educational debt--that's substantial, especially if you're sitting on $150,000 of debt. Also, there is a smart way to pay off educational debt, and it involves fairly aggressive investments and long-term payments on the debtload. Essentially, you can use a fraction of the profit from your investments to pay off both the interest and the principal on your loans. Plus, inflation works to your advantage if you can lock your payment plan into a low, fixed interest rate over 20 years or so. Thus, $150,000 of debt is not as bad as it seems. You just have to be smart about how you pay it off.

    Also, a doctor that makes 100K/yr. is an EXCEPTION to the rule. This figure is considerably below the median for all physicians in private practice. Either the person cited in previous posts is just out of residency, in which case his/her income will increase substantially in the next few years, or he/she is clueless as to the business side of medicine.
     
  18. ZekeMD

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    :laugh:

    I do agree with you. 100K is plenty! I'd be happy with that as long as it would allow me to pay off this insane debt. :scared:
     
  19. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    i am not gonna live in nyc. if a 100K is lower middle class...then wow...

    i guess people like me that can somehow support a family of 3 with around 15K must be scum of the earth. damn 100K lower middle class...

    is there even a lower lower class? :laugh:
    whatever...if my salary was anywhere close to 100K...id feel like a millionaire. but yeah...most people who are used to living a middle class life would prolly not work for "a lower middle class" salary.

    hence the negative responses to the people that would work for less.
    as long as i get to do what i want and provide the basics for my family...
     
  20. Ryo-Ohki

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    I can make your dream come true. You can make $100K even if your "selfish" peers are earning more. Just donate your excess salary to charity. Or perhaps you prefer someone else pocketing the excess to spend as they wish instead of you having the power to donate to your favorite charities?

    That's why I never understand these type of "altruistic" posts. You are basically begging someone else to take control of your money. These people won't necessary put the money into better use than you.
     
  21. lealf-ye

    lealf-ye I am a super doctor.
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    I will testify that 100k is not that much in NYC. I am about earning that much and live in NYC. New york city is expensive 1 bedroom in mid town Manhattan is about $3,000. Food, parkings,car insurance etc are all expensive. Considering your take-home income is about 5k :confused: (after 401k and tax, that is how much is left), you really don't have much left after all the necessary expenses. Forget about buying a house if you don't have a parnter helping you pay the mortgage. Any good-looking house will probably priced at 700k to over 1 million. You can get a century-old house with 400k, probably, if that is where you want to live. :oops: :oops:
     
  22. kikkoman

    kikkoman Senior Member
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    I think some people underestimate how much lawyers/businessmen make. With a similar intellect, and similar "training," I would venture to say that 9 times out of 10 the bankers and lawyers make a lot more money.

    Banking: If you put in your "residency" (first two years of training at an i-bank), go to b-school, and then come back to the bank as an associate, you are already at 200-250K+ a year. Thats after five years of "training" - of which b-school is cake. It only goes up from there, and the salaries after 8-10 years in the field are incredible.

    For a law - after getting an LLP in tax law (1-2 years) following law school (so 5 years total), you would probably be hardpressed to make less that 250k a year. And after 8-10 years training? Lots more.

    And of course the upper limits in these professions are much much higher than they are in medicine. I think, growing up in small towns where the wealthiest are physicians, you can lose track of how easy it is relative to the rigor and duration of med school and residency to be financially successful in another profession.

    Another really important point: if medicine became socialized in the U.S., school would be FREE (Hilary Clinton talked about this). The whole debt load wouldn't be an issue.
     
  23. AmberE

    AmberE Member
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    I totally agree with that
     
  24. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    so you consider yourself LOWER MIDDLE CLASS?
    i dont think that you would. lower middle class people dont even think about living in 400K houses...

    but then again, theres a reason my family left nyc earlier on in my life.
     
  25. lealf-ye

    lealf-ye I am a super doctor.
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    I don't know where I stand in class, but this is the situation here. Really tough if you only earn 100k. :( :(
     
  26. Ischemia

    Ischemia Member
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    I didn't even see your example as I was typing my response. Nor was my response directed at you. But...

    I did say 100k is a low salary for a physician in the first line of my response. Further, most primary-care physicians (the lowest of the doctor-bread-winners) are making somewhere in the realm of at least 150k, as that is the average in every source I have read. I live on Long Island. A house for 400k is not a great one. At the very least, depending on what area you want to live in, that's gonna be a big fix-me-upper. Have you ever heard of a mortgage? Who buys a house outright such that one needs to be making 300k a year? With a 20% down payment and a good market, 150k (and 100k, and 60k-ish, the median household income on LI, I believe) will be more than enough to afford a reasonable house. Indeed, plenty of people do it.

    Though you refer to Manhattan as geographically large, it is actually, as I'm sure you are aware, a very small place. It is, however, packed densely with people. There is a whole lot of NY state besides Manhattan. And just as not every businessman, lawyer, or garbage man can afford to live in Manhattan, why is it the case that you feel every doctor should afford to live in the City? People from all professions are "priced out" from living comfortably in certain areas for whatever reason; doctors are no different. They shouldn't necessarily be. There are, though, primary-care docs in Manhattan. I would venture to say that in the nicer areas, they are making a comfortable living, commensurate with their patient population's ability to pay through good insurance, etc. Perhaps, they are even raising families, as people from all over Manhattan who don't always make 100k+ tend to do.

    Manhattan is undoubtedly very expensive. People still live there, though. Do not forget that lots of women work, too, and some families have a double income, etc. And, while I'm not expert on taxes, I don't think that a family of 4 is being taxed so heavily to the point of taking home only 60k from a 100k salary.
     
  27. BigBopper

    BigBopper Senior Member
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    Well a 100k a year? Do you know that many surgeons and OBGYNs have malpractice premiums that range 100-150k? Exactly how would these people survive? Even in less risky specialties your malpractice can run 15-20k a year after you have been practicing for more than 5 years.

    So lets see you make 100k. At least 30k goes to taxes and another 10-20k goes to your malpractice and of course you have to pay back your school loans of 150-200k. Your take home pay may be on the order of 40k. If you think that is enough well good for you.

    100k might be acceptable if medical education was free and you could not be sued.
     
  28. personal jesus

    personal jesus Senior Member
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    I dont have the time to read through all these posts but 2 points.

    1. Salaries vary based on cost of living. A doctor in Manhattan would not get paid the same as a MD in west virginia.

    2. In other countries doctors do not graduate with the same debt load because medical education is paid for by the government (or at least a significant portion of it). If I could graduate with lower debt I would accept lower pay.

    Finally, I have noticed a sense of entitlement by some of the posters here. In a sense people feel that society "owes" them because they invested time and effort into becoming a doctor. Going into medicine means that you are serving the public not the other way around. If one is truly concerned with helping society then they will not feel that the country owes them a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices.
     
  29. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    look, i'm just saying that a 400k house is VERY expensive to maintain monthly. Your example of a 20% down payment is 80K cash. not exactly an easy sum to come by. a mortgage of 350K is about 2250/mo. add the 750/mo. property tax and you're at 3K a mo. to live in a home that even you admit is not anything fancy.

    as for the business man or lawyer who can't live in NY, well what can i say. truthfully there are prolly a thousand b or law schools as compared to 126 accredited med schools. furthermore, one can go into business w/o a lick of school. an MD degree is much, much more difficult to obtain than any other.
    also, and this is my main point, i'm not bemoaning the fate of the physician. i'm arguing against the OP's point that 100k is wonderfully generous for a doc. that's it.
     
  30. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    jlee, you seem hung up on the term i used, "lower middle class." what i mean is that you will STRUGGLE with money here if that is your salary. Money will be tight, and pennies will need to be counted. ultimately, i dare say it is IMPOSSIBLE to live in manhattan w/ a family w/ that salary. I think doc's, especially those who graduate from LCME accredited schools should earn enough that they can live in a city like NY if they wish, w/o struggling mightily. there's only so long that you could expect bright pple to continue going into med if that isn't the case.
     
  31. lealf-ye

    lealf-ye I am a super doctor.
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    From the above, I know you have never paid tax. There is a lot more than taxes.

    -Social Security. --A big monster you will shortly realize during residency. will be more than your federal tax
    -Medicaid
    -Some unknown items on my pay check statements. :confused: :confused:

    Those are in addition to the federal, state and local taxes. :eek: :eek:
     
  32. missbonnie

    missbonnie floating
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    i wonder how many of the posters here have actually worked full time and have had to support themselves ( and I don't mean summers in between college).
     
  33. Ischemia

    Ischemia Member
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    A few comments...

    Rosewater, I agree with you on your main point. Physicians should be receiving more money than they are. My point is that, compared to the general population, they are still doing very well. A salary of 100k is sad, but one can still live comfortably off of it depending on a variety of other factors, of course. Besides, discussing what should be happening is a moot point; it is not suddenly going to change drastically for our better. And also, how do you think the PhDs, the ones that largely give MDs their knowledge through research, feel about their salaries? They deserve more money, too.

    You seem to imply that physicians should be compensated so well because it is more difficult to gain admission to a medical school than law or business school. I don't think that's the reason why physicians deserve more money. I do think it is because the work they do is demanding both physically and intellectually, more so than any other profession. It is also more immediately important. Life goes on if you make the wrong investment (in some capacity), but if you don't properly treat the cancer...

    Yes, insurance premiums are very high for many specialties, notably Ob-gyn, and thus the failure of many gynos to deliver babies, etc. When these salaries are reported, however, I believe they are given as take-home. In other words, the 150k is after all the overhead costs, including insurance. Still, by no means do I only want to make 100k. Some of you might have missed my earlier post where I essentially proclaimed that a strong motivating factor for my entering medicine is a stable, good income. I certainly would not be going into the field if this type of thing were not a guarantee. (Disclaimer: There are MANY more factors than this for my entering medicine, so don't bother.)

    Finally, Leaf-ye, I've paid many more taxes in my life than I care to discuss. I've paid union dues, too, for the better part of 6 years. Your logical deduction is illogical; just because I lumped all the money that comes out of my check into the heading of "taxes" does not mean I have not paid into the pot. I was speaking in reference to Rosewater's idea that a family of 4 with an income of 100k would be "taxed" down to a take-home of 60k.
     
  34. lealf-ye

    lealf-ye I am a super doctor.
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    Is there a poll like this? I suspected somewhere around 10-20%. All med school graduates certainly did, but less % for pre-meds.
     
  35. TRUE

    TRUE slacker extraordinaire
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    It would be difficult for this # to be significantly higher for med school graduates than for pre-meds. From what I've heard, there isn't much of a chance to work during medical school. Any work experience then would have to come before medical school. Perhaps for "supporting yourself", this could be much higher for med students.
     
  36. lealf-ye

    lealf-ye I am a super doctor.
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    100k-12k(401K)=88K
    88K x 0.7(% of you take-home part) = 61.6K

    61.6k is roughly what your after-tax income if you live in NYC.
    Other states may have better rate, I guess.

    I know I should live somewhere else, but NY has the most med schools of all states with 4 easy state schools. That's why I stay. ;)
     
  37. lealf-ye

    lealf-ye I am a super doctor.
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    What I mean is that med graduates are probably working and supporting themselves. Otherwise it will be sad with some much debt. :eek: :eek:
     
  38. JohnHolmes

    JohnHolmes Large Member
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    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
  39. Fumoffu

    Fumoffu Senior Member
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    I come from a pretty poor background myself...I'm sure most of you probably wouldn't even believe that I even survived! 100k sounds amazing to me.

    However I think doctors SHOULD get paid more than the average lawyer, pilot, etc... even if it was socialized medicine since there are SO many lawsuit risks, the time required to train to become a doctor is ridiculously high, and the time required to practice is high too!

    Until then, I'll be drug dealing and making my 1,000,000 a year. Oh wait did I forget to put that in my application? oh never mind...
     
  40. ken37

    ken37 Senior Member
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    Umm, student loan INTEREST is deductible, provided you make little money. The interest deduction phases out once you make over about 105k/year. Even if you make less than that, the principal is not deductible. Plus, given the revenue shortages, and the Republican administration, noone can really count on that deduction being there when they get out of school.
     
  41. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    basically since the beginning of high school. 40-60 hours a week from then and even till now.
     
  42. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    Damn, I just checked the 1040 instructions on the IRS website...you can only deduct the interest from student loans. I guess my dad was wrong. Oh well, not the first time that he's been wrong and it certainly won't be the last!

    But at least we get to deduct SOMETHING from prior educational expenses. :)
     
  43. coachB

    coachB full fledged member
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    what do you mean until then? you just described the life of a significant number of physicians.....
     
  44. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    Actually, once your income hits a certain level, you CANNOT deduct educational debt. I believe the cutoff is somewhere around $80,000. So the vast majority of doctors will not qualify for this deduction.
     
  45. WatchingWaiting

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    What I've never understood about these "Doctors get paid too much" people is why they don't focus on the overall distribution of wealth in society and leave the particular profession of medicine alone. If you want to be direct and acknowledge you're a socialist/communist and want a much less stratified distribution of wealth, at least you've presented a consistent argument. But why every random scumbag litigator and fortune 500 CEO, president, CIO, CTO, vice-president, etc. should get a minimum $500K a year, while physicians who perform an extremely societally beneficial job, have to go through an ungodly amount of training and deferred financial gratification, and are generally an extremely bright bunch, should work for a fraction of that has never made sense to me.
     
  46. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    great, and insightful post.
     
  47. Athomeonarock

    Athomeonarock Senior Member
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    Well i think ive been torn a new one for this post. Just to clarify my veiws, Doctors in this country are not paid enough. This is a social ill that goes beyond what people should be paid. When people are willing to pay 350 for a sporting event ticket and B**Ch about paying a doctor bill it is indicitive of a greater social problem. We as a nation have a lot to change in both our heathcare system and our values. Doctors deserve to make a lot of money, but like other people who deserve this(teachers, EMTs & firemen ect.) they do not always get what they desreve. My post above was just to see how much economics factors into people's desion to go into medicine(ive' learned a lot). Rosewater, you are perfectly justified to be offended by people who resent doctors for what they make. The 100K figure was just a random low # that if I had to, would be happy accepting. Who wouldent want to make more,. I guess I've met to many pre-meds who are obsesed with the figures. And i think all would agree that if $ is your priciple motivation, you would be happier elsewhere

    {my spelling checker broke}
     
  48. Lion-O

    Lion-O Sight beyond sight.
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    Most grad students put in the same time, with the same difficulty, yet look forward to making half as much as doctors. I totally agree that doctors earn what they end up making--their job is crucial, and the market dictates it. But I think it's important to recognize that many, many people sacrifice lots of years without the large monetary reimbursement doctors get.
     
  49. Baditude

    Baditude Senior Member
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    I wouldn't have trouble with working for 100k a year if it was after taxes, malpractice insurance premiums and after educational debt is paid AND if the pres vp and CEO of the health insurance companies don't ever make more than I do!! If these criteria are met then sign me up because I have supporting a family of 4 of 38,00k a year quite nicely for years now.
     
  50. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    maybe, but most grad students don't face INTENSE pressure and competition to get into their programs of choice. those that do (top business and law programs) are pretty much guaranteed strong earning potential. furthermore, no grad student needs to go through the difficulties of a residency, which even w/ the new laws work out to up to 14hrs/day, 6 days a week, for about 45k/year for as long as 7 years. i don't get some people. is it success guilt or something? look, i did something very difficult by getting into med school. if i survive it, i'll have done something that 95% of the population probably couldn't do. after that, i'll work harder than 95% of the population. when i go to work i'll either be saving or tangibly improving peoples lives. Guess what, if i end up cashing some hefty checks, i'm not gonna feel one single little drop of guilt about it. i'll be thankful to God for putting me in such a position, but i'll also know that i had some inherent talent, and the drive to work my ass off.
     
  51. missbonnie

    missbonnie floating
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    if you really want to get fancy, file to form your own corporation where you are every officer and the sole employee. Then write into your bylaws that educational expenses are reimbursible by the corp - this can really only be done with a "c" corp. Then you can write off your tuition, I believe there is a max though. This is what I am doing actually. (I've really simplified things here but wanted to point out that you CAN deduct it)
     

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