lailanni

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Suppose as a doctor you would never make 6 figures - suppose the best you could hope for is around $80 k. Would you still want to do it? Would it be worth your time and debt?

As a vet student, we go into around the same debt. Average vet student debt is ~ $103,000. Once we get into practice (unless we go into a specialty that requires 4+yrs additional training) most of us are probably never going to see 6 figures. Starting salary is around $50k

So if the tables were turned -- you'd never make big money, just live comfortably -- would you still go into human medicine?
 

Lawliet2008

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Suppose as a doctor you would never make 6 figures - suppose the best you could hope for is around $80 k. Would you still want to do it? Would it be worth your time and debt?

As a vet student, we go into around the same debt. Average vet student debt is ~ $103,000. Once we get into practice (unless we go into a specialty that requires 4+yrs additional training) most of us are probably never going to see 6 figures. Starting salary is around $50k

So if the tables were turned -- you'd never make big money, just live comfortably -- would you still go into human medicine?
I would yes. But my parents would never go for it.
 

nonesuchgirl

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I'm in it for the women, sorry.
 
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lailanni

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I would yes. But my parents would never go for it.
My whole family has a problem with me going into vetmed. I love it and it's what I want to do. But everyone else is quite upset I'm not going for a career that will make the big money. Ugh. I'm glad that y'all get to do something you love and makes the money:)
 

Lawliet2008

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My whole family has a problem with me going into vetmed. I love it and it's what I want to do. But everyone else is quite upset I'm not going for a career that will make the big money. Ugh. I'm glad that y'all get to do something you love and makes the money:)
Don't forget that in 10 years, you're the one who has to get up to go to work.
 

135892

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Suppose as a doctor you would never make 6 figures - suppose the best you could hope for is around $80 k. Would you still want to do it? Would it be worth your time and debt?

As a vet student, we go into around the same debt. Average vet student debt is ~ $103,000. Once we get into practice (unless we go into a specialty that requires 4+yrs additional training) most of us are probably never going to see 6 figures. Starting salary is around $50k

So if the tables were turned -- you'd never make big money, just live comfortably -- would you still go into human medicine?
No.
 

Wylde

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Suppose as a doctor you would never make 6 figures - suppose the best you could hope for is around $80 k. Would you still want to do it? Would it be worth your time and debt?

As a vet student, we go into around the same debt. Average vet student debt is ~ $103,000. Once we get into practice (unless we go into a specialty that requires 4+yrs additional training) most of us are probably never going to see 6 figures. Starting salary is around $50k

So if the tables were turned -- you'd never make big money, just live comfortably -- would you still go into human medicine?
A little off topic: I always have wanted to be a vet! The fact that you have the euthanize an animal that CAN be saved is one huge deterrent. I wouldn't be able to handle working in a medical field where people aren't willing to do everything they can to help the patient :(. The money is not as good as well, so that is another deterrent. I applaud vet students!

That being said, money is a motivator for me. I originally wanted to be a psychiatrist because I thought performing psychotherapy (actually more of a psychologists' job, but I didn't know the difference between psychiatry and psychology at the time) would be a dynamic and enjoyable job. From there I realized psychiatry required medical school and I also began to learn about the different specialties. Now I realize I'd probably be very happy doing the work of many specialties, so I think my primary motivation to do medicine is that the field seems dynamic and challenging; two aspects that make a tolerable career (in my eyes). But a secondary motivator is definitely the money and prestige, I'd be lying if I told you that the money is not extremely attractive... it definitely keeps my attention focused on medicine (when I have doubts).
 

EpiPEN

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I'd be lying if I said money and job security wasn't an important part of medicine. That said, if there was no money in it, then med school would probably be cheaper and less competitive, so I'd still do it in the end. But these questions are too hard to imagine because of the implication the hypothetical scenario creates with everything else in society.
 

GoldShadow

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While money is by no means the primary motivating factor, I would certainly want to be compensated for the hundreds of years of schooling + debt + inherent importance of the job.
 

meggielou

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While money is by no means the primary motivating factor, I would certainly want to be compensated for the hundreds of years of schooling + debt + inherent importance of the job.
Agreed. It's not so much the length of the schooling, but the price. If it cost me <75k or so to go to school but still took the same amount of time, no problem. Financially, it would be back-breaking to have to pay back >200k in loans on a much lower income.
 

JaggerPlate

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Suppose as a doctor you would never make 6 figures - suppose the best you could hope for is around $80 k. Would you still want to do it? Would it be worth your time and debt?

As a vet student, we go into around the same debt. Average vet student debt is ~ $103,000. Once we get into practice (unless we go into a specialty that requires 4+yrs additional training) most of us are probably never going to see 6 figures. Starting salary is around $50k

So if the tables were turned -- you'd never make big money, just live comfortably -- would you still go into human medicine?

Hmm ... what does the earning potential eventually rise to?? I was under the impression vets did quite well.
 

RoadRunner17

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Probably not... if medical school didn't cost so much, money probably wouldn't be as big of a deal. But, it is a factor because getting the education itself is so damned expensive. If I could go to medical school for $20k a year, then I would gladly take a high five-figure, low six-figure salary. Of course, that's what I say now - ask me again in ten years.
 

ZagDoc

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Women, money, power, and women.
"Blondie! He is private practice. Those guys are cocky jackasses who don't give two shakes about anybody else's opinion but their own. They're&#8230;they're me, with one addendum: They're whores. And I'm not talking about the good kind of whores like my ex-wife. They're whores for money."

The money is medicine is good, but not great. And only going to get worse. If people intelligent as those accepted into medical school went another way and applied just as much energy in another career, they could easily make more. I think there's gotta be something altruistic there to really drive a person into medicine. Of course, that also gets beaten out of you in time as well.
 

PrionBurger

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To be realistic, if you are a doctor, it will let you live where you want, more or less, without relative massive financial burden. You will always have it easier than a professional scientist, for example. If you do a Ph.D in some field of science that isn't well funded, say, evolution or marine biology, then decide to take the next step and do a post-doc, you may get one offer and you have to go wherever you get the offer, even if it's in some isolated village in Alaska, and it may not even be something you're interested in but you have to take it because that's all there is. After that, *if you are successful* you get an offer to be a professor, and you have to go wherever that is. That's a little like residency, but it's for your whole life, and for no money*! Your intellectual pursuit has to be the #1 on the list of things to do until you get tenure.

Now suppose you are generally interested in science, but not so monomaniacal about it bordering on autism. All of the health professions have something to offer you, and you can still be close to your field, and with a lot of their own rewards. Regardless of debt, you will have a lot more security and freedom.

*figure of speech. Scientists don't make much if they do their own science.
 

mTOR

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Suppose as a doctor you would never make 6 figures - suppose the best you could hope for is around $80 k. Would you still want to do it? Would it be worth your time and debt?

As a vet student, we go into around the same debt. Average vet student debt is ~ $103,000. Once we get into practice (unless we go into a specialty that requires 4+yrs additional training) most of us are probably never going to see 6 figures. Starting salary is around $50k

So if the tables were turned -- you'd never make big money, just live comfortably -- would you still go into human medicine?
No.

I'd be in grad school shooting for a Ph.D. in basic science research. It's difficult to deny Money, Power (fine, "autonomy"), and Respect (or, celebrated social esteem and status if you like) factor into why most people enter this profession. Like helping people, why not become a nurse? Like science, why not go to grad school? Clearly, the number of people willing to make the sacrifices that vet students routinely make to be in their profession are in the minority with human medicine. You would be hard pressed to find individuals saying they would gladly accrue $100K in loans to make less than 6 figures in medicine.
 

Ooglyboogly

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Women, money, power, and women.
You got it all wrong...haven't you ever watched scarface:First comes money, then comes women, then comes power...ahhh...Tony Montana, an amazing guru..
 

mdgator

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Yes. If I could get out of school with only 100K in debt, and be guaranteed to make 70-80K, I'd still go into medicine. But in reality, my debt will be at least 200K...so I would have to do some financial analysis before saying that I'd still be willing to do it. Probably not.
 

SCRdoc

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Suppose as a doctor you would never make 6 figures - suppose the best you could hope for is around $80 k. Would you still want to do it? Would it be worth your time and debt?

As a vet student, we go into around the same debt. Average vet student debt is ~ $103,000. Once we get into practice (unless we go into a specialty that requires 4+yrs additional training) most of us are probably never going to see 6 figures. Starting salary is around $50k

So if the tables were turned -- you'd never make big money, just live comfortably -- would you still go into human medicine?
I'm glad that isn't the case 'cos I can't honestly say a big YES.
 

186321

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80% - loving what I do, helping people, having a direct beneficial impact on someone's life.

20% - Money

Its almost like a kicker.
 

se2131

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My financial goals: Be completely out of debt by the time my kids enter college, be able to pay for my kids to go to any university that they want (since my dad was able to do this for me, I'd want to do it for my kids also), and be able to retire comfortably. As long as I can accomplish these, I'm happy. Maybe I can push the first one to "when my kids finish college" though.

If med school still put us in $200-300K of debt, and we're compensated with an annual salary of $70-80K, there's no way that I'd be able to accomplish those (what I consider to be) relatively simple goals. So no, I wouldn't do it if salaries were that low and med school still cost the same
 

Auron

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Well, hypothetically if 80k was the most you could make and assuming the cost to attend med school remained the same - it would be a terrible decision financially.
 
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lailanni

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Hmm ... what does the earning potential eventually rise to?? I was under the impression vets did quite well.
Unfortunately not... the average vet that has worked 20+ years in the field makes $76k.

The average vet who has worked 10-19 years will make approx $74k

In 5-9 years the average salary is $69k

So we're pretty screwed as far as money goes. If we do 4+ additional years of training for a speciality then salaries start in the 6 figures. However that is difficult to do coming out of school with so much debt.

If you're interested there's a thread/poll about vet student debt here http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=507876

According to the poll, aprox 29% of vet students will be over $200k in debt.

There's been some articles (I can dig them up if anyone really wants) that say in a short time, going into vet med just isn't going to be financially viable.
 

coldweatherblue

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I'm going into medicine for many reasons. The fact that it compensates well is definitely one of them.

If I were faced with incurring $200K debt for the prospect of an $80k/year salary I would have to completely reconsider things. I know that I will find a place in medicine and it's what I've always wanted to do, but there is a line between being satisfied at work and committing financial suicide.
 

Begaster

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Not in it primarily for the money, but I definitely would not trade away the best years of my life if it was only worth $80k/year. There's such a thing as self-respect. I'm not willing to sacrifice a good chunk of my life, bust my ***, and then not be properly compensated for it.
 
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lailanni

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Here's one article

http://www.dvmnews.com/dvm/News/Economic-emergency/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/501111

An interesting read about how the vet debt/income ratio is out of control.

As far as being in the bottom 10% and making around $40k, that may not be because you 'suck' at your job. Vet who work in shelters typically do not make as much. Vets in poor parts of the country certainly don't make as much.

Sure the BLS website site says the job outlook is excellent. If you read the article above you may change your mind. Yes, there are job openings - but it may get to the point few people want a job that will screw you over financially.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any other profession that requires 8+ years of college to start at around $50,000

Oh how I envy the people who have family financial support! :)
 

45408

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suppose the best you could hope for is around $80 k. Would you still want to do it? Would it be worth your time and debt?
Obviously not. You can be a nurse and make $80K/year easily if you were to work the same amount as many doctors. $30/hr is not hard to attain with just an associates in nursing, and you would only need to work a modest amount of overtime each week to hit that. If you simply wanted to be in medicine, getting an MD for $150,000 and spending an extra 10 years to get it would be a waste of your time and money.
 

194342

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Being able to one day do a residency makes me wake up in the morning. 80 hours weeks? About 8 bucks an hour? Immense responsibility while being treated like a third grader? What I always wanted....

Edit: OP, the Vet route isn't that bad. My girlfriend is applying this year to vet schools and we've been looking at what she could do with her degree after school. Doing a residency sounds like the best option for her. We read somewhere (I can't find the link....) that doing an equine surgical residency after vet school would boost your income to around 150,000+, depending on clientele and your area. The residency is only three years and being a board certified surgeon makes a huge difference. However, most newly minted vets choose to just enter practice and make money now instead of three years down the road.

Well, don't quote me on that. I tend to have a bad memory...
 
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lailanni

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tiedyeddog...

Yeah, I plan on doing a residency too (shooting for Emergency/Critical Care). It's generally the only way to make decent money. It's an increasing trend that more students are seeking residencies to compensate for the debt/crappy starting pay. They're quite competitive though.

If I'm not mistaken, you usually need an intern year before residency. Then again, I'm not looking into specialize in anything equine.

Congrats to your girlfriend! If she needs any advice/help for applying to vet schools we're all quite friendly and full of info on the pre-vet board :)
 

Frank Hardy

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No, not at all. How do you know that you will even live long enough to spend what you earn? What if the medical industry crashes? What if your board scores suck and you don't land a derm/plastics residency and tight job in L.A.?

Prestige? Who is going to recognize your position? Other doctors/ medical employees, and sick people. So what? You're giving up the prime years of your life (ie. 20's or 30's). Is it worth it?

These other considerations are shallow and childish. If you go into medicine because you've realized you'll look forward to the work each day, good decision. Then you wont hate yourself for studying and walking around in a hospital for the few years you have left to live.

Still there are probably some deluded people that think they'll be treated like mylie cyrus when they get the coveted MD :rolleyes:
 
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lailanni

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Go back to the prevet forum if you have any self respect. The pay of every job is based on the productivity or value to society of the job function. As much as you love animals (I am a loving dog owner), the skill of veterinary medicine is simply not valuble enough to society to warrant a higher pay. Also, teachers in low income districts may not have to go though 8+ years of college, but their pay starts around 28k and caps around 60k. I think if you do a NPV calculation, youll find that it is financially harder to be a teacher, despite the debt of veterinary medicine. What's more important anyway, the education of children, or the health of the family pet? Just because veterinary medicine requires a lot of school does not mean that it is important. Sorry for the reality check.
Yeah, some people feel that way. I'm sorry you don't know how much vets are involved with things MORE than family pets. Public health, research, food safety, disease control, etc etc.

The medicines YOU will give to people have probably been tested on animals first. I'd be willing to bet that a DVM/PhD was involved.

Or perhaps the bomb sniffing dogs in Iraq -- tended to by DVMs paying off their education via the army.

Maybe you just don't care about food safety. If DVMs don't do their jobs, you could be eating Mad Cow meat.

The govenment employs more than 2000 vets for U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and Health and Human Services.

Sorry for the reality check.
 

194342

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Still there are probably some deluded people that think they'll be treated like mylie cyrus when they get the coveted MD :rolleyes:
:eek:

It's over, I'm done with college. Time to live with mommy.
 

Begaster

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No, not at all. How do you know that you will even live long enough to spend what you earn? What if the medical industry crashes? What if your board scores suck and you don't land a derm/plastics residency and tight job in L.A.?

Prestige? Who is going to recognize your position? Other doctors/ medical employees, and sick people. So what? You're giving up the prime years of your life (ie. 20's or 30's). Is it worth it?

These other considerations are shallow and childish. If you go into medicine because you've realized you'll look forward to the work each day, good decision. Then you wont hate yourself for studying and walking around in a hospital for the few years you have left to live.

Still there are probably some deluded people that think they'll be treated like mylie cyrus when they get the coveted MD :rolleyes:

While you are correct about prestige and respect being worthless reasons, financial reasons are definitely not. It's wonderful to love the job you work at, and that should be most people's prime consideration. That being said, you're only working in the hospital for, say, 40-80 hours per week. The rest of the time, you're living your private life, in which money is one of the most important determinants of comfort.

It's naive to believe that having a job you enjoy will make the financial burdens everyone faces vanish. If that was the case, the world would have far more artists and far fewer retail clerks.

Lailaini, nobody is saying that vets are worthless. We're saying that when you compare your dog's health to your father's health, your father is going to win every time. The people taking care of him, thusly, are worth more to society than those taking care of your pet.
 

194342

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Lailaini, nobody is saying that vets are worthless. We're saying that when you compare your dog's health to your father's health, your father is going to win every time. The people taking care of him, thusly, are worth more to society than those taking care of your pet.
So what value do NFL stars play in our society? Rock stars? Paris Hilton? ****, she gets paid money to look famous....