Assuming same MD residency, do DO and MD psychiatrists command the same starting salary?

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z122

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Older non-trad on the fence between applying DO or MD for 2016. Assuming I end up doing an MD residency, will the MD or DO degree impact my starting salary and job offers? I'd need to invest in more courses and MCAT prep to feel comfortable applying for MD. That would require quitting my job.

I have nothing against the DO degree. I just don't want to limit my post-residency options based on my decision. Can any psychiatrists speak to this? For instance, can DO psychiatrists command a starting salary above $200k? Assuming I'm open to 60 Hrs/wk and outside large city.

I'm not going into psychiatry for the money, but $200k is roughly the break even point for me between a medical career versus my current job (factors in debt, my age, and 8 years of lost retirement savings).


Thanks

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I've seen nothing to make me believe there is any significant difference. I have seen enough to believe that some elitist institutions would hold it against a candidate, but most of those places, if they got a DO would treat them well once they've seen them do good work.
 
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I'm kinda hoping I don't have to work 60 a week to crack 200k...
 
I'm a DO. I just recently attended a job interview where they were saying to me (this is a rough paraphrase), "We are desperate for psychiatrists. Please come here. Please take this wheelbarrow filled with huge bags of cash in exchange for seeing the tons of patients we have who need a psychiatrist."

That is a slight exaggeration, but only a little - there really is a huge demand for psychiatrists, and if you don't mind working hard, there is plenty of money to be made in psychiatry. The truth is that DO vs. MD is something that really only matters to anxious pre-meds and med students. The further away you get from med school, the less anyone notices or cares if you are a DO, because there truly isn't any difference. You do the same work. You know the same things (if you take the time to be a good student at least).

How hard you are willing to work and how willing you are to live in areas that have a hard time recruiting psychiatrists will be the biggest factors in how high your salary is.

200K-250K is definitely obtainable if you want it.

Prestige of your med school and residency are only major factors in academia, and academics tend to make significantly less money than people in private hospitals or private practice. My understanding is that the more prestigious an academic program is, the less they pay (because they have enough people who want to work for them).

In private practice, you MIGHT occasionally get a very narcissistic patient who only wants to see psychiatrists with the very best credentials, but from my experience you aren't missing out on much if those patients don't want to see you.

Oh, and don't forget to factor in the years of attending salary you are losing out on with each year of delay in finishing med school and residency.
 
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I'm a DO. I got home a few hours ago from a job interview where they were saying to me (this is a rough paraphrase), "We are desperate for psychiatrists. Please come here. Please take this wheelbarrow filled with huge bags of cash in exchange for seeing the tons of patients we have who need a psychiatrist."

That is a slight exaggeration, but only a little - seriously, if you don't mind working hard, there is plenty of money to be made in psychiatry. The truth is that DO vs. MD is something that really only matters to anxious pre-meds and med students. The further away you get from med school, the less anyone notices or cares if you are a DO, because there truly isn't any difference. You do the same work. You know the same things (if you take the time to be a good student at least).

How hard you are willing to work and how willing you are to live in areas that have a hard time recruiting psychiatrists will be the biggest factors in how high your salary is

Prestige of your med school and residency are only major factors in academia, and academics tend to make significantly less money than people in private hospitals or private practice.

(In private practice, you MIGHT occasionally get a very narcissistic patient who only wants to see psychiatrists with the very best credentials, but from my experience you aren't missing out on much if those patients don't want to see you).

As someone who is strongly considering psych (and a DO), I'm very delighted to read this. I truly hope that nothing changes in 7 years when I'm in your position.
 
As someone who is strongly considering psych (and a DO), I'm very delighted to read this. I truly hope that nothing changes in 7 years when I'm in your position.

Don't count on anything not changing in 7 years. It's bad enough that we don't make any money for 8 years, but actually the unpredictability of the US economy over such a long period is a way bigger reason not to make assumptions about your future. (Imagine if someone took out student loans in 1923 and graduated from psychiatry residency in 1930. Yeah. At least there were probably lots of depressed people to treat in 1930, in return for chickens and goats.) I would simply assume that every penny you pour into your education is going into some political-economic black hole, never to be seen again, and not to be of any benefit to you or your children. Just let go of that dream, and don't count on future salaries. 8 years is even long enough for scientists to discover that psychiatry doesn't even really exist.
 
^ those boots are made for walking...
 
Being a DO vs MD will be most felt in the process of moving from medical school to post graduate training. Once you are APBN eligible, the difference evaporates almost completely unless you are aiming at academics. The post graduate training bias is negligible below the top, and D.O.s tend to do much better than IMGs who represent half of the positions filled in the psychiatry match. Your flexibility in geography should make this inconsequential. Apply to both MD and DO and then decide based on your geography needs and need to be “from the right place”. There are easier way to make a psychiatrist’s income in business. You need to have a passion for it, if you do it is the best thing you will ever do. If not, you will hate life and wonder if this has been worth it.
 
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Don't count on anything not changing in 7 years. It's bad enough that we don't make any money for 8 years, but actually the unpredictability of the US economy over such a long period is a way bigger reason not to make assumptions about your future. (Imagine if someone took out student loans in 1923 and graduated from psychiatry residency in 1930. Yeah. At least there were probably lots of depressed people to treat in 1930, in return for chickens and goats.) I would simply assume that every penny you pour into your education is going into some political-economic black hole, never to be seen again, and not to be of any benefit to you or your children. Just let go of that dream, and don't count on future salaries. 8 years is even long enough for scientists to discover that psychiatry doesn't even really exist.

actually depression didn't exist in the 1930s. It wasn't until the 1950s that depression really took off with the development of psychic energizers (later to be rebranded as antidepressants). when Merck released Elavil (amitriptyline) they bought 100 000 copies of Frank Ayd's "Recognizing the Depressed Patient" to distribute to general practitioners so they knew what depression was! Remember also that psychiatry was still a fairly asylum-based specialty even at this point.
 
Your flexibility in geography should make this inconsequential. Apply to both MD and DO and then decide based on your geography needs and need to be “from the right place”.

This only goes so far, however. If you want to do international work, I believe the MD degree is recognized more widely than the DO degree. My information may not be up to date, however.
 
actually depression didn't exist in the 1930s. It wasn't until the 1950s that depression really took off with the development of psychic energizers (later to be rebranded as antidepressants). when Merck released Elavil (amitriptyline) they bought 100 000 copies of Frank Ayd's "Recognizing the Depressed Patient" to distribute to general practitioners so they knew what depression was! Remember also that psychiatry was still a fairly asylum-based specialty even at this point.

I'm sure there were plenty of people depressed over their losses in the Crash of '29, whether they were recognized or not. My student loans are enough to make me depressed. Imagine how much worse it would be if you lived in the Great Depression.
 
As someone who is strongly considering psych (and a DO), I'm very delighted to read this. I truly hope that nothing changes in 7 years when I'm in your position.
My comment here is not related to the thread but it is intriguing to see the pic of Ibn Sina (Avicenna) as Ibn Al Nafis, either way no can actually confirm both since drawing wasn't part of the documentation process during that era, Thanks anyway liked the pic :happy:
 
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My comment here is not related to the thread but it is intriguing to see the pic of Ibn Sina (Avicenna) as Ibn Al Nafis, either way no can actually confirm both since drawing wasn't part of the documentation process during that era, Thanks anyway liked the pic :happy:
You are right. You are not the first one who pointed this out.
 
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This only goes so far, however. If you want to do international work, I believe the MD degree is recognized more widely than the DO degree. My information may not be up to date, however.
International hurdles go well beyond degree type. MD will make it a bit easier to jump them but not much. International work through most stateside agencies- the most likely route for many to practice abroad regardless of degree- also accept both.
 
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