Becoming a physician is not a ticket to the 1%

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doctalaughs

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When you look at net worth (not income) in the USA the threshold to top 1% is about 11 mill. Due to the delayed earnings, most physicians never make it to this tier, even in high earning specialties.

Most of the professions that make it now are financial (private equity, real estate investors/management, fund management) or entrepreneurial (small business owners, of which fewer and fewer are doctors).

Being a doctor is still a good route to the top 10% but not 1%. Food for thought.


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Top 1% is 11 million? That’s news to me. I thought you hit that level in the low seven figure range.

While you won’t hit top 1% by this criteria, I’m pretty sure physicians would be top 5% though.
 
Top 1% is 11 million? That’s news to me. I thought you hit that level in the low seven figure range.

While you won’t hit top 1% by this criteria, I’m pretty sure physicians would be top 5% though.
95% percentile is 2.5M.

Taken as a whole, 49% of physicians have a NW under 1M, 44% between 1-5M and only 7% above 5M, so no, most physicians are not in the top 5%. In fact, it's not until age 50-54 bracket that the majority of physicians the a particular age group have >1M net worth.

Physicians towards the end of their careers may that top 5% but it's certainly no guarantee. As a profession, we tend to start getting our big paychecks relatively late, and then make questionable financial decisions and investments that hinder growth.

 
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Disagree with this take to a degree ... certain specialties of medicine is absolutely a ticket to being in the top 1% net worth if you are able to use your income and find sources of additional cash flow. Whether it is real estate or starting any sort of side business or investing in the stock market, hardest aspect to generating true wealth is needing an initial and consistent source of cash flow ... which physicians have. Requires a little luck of course. But overall, spend responsibly and you should be finding ways for your money to make you more money, even while you sleep.

Biggest issue is that physicians are simply content with their salaries and have no motivation to seek out such additional endeavors. They're simply the mouse running in a golden wheel and they're happy for the most part.

Disclosure: 34 year old full time hospitalist, current net worth roughly $2M. Got lucky with 2020 with stocks and crypto rocketing and majority of investment is long term capital gains, own 1 rental property generating 1600/month in cash flow, planning to have 3-5 total in next 10 years.
 
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Disagree with this take to a degree ... certain specialties of medicine is absolutely a ticket to being in the top 1% net worth if you are able to use your income and find sources of additional cash flow. Whether it is real estate or starting any sort of side business or investing in the stock market, hardest aspect to generating true wealth is needing an initial and consistent source of cash flow ... which physicians have. Requires a little luck of course. But overall, spend responsibly and you should be finding ways for your money to make you more money, even while you sleep.

Biggest issue is that physicians are simply content with their salaries and have no motivation to seek out such additional endeavors. They're simply the mouse running in a golden wheel and they're happy for the most part.

Disclosure: 34 year old full time hospitalist, current net worth roughly $2M. Got lucky with 2020 with stocks and crypto rocketing and majority of investment is long term capital gains, own 1 rental property generating 1600/month in cash flow, planning to have 3-5 total in next 10 years.

Your premise is that certain specialties are "absolutely" a ticket to >11M in net worth, with caveats that include real estate, side businesses, and luck.. Of course it's possible with a great income, simple investments and even without additional cash flow.

But is it likely? No, it is not. Most physicians never make it there, and medical students or pre-med students thinking otherwise is not realistic.
 
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Your premise is that certain specialties are "absolutely" a ticket to >11M in net worth, with caveats that include real estate, side businesses, and luck.. Of course it's possible with a great income, simple investments and even without additional cash flow.

But is it likely? No, it is not. Most physicians never make it there, and medical students or pre-med students thinking otherwise is not realistic.

Of course it is not likely. To really attain that kind of net worth is an incredibly tough task and requires a ton of work and luck. Even majority of those in private equity or VCs, real estate, fund managers, SMBs, don't attain that kind of net worth. You need a certain type of mindset and be able to have a certain risk appetite which majority of docs dont. And one needs to be comfortable stepping out of your comfort zone, which majority of physicians aren't willing to.

Take 100 docs and ask how many of them can even read a balance sheet of a simple business and majority will say no. Reaching NW over $10M requires high financial literacy and a different mind set in regards to financial motivation. But high earning specialties in medicine have the opportunity for this due to their consistent high cash flow, which over 90% of Americans never have to begin with. Whether they actually seek this out or not is the question. It's an incredibly tough task for docs, as it also is for people in VC / private equity / SMBs etc. It's a pipe dream because few are ever willing to work hard enough to achieve it in the first place, and again requires some degree of luck in one way or another.
 
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Being a physicians is certainly a ticket to the top 1%. Physicians as a group is more likely to make top 1% income compared to other professions.


When it comes to the top 0.1% and top 0.01%, physicians are not as common compared to those in finance and those running businesses. But among the 1%, physicians are the most common.

To get to top 1% net worth, a top 1% income isn't going to get your there alone. But if you combine top 1% income with further delayed gratification and wise investing / lucky gambling, you'll get there. Most doctors want to enjoy life (i.e. spend a lot) after all that training. There are a few who are hardcore enough to pile on wealth.

It really is about math. The income matters as it gives a base for returns to compound. Earnings and savings rate matter. The rate of return also matters. There is nothing wrong with indexing but those who are savvy can beat the market over a prolonged period of time. And lastly, the more time you allow your net worth to compound (assuming a positive rate of return), the larger your nominal returns will be. This is why earned income doesn't matter much to the top 1%.

If someone can get all 3 factors right, he'll have top 1% net worth.
 
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95% percentile is 2.5M.

Taken as a whole, 49% of physicians have a NW under 1M, 44% between 1-5M and only 7% above 5M, so no, most physicians are not in the top 5%. In fact, it's not until age 50-54 bracket that the majority of physicians the a particular age group have >1M net worth.

Physicians towards the end of their careers may that top 5% but it's certainly no guarantee. As a profession, we tend to start getting our big paychecks relatively late, and then make questionable financial decisions and investments that hinder growth.

I don't think it's because physician start earning late entirely; I think physicians are notoriously bad with money. If a physician finish residency ~ 32 and not be a millionaire by 40, it's because of bad marriage(s), compulsive spending etc...

Maxing out your retirement accounts (401k, 457b, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, HSA) alone in the past 10 yrs would make anyone a millionaire, and most physician have the means to do that.
 
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Not sure why being in the top 1% is seen as a goal.

Needs will always be met as a physician.
If you can get some of your wants covered as well, you’re good.
Leave yourself time/energy to actually enjoy what took you years of hard work to accomplish
 
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I don't think it's because physician start earning late entirely; I think physicians are notoriously bad with money. If a physician finish residency ~ 32 and not be a millionaire by 40, it's because of bad marriage(s), compulsive spending etc...

Maxing out your retirement accounts (401k, 527b, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, HSA) alone in the past 10 yrs would make anyone a millionaire, and most physician have the means to do that.

I think you meant 457b.

Also for traditional IRA, most physicians income make it unlikely that it will be a deductible contribution so you may as well open a Roth IRA (which disqualifies you from having a traditional one except for the brief window where your $ is housed in traditional before the “backdoor conversion”)
 
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Being a physicians is certainly a ticket to the top 1%. Physicians as a group is more likely to make top 1% income compared to other professions.


When it comes to the top 0.1% and top 0.01%, physicians are not as common compared to those in finance and those running businesses. But among the 1%, physicians are the most common.

To get to top 1% net worth, a top 1% income isn't going to get your there alone. But if you combine top 1% income with further delayed gratification and wise investing / lucky gambling, you'll get there. Most doctors want to enjoy life (i.e. spend a lot) after all that training. There are a few who are hardcore enough to pile on wealth.

It really is about math. The income matters as it gives a base for returns to compound. Earnings and savings rate matter. The rate of return also matters. There is nothing wrong with indexing but those who are savvy can beat the market over a prolonged period of time. And lastly, the more time you allow your net worth to compound (assuming a positive rate of return), the larger your nominal returns will be. This is why earned income doesn't matter much to the top 1%.

If someone can get all 3 factors right, he'll have top 1% net worth.
Am I reading the graphic incorrectly? Looking at the picture it seems like just eyeballing some of the biggest boxes are lawyers, physicians, chief executives, and interestingly enough elementary and secondary school teachers?? (curious to know what they are doing to make bank!)

Also looking into the details there's also a smaller side box that says "doctor", not sure why it's not clustered into the "physicians" larger box.

Some interesting ones are librarians and curators (which I didn't expect) and religious clergy (ಠ_ಠ)... Imma leave before I start a rant about taxing churches lmao!
 
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interestingly enough elementary and secondary school teachers?? (curious to know what they are doing to make bank!)

The article list by top 1% household income. Wives count what husbands make as their income and assets. Marriage is lucrative business, generally for women.
 
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I think the better way to look at it would be by age group. On that financial samarai page the top 1% NW at around 50 is 7m.

Assuming someone started at age 30-32 as an attending you would need to sock away 150k invested via IRA/taxable etc and get a return of 7 percent for 20 years and i think you get very close. Isn't the s and p 500 been like 10 % over the last decade? So maybe if someone was 2 physician household or a specialist making 300k + in a tax free state it is possible. Even then not realistic given your starting with loans, kids, a house etc. Luck would be a big factor imo.
 
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Disagree with this take to a degree ... certain specialties of medicine is absolutely a ticket to being in the top 1% net worth if you are able to use your income and find sources of additional cash flow. Whether it is real estate or starting any sort of side business or investing in the stock market, hardest aspect to generating true wealth is needing an initial and consistent source of cash flow ... which physicians have. Requires a little luck of course. But overall, spend responsibly and you should be finding ways for your money to make you more money, even while you sleep.

Biggest issue is that physicians are simply content with their salaries and have no motivation to seek out such additional endeavors. They're simply the mouse running in a golden wheel and they're happy for the most part.

Disclosure: 34 year old full time hospitalist, current net worth roughly $2M. Got lucky with 2020 with stocks and crypto rocketing and majority of investment is long term capital gains, own 1 rental property generating 1600/month in cash flow, planning to have 3-5 total in next 10 years.
Out of curiosity, do you own your home as well? If so did you buy your house before or after you got the rental property? Thanks!
 
Out of curiosity, do you own your home as well? If so did you buy your house before or after you got the rental property? Thanks!
Yes I own my own home and I purchased my rental property after my purchasing my primary home. Actually bought rental property last summer. Learning a lot about being a landlord over last 12+ months. Tenants are young couple in stable professions and it has been nothing but a pleasure to rent to them.
 
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Yes I own my own home and I purchased my rental property after my purchasing my primary home. Actually bought rental property last summer. Learning a lot about being a landlord over last 12+ months. Tenants are young couple in stable professions and it has been nothing but a pleasure to rent to them.

That’s what I was thinking about getting into.
Rate on house is too low to pay it off faster than what I am doing now.
I guess the 5% doctors loan only applies to primary residence so may take a home equity loan to get the 20% down.
 
On that financial samarai page the top 1% NW at around 50 is 7m.

Financial Samurai is just guesstimating those net worths by age based on his own assumptions for income and savings over time.



Being a physician is obviously a guaranteed path to a good income. Definitely not a great way to get a sky high net worth, though, as that is almost always through business growth. As noted elsewhere, we also start earning that salary later in life and have usually racked up a lot of debt along the way. As a career, physicians income is in a relatively narrow range compared to what people make in the business world. I mean you might suffer along in near poverty as a small business owner or you might hit it big and make 8 or 9 figure incomes annually.
 
When you look at net worth (not income) in the USA the threshold to top 1% is about 11 mill. Due to the delayed earnings, most physicians never make it to this tier, even in high earning specialties.

Most of the professions that make it now are financial (private equity, real estate investors/management, fund management) or entrepreneurial (small business owners, of which fewer and fewer are doctors).

Being a doctor is still a good route to the top 10% but not 1%. Food for thought.

If your only goal in life is to make money going through medical school to become a physicians is a terrible way to achieve it.
 
If your only goal in life is to make money going through medical school to become a physicians is a terrible way to achieve it.

it's probably the surest way of getting yourself into a >$200,000 salary. Business is the way to get the super high incomes, but most people pursuing that pathway never come close. Doctors all make 6 figure incomes, it's just that almost none make >$10M a year. We reside in a relatively narrow income range compared to the business world where most people are going to make like $50K-$100K per year but a few outliers will make $100M in a year.
 
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I got a good chuckle from this thread, I hope no one went into medical school thinking they would somehow reach 11m in net worth by seeing patients...

During the elective procedure shutdown, I saw docs cutting lawns and hocking steak knives.

I love this website for a good laugh before I down some whiskey at night.
 
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I got a good chuckle from this thread, I hope no one went into medical school thinking they would somehow reach 11m in net worth by seeing patients...

During the elective procedure shutdown, I saw docs cutting lawns and hocking steak knives.

I love this website for a good laugh before I down some whiskey at night.

A content physician who is fairly financially competent could get to an 8 figure net worth. If I work to my mid 60’s, I should be there pretty conservatively. If I work till I’m 70 and the markets do good, then a 9 figure net worth is technically possible (not planning on it. . . But compound interest is cool). I’m not in a high earning speciality or a baller.
 
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I got a good chuckle from this thread, I hope no one went into medical school thinking they would somehow reach 11m in net worth by seeing patients...

During the elective procedure shutdown, I saw docs cutting lawns and hocking steak knives.

I love this website for a good laugh before I down some whiskey at night.

I get a good chuckle whenever I talk about investing and generating passive income with my physician colleagues, who for the most part are completely clueless about how to make their money work for them other than their 401K and retirement accounts.

No one went into medical school thinking they would somehow reach $11M in net worth because they didn't have a single clue about making money in the first place. Majority of physicians simply are hamsters running in a golden wheel, happy to collect a bi-weekly paycheck and never looking for more. Hard to generate wealth when you have no desire to do so.
 
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I get a good chuckle whenever I talk about investing and generating passive income with my physician colleagues, who for the most part are completely clueless about how to make their money work for them other than their 401K and retirement accounts.

No one went into medical school thinking they would somehow reach $11M in net worth because they didn't have a single clue about making money in the first place. Majority of physicians simply are hamsters running in a golden wheel, happy to collect a bi-weekly paycheck and never looking for more. Hard to generate wealth when you have no desire to do so.

35 years investing 100k with 6% returns after inflation technically gets you there. I think its the lack of knowledge more than anything. Most docs prior to the ones practicing in the last 10-15 years i would bet work close to 65 ish. I would rather achieve half that and be in my 40s when i can still move.
 
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35 years investing 100k with 6% returns after inflation technically gets you there. I think its the lack of knowledge more than anything. Most docs prior to the ones practicing in the last 10-15 years i would bet work close to 65 ish. I would rather achieve half that and be in my 40s when i can still move.

I didn’t say it was impossible, especially for mid career physicians. I certainly plan to be there in the next 10 years. And no way I’m working into my 60s.

That being said, top 1% / 11 M if you start now probably means top 1% / 20 M in 35 years. I don’t think many physicians starting as new attendings today have a good chance at that mainly because it’s harder (if not impossible) to be a business owner in medicine as time goes on.

I would estimate if you aren’t a super spartan lifestyle saver (or plan to work past 70) you probably aren’t going to hit those numbers unless you start at ~600k today and your salary keeps up with inflation. Even if you are financially savvy. Don’t see that salary being common as time goes on (likely salaries will actually decrease).

On the other hand if you are top 1% intellectually/ academically (which probably 20% of physicians are) likely you would make it to big-law, big-ibanking, big-consulting, private equity etc. These guys make it to the top 1% much more easily, if you can make it into and stand those fields for a couple decades.
 
I didn’t say it was impossible, especially for mid career physicians. I certainly plan to be there in the next 10 years. And no way I’m working into my 60s.

That being said, top 1% / 11 M if you start now probably means top 1% / 20 M in 35 years. I don’t think many physicians starting as new attendings today have a good chance at that mainly because it’s harder (if not impossible) to be a business owner in medicine as time goes on.

I would estimate if you aren’t a super spartan lifestyle saver (or plan to work past 70) you probably aren’t going to hit those numbers unless you start at ~600k today and your salary keeps up with inflation. Even if you are financially savvy. Don’t see that salary being common as time goes on (likely salaries will actually decrease).

On the other hand if you are top 1% intellectually/ academically (which probably 20% of physicians are) likely you would make it to big-law, big-ibanking, big-consulting, private equity etc. These guys make it to the top 1% much more easily, if you can make it into and stand those fields for a couple decades.

What is mid career considered for physicians 40-45?
 
What is mid career considered for physicians 40-45?

Guess it depends on when you start but since most of us start with a real paycheck at around 30 plus or minus — maybe 45 is mid career (40 may still be a little early)?
 
A content physician who is fairly financially competent could get to an 8 figure net worth. If I work to my mid 60’s, I should be there pretty conservatively. If I work till I’m 70 and the markets do good, then a 9 figure net worth is technically possible (not planning on it. . . But compound interest is cool). I’m not in a high earning speciality or a baller.

I think your point is valid about the 8 figures but it won't have anywhere near the buying power of 8 figures today due to the money printing as inflation is out of control but fingers crossed maybe it goes back to normal rates.
 
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On the other hand if you are top 1% intellectually/ academically (which probably 20% of physicians are) likely you would make it to big-law, big-ibanking, big-consulting, private equity etc. These guys make it to the top 1% much more easily, if you can make it into and stand those fields for a couple decades.

Fortunately, big law pay scale is pretty public knowledge since all the firms pay everybody basically the same. If they didn't, they wouldn't be able to hire anybody good because the talent would all self select to the top paying jobs. As of 2021, this roughly where it's at. Start at $229K the first year and work your way up to $531K by the 8th year (when including all bonuses). Beyond that depends on if you are working insane hours and bringing in the money for the firm. Subspecialty physicians with good jobs likely earning quite a bit more than "big law" lawyers, and the lawyers probably working longer hours.
 
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Fortunately, big law pay scale is pretty public knowledge since all the firms pay everybody basically the same. If they didn't, they wouldn't be able to hire anybody good because the talent would all self select to the top paying jobs. As of 2021, this roughly where it's at. Start at $229K the first year and work your way up to $531K by the 8th year (when including all bonuses). Beyond that depends on if you are working insane hours and bringing in the money for the firm. Subspecialty physicians with good jobs likely earning quite a bit more than "big law" lawyers, and the lawyers probably working longer hours.

This pay scale is correct. However it’s really only the beginning and the equivalent to being a resident plus first 3-4 years of attending, if you want a comparison. I have a LOT of friends from college who went to big law/ consulting / PE etc. They are all now 15 years post law school / MBA. The ones that “bailed” biglaw for a Cush in-house law job probably “only” make 600k. The partners at the big law firms who are 15 years out (7-8 yrs post associate) “only” make 700-800k on paper but huge bonuses put them all in the 1-3 mill range. A few “super” partners (the ones who bring in the clients) clear 10-20mill.

PE is similar — lots of friend who went that route too. Junior for 1-7 years making 450-750 with fat bonuses. Then big league depends on funding and deals but plenty clear that 20M range. I banking similar structure.

Sure, not every doc could make it in these businesses— but if you have the intellect and academic credentials and really want a license to print money— that’s the way to do it. And it’s not luck or a particular rare skill that gets you there — just a good academic pedigree and lots of grinding it out. People always say it’s impossible to get into those insanely high-paying jobs/firms but I can tell you the path is really NOT that different than medical school admissions followed by grind of residency/fellowship in terms of difficulty or commitment.
 
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This pay scale is correct. However it’s really only the beginning and the equivalent to being a resident plus first 3-4 years of attending, if you want a comparison. I have a LOT of friends from college who went to big law/ consulting / PE etc. They are all now 15 years post law school / MBA. The ones that “bailed” biglaw for a Cush in-house law job probably “only” make 600k. The partners at the big law firms who are 15 years out (7-8 yrs post associate) “only” make 700-800k on paper but huge bonuses put them all in the 1-3 mill range. A few “super” partners (the ones who bring in the clients) clear 10-20mill.

PE is similar — lots of friend who went that route too. Junior for 1-7 years making 450-750 with fat bonuses. Then big league depends on funding and deals but plenty clear that 20M range. I banking similar structure.

Sure, not every doc could make it in these businesses— but if you have the intellect and academic credentials and really want a license to print money— that’s the way to do it. And it’s not luck or a particular rare skill that gets you there — just a good academic pedigree and lots of grinding it out. People always say it’s impossible to get into those insanely high-paying jobs/firms but I can tell you the path is really NOT that different than medical school admissions followed by grind of residency/fellowship in terms of difficulty or commitment.
I would guess that <5% of physicians have the skillset (not intellect) into BS-ing rich people to give them money.
 
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This pay scale is correct. However it’s really only the beginning and the equivalent to being a resident plus first 3-4 years of attending, if you want a comparison. I have a LOT of friends from college who went to big law/ consulting / PE etc. They are all now 15 years post law school / MBA. The ones that “bailed” biglaw for a Cush in-house law job probably “only” make 600k. The partners at the big law firms who are 15 years out (7-8 yrs post associate) “only” make 700-800k on paper but huge bonuses put them all in the 1-3 mill range. A few “super” partners (the ones who bring in the clients) clear 10-20mill.

PE is similar — lots of friend who went that route too. Junior for 1-7 years making 450-750 with fat bonuses. Then big league depends on funding and deals but plenty clear that 20M range. I banking similar structure.

Sure, not every doc could make it in these businesses— but if you have the intellect and academic credentials and really want a license to print money— that’s the way to do it. And it’s not luck or a particular rare skill that gets you there — just a good academic pedigree and lots of grinding it out. People always say it’s impossible to get into those insanely high-paying jobs/firms but I can tell you the path is really NOT that different than medical school admissions followed by grind of residency/fellowship in terms of difficulty or commitment.
Those people likely work so many more hours than we do. They're working nights, plus weekends often. You're really never not on the clock. So many weekend outings/lunches are based around work/getting new business/hustling/etc.

The majority of people I know that went to law school aren't making much at all. In fact, I believe half of law grads are working in a field that doesn't even require a JD. Law schools collectively decided they need to decrease enrollment. It's only the cream of the crop who get those high paying jobs, whether in big law, private equity, etc.

I know no physicians making under $200,000 in my area unless they're part-time.

An MD is by far the best degree you can get if you're looking for a solid salary, job stability, and respect/admiration (SDN folks like to pretend we don't get respect anymore, and perhaps it's not the same as the "old days," but I can't tell you how many people express their gratitude/respect for what I do--and that was before COVID).

Of course, what really matters is you have to love your job. Like most people here, I'd go crazy reviewing the ridiculous details in contracts. Ever wonder why legislation is so long/dry? It's because most politicians were lawyers. Imagine having to discuss that stuff daily. I can debate Greek philosophy and theology all day, but that's not what the practice of law is.

And private equity? I literally don't understand where there's any enjoyment to be seen there. I can understand some people like the dry math of accounting, and the endless contracts in law, but I don't understand private equity/investment baking. It's literally all about the money, and unlike a banker you can't go home at night and saw you helped xyz hospital/school stay open, or this janitor keep his home, etc. I think there are just too many finance jobs are there that have no point. Physicians, most lawyers, engineers, and janitors at least provide services that benefit mankind. But a lot of finance jobs, are kind of lumped in there with a good number of administrators--they have a job for job's sake and they're really just moving buckets of money around but not actually producing anything.
 
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Few of my friends work in VC / PE, couple in I-Banking, few in management consulting. Incredibly smart individuals and most make very very good money. But they work so freaking much and constantly take their work home with them.

Comparing my job as a hospitalist working 250+ days a year with moonlighting, on average most make a little more than me, couple of them make A LOT more than me. But imho their work is much more stressful and counting hours they work at home and weekends, they overall work far more than me. And before the pandemic, many had to travel so much which is something I absolute hate -> Living out of a suitcase.

This is America, every dollar is earned, nothing is handed to you on a silver platter. The highest paying jobs in finance, you're definitely earning your money or you've put in an incredible amount of work and produced incredible results in the past and rose the corporate ladder.

Those individuals in high levels of corporate finance, their greatest asset has been to be able to understand business fundamentals and they know how to invest and generate wealth via passive strategies. They have access to information that majority of Americans simply don't have. They can see rising trends across many industries and invest profitably before retail investors can and have the capital resources to.

I'll always regret not listening to my close friend who worked for Goldman telling me in 2017 to invest heavily in Shopify because it was the best business model he's analyzed. To this day still haven't invested because I clearly hate money.
 
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This pay scale is correct. However it’s really only the beginning and the equivalent to being a resident plus first 3-4 years of attending, if you want a comparison. I have a LOT of friends from college who went to big law/ consulting / PE etc. They are all now 15 years post law school / MBA. The ones that “bailed” biglaw for a Cush in-house law job probably “only” make 600k. The partners at the big law firms who are 15 years out (7-8 yrs post associate) “only” make 700-800k on paper but huge bonuses put them all in the 1-3 mill range. A few “super” partners (the ones who bring in the clients) clear 10-20mill.

If you are at big law, you generally have to rack up something like 2000-2200 billable hours per year (some slightly less, some more), which means you have to work a lot more than that. I don't even come close to 2000 total hours in the hospital in a year. Most of my big law partner buddies that work 55-65 hours per week are making in the $1M range including all bonuses. To make more than that you need to have a personal big client spending lots of money on you.
 
If you are at big law, you generally have to rack up something like 2000-2200 billable hours per year (some slightly less, some more), which means you have to work a lot more than that. I don't even come close to 2000 total hours in the hospital in a year. Most of my big law partner buddies that work 55-65 hours per week are making in the $1M range including all bonuses. To make more than that you need to have a personal big client spending lots of money on you.

I would think most medical sub specialties have a chance to get close to 1m if they wanted. I am not saying it would be an ideal lifestyle. Bump up rads/anes to take half the vaca some of those groups offering 8-12 wks offer to a more normal 3-4 wks and an additional few shifts every week and you get pretty close.

In fact i could argue that almost all specialties getting close to 300k could do additional moonlighting/side work and have the ability to make 100-200k more. Not saying it is lifestyle friendly but if you have specialists working 65-80 hours weekly they hit pretty good numbers and practically anyone could theoretically do that if they desire to grind.
 
I would think most medical sub specialties have a chance to get close to 1m if they wanted. I am not saying it would be an ideal lifestyle. Bump up rads/anes to take half the vaca some of those groups offering 8-12 wks offer to a more normal 3-4 wks and an additional few shifts every week and you get pretty close.

In fact i could argue that almost all specialties getting close to 300k could do additional moonlighting/side work and have the ability to make 100-200k more. Not saying it is lifestyle friendly but if you have specialists working 65-80 hours weekly they hit pretty good numbers and practically anyone could theoretically do that if they desire to grind.

and if you compare medicine to law, there are TONS of law school graduates making <$100K per year. Yes if you graduate from Harvard or Yale (or whatever other top 5/10/20 school) you will do great things. But there are all sorts of books and blogs about the "law school scam" and how schools inflate their graduate job placement numbers. I mean you can graduate a crappy law school and maybe have a 50/50 chance of having an actual 6 figure job as a lawyer. That's a lot of school and debt from a degree that might not get you anything. Here's a sort of old but still relevant article from The Atlantic by Paul Campos who does a great job tracking this sort of stuff. I mean you can actually attend and graduate from one of a few really bad law schools in this country and have maybe a 30% chance at finding a job as a lawyer! What a country!

Even the bottom tier medical school graduates are still almost all employed as physicians earning 6 figure incomes.
 
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and if you compare medicine to law, there are TONS of law school graduates making <$100K per year. Yes if you graduate from Harvard or Yale (or whatever other top 5/10/20 school) you will do great things. But there are all sorts of books and blogs about the "law school scam" and how schools inflate their graduate job placement numbers. I mean you can graduate a crappy law school and maybe have a 50/50 chance of having an actual 6 figure job as a lawyer. That's a lot of school and debt from a degree that might not get you anything. Here's a sort of old but still relevant article from The Atlantic by Paul Campos who does a great job tracking this sort of stuff. I mean you can actually attend and graduate from one of a few law schools in this country and have maybe a 30% chance at finding a job as a lawyer! What a country!

Even the bottom tier medical school graduates are still almost all employed as physicians earning 6 figure incomes.

Candidates who could get into top ivy league medical schools would also likely have gotten into top ivy law schools either way they may be set financially but i would still lean higher percentage make 500k+ going the med route. Granted not having to do a residency gives the ivy law a 4-6 years earnings advantage which is huge imo.

The remaining non ivy league med grads vs non ivy league law there is simply no comparison as a large majority esp the subspecialists still will make 500k and even the PCPs who want M-F lifestyle jobs still easily get 200-250 which is at least double the vast majority of lawyers and even they could make 100-150k more by moonlighting or extra shifts if they chose.
 
Candidates who could get into top ivy league medical schools would also likely have gotten into top ivy law schools either way they may be set financially but i would still lean higher percentage make 500k+ going the med route. Granted not having to do a residency gives the ivy law a 4-6 years earnings advantage which is huge imo.

The remaining non ivy league med grads vs non ivy league law there is simply no comparison as a large majority esp the subspecialists still will make 500k and even the PCPs who want M-F lifestyle jobs still easily get 200-250 which is at least double the vast majority of lawyers and even they could make 100-150k more by moonlighting or extra shifts if they chose.

I would disagree. Not too many lawyers that went top 20 are making less than 500k 15 years into their careers. And definitely not the top MBAs who went into PE/ibanking/fund management etc.

How many physicians starting now will break 500k? 20%? Definitely less than 40%.

I agree law overall is not well compensated. But the point is that TOP academic talent going into these fields will on average get you more financial compensation than Medicine, without fail. And also, sky’s the limit — so unlike medicine there are those top 5% that will make tens of millions per year.
 
I would disagree. Not too many lawyers that went top 20 are making less than 500k 15 years into their careers. And definitely not the top MBAs who went into PE/ibanking/fund management etc.

How many physicians starting now will break 500k? 20%? Definitely less than 40%.

I agree law overall is not well compensated. But the point is that TOP academic talent going into these fields will on average get you more financial compensation than Medicine, without fail. And also, sky’s the limit — so unlike medicine there are those top 5% that will make tens of millions per year.
You’re comparing apples and oranges here. Too law students vs all med students.

Firts, many grads from top law schools are NOT making over $500k as many are in public service/went into politics and otherwise are on government salaries. Perhaps they have investments/inheritances but that’s independent of the profession they chose. Plenty or artists have those as well, but it’s not a smart economic decision to go into art.

People go to Yale and Harvard law to either work for big government or to become a judge/public servant with power. And certainly decent pay, but not over $500k.

But those are the cream of the crop. The same cream of the crop group in medicine makes loads of money as well—they’re going into derm and ortho. They start at/above $500k as well, with a great lifestyle. Or they become Dr Fauci and get a government salary, but more power/influence.

Yes, there are more lucrative ways to make money than medicine, but none guarantee great financial renumeration the way medicine does. Nor do many offer the prestige/respect and job stability of medicine. I also have the joy of being able to go home at night and feel like I made a real difference in someone’s life, and didn’t just move some 0’s and commas around.
 
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And private equity? I literally don't understand where there's any enjoyment to be seen there. I can understand some people like the dry math of accounting, and the endless contracts in law, but I don't understand private equity/investment baking. It's literally all about the money, and unlike a banker you can't go home at night and saw you helped xyz hospital/school stay open, or this janitor keep his home, etc. I think there are just too many finance jobs are there that have no point. Physicians, most lawyers, engineers, and janitors at least provide services that benefit mankind. But a lot of finance jobs, are kind of lumped in there with a good number of administrators--they have a job for job's sake and they're really just moving buckets of money around but not actually producing anything.
This is such an interesting take... fascinating to see such an incredibly different perspective.

Sometimes on my long commutes to the hospital I mentally picture my excel spreadsheets and try to crunch the compound interest numbers in my head. I've spent so much time staring at it that I can see the columns in my sleep. I'll be deep in the zone thinking "oh if I work this weekend call shift that will move my FIRE date up about eight days if the market continues its current trend" etc and all of a sudden an hour has passed.

I think I am just really weird. :|
 
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This is such an interesting take... fascinating to see such an incredibly different perspective.

Sometimes on my long commutes to the hospital I mentally picture my excel spreadsheets and try to crunch the compound interest numbers in my head. I've spent so much time staring at it that I can see the columns in my sleep. I'll be deep in the zone thinking "oh if I work this weekend call shift that will move my FIRE date up about eight days if the market continues its current trend" etc and all of a sudden an hour has passed.

I think I am just really weird. :|
We can all be thankful we're weird in our own way. I would die if I had to work as an admin assistant (my job for two years just after college!). I'm horribly disorganized and even worse at managing others schedules. Literally it was the worst job fit for me on a job test. I hated it, but after I did it once, it was the only job I had experience in, and with all the job applications I sent out, I only got calls for the admin assistant jobs!

Second worst job for me would be an accountant. My favorite non-physician job was actually when I worked as a janitor and a plant nursery "courtesy clerk." (ie., I watered plants all day and loaded some bags of mulch).

But I've met accountants and admin assistants who literally love their job. I'm thankful they love it! I'm equally thankful I had the freedom to not go into those professions and go into medicine instead, which is much better suited for my personality.
 
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Well, I don't think I am smart enough to make 400k/yr working 50 hrs/week in another profession. I certainly could not be a lawyer given that English is my 3rd language. :)
 
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This is such an interesting take... fascinating to see such an incredibly different perspective.

Sometimes on my long commutes to the hospital I mentally picture my excel spreadsheets and try to crunch the compound interest numbers in my head. I've spent so much time staring at it that I can see the columns in my sleep. I'll be deep in the zone thinking "oh if I work this weekend call shift that will move my FIRE date up about eight days if the market continues its current trend" etc and all of a sudden an hour has passed.

I think I am just really weird. :|

I sometimes think if tesla will actually go to 2000 ish in the next few years or if the major cryptos will 2x-3x in the next few years and if i should just go all in lol.

In reality they both will likely do this and i will kick myself thinking what could have been..
 
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I sometimes think if tesla will actually go to 2000 ish in the next few years or if the major cryptos will 2x-3x in the next few years and if i should just go all in lol.
I'm still holding onto the hope (or bags, if you ask my wife) that doge will go to $20 some day lol so I can retire. :cool:
 
You’re comparing apples and oranges here. Too law students vs all med students.

Firts, many grads from top law schools are NOT making over $500k as many are in public service/went into politics and otherwise are on government salaries. Perhaps they have investments/inheritances but that’s independent of the profession they chose. Plenty or artists have those as well, but it’s not a smart economic decision to go into art.

People go to Yale and Harvard law to either work for big government or to become a judge/public servant with power. And certainly decent pay, but not over $500k.

But those are the cream of the crop. The same cream of the crop group in medicine makes loads of money as well—they’re going into derm and ortho. They start at/above $500k as well, with a great lifestyle. Or they become Dr Fauci and get a government salary, but more power/influence.

Yes, there are more lucrative ways to make money than medicine, but none guarantee great financial renumeration the way medicine does. Nor do many offer the prestige/respect and job stability of medicine. I also have the joy of being able to go home at night and feel like I made a real difference in someone’s life, and didn’t just move some 0’s and commas around.

All I’m saying is I have an n = about 100 friends — elite college where most went into either medicine, law, finance/ consulting (or entrepreneurs if really wanted to risk it - few billionaires in that category).

Of all the doctors (n= about 50) none are in the top 1% net worth 25 years post- college unless it’s family money. I’m guessing maybe 10% will make it before retirement.

Of the (n= 50) finance/law/consulting it’s more varied. About 10 have already easily hit that 1% as equity partners, managers etc. probably doubled it. None are doing poorly so if they went to public service / government (maybe 5) they are at the top of their organizations, probably making close to a PCP salary. 2 are congressmen/women. Two have literally probably in excess of 100 million net worth (hedge fund manager and top ranked PE- and they are literally only late fourties). The rest (maybe n = 25) are making a generous specialist salary of 500k-700k as non-equity law partners, consultants, CEOs of smaller firms, chief legal officers of smaller firms etc.

This obviously does not apply to what all medical students could have done. If you graduated from a mid-tier college with good grades, enough to get into medical school then that’s a good financial choice. If you are TOP academically in college, from an elite school with connections than there is no doubt the other routes pay off much better financially (if you can stand the grind and the fields). I’m not saying they are rewarding, or that money is everything —- just stating the truth.
 
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All I’m saying is I have an n = about 100 friends — elite college where most went into either medicine, law, finance/ consulting (or entrepreneurs if really wanted to risk it - few billionaires in that category).

Of all the doctors (n= about 50) none are in the top 1% net worth 25 years post- college unless it’s family money. I’m guessing maybe 10% will make it before retirement.

Of the (n= 50) finance/law/consulting it’s more varied. About 10 have already easily hit that 1% as equity partners, managers etc. probably doubled it. None are doing poorly so if they went to public service / government (maybe 5) they are at the top of their organizations, probably making close to a PCP salary. 2 are congressmen/women. Two have literally probably in excess of 100 million net worth (hedge fund manager and top ranked PE- and they are literally only late fourties). The rest (maybe n = 25) are making a generous specialist salary of 500k-700k as non-equity law partners, consultants, CEOs of smaller firms, chief legal officers of smaller firms etc.

This obviously does not apply to what all medical students could have done. If you graduated from a mid-tier college with good grades, enough to get into medical school then that’s a good financial choice. If you are TOP academically in college, from an elite school with connections than there is no doubt the other routes pay off much better financially (if you can stand the grind and the fields). I’m not saying they are rewarding, or that money is everything —- just stating the truth.

So of the the least successful of the finance / law / consulting peers that you know who's not in non-profit is making $500k / year? Not even Harvard MBA class or Harvard medical school class is that impressive. Your sample size is a statistical anomaly by a wide margin.

I know quite a few people in investment banking / big law / high end consulting and about 10% are still in the field today. The attrition rate is atrocious.
 
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So of the the least successful of the finance / law / consulting peers that you know who's not in non-profit is making $500k / year? Not even Harvard MBA class or Harvard medical school class is that impressive. Your sample size is a statistical anomaly by a wide margin.

I know quite a few people in investment banking / big law / high end consulting about 10% are still in the field today. The attrition rate is atrocious.

I’m not sure what to say - the articles above state it’s a fact that 8th year biglaw associates make 550k. You think they make less 15-20 years in?

HBS (and other top mba) grad starting salaries are 150-200k. And this is usually at age 23 or 24 when med students haven’t even started clinical rotations. You don’t think 15-20 years later they aren’t making north of 500k? Obviously there are exceptions for the “least successful”— just like doctors that drop out of medicine— but I’m talking averages.
 
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I’m not sure what to say - the articles above state it’s a fact that 8th year biglaw associates make 550k. You think they make less 15-20 years in?

HBS (and other top mba) grad starting salaries are 150-200k. And this is usually at age 23 or 24. You don’t think 15-20 years later they aren’t making north of 500k?
I've been out of FM residency for 8 years and making about 85% of that.

I'm one of the lowest paid specialties. I went to a small liberal arts college and the 2nd best state medical school in SC.
 
I’m not sure what to say - the articles above state it’s a fact that 8th year biglaw associates make 550k. You think they make less 15-20 years in?

HBS (and other top mba) grad starting salaries are 150-200k. And this is usually at age 23 or 24. You don’t think 15-20 years later they aren’t making north of 500k? Obviously there are exceptions for the “least successful”— just like doctors that drop out of medicine— but I’m talking averages.

I'm not contesting the salary survey. I'm just astounded by your peers. It sounds like most of your peers stayed in the high-stress, high-earning field which is not the norm at all. But if that is the case, you must be connected to some really influential people.

Are there a few who stay and make partner and make millions? Yes. But they are few. (Just as a few doctors will make millions.) The hierarchy is shaped like a pyramid and it is imperative for people to drop out for those on top to making high salaries.

You have to factor in attrition rate when you determine expected value. What percentage stays in the field and makes bank and what percentage exits the field and makes less. So 8th year big law makes over $500k / year. What percentage of lawyers can last that long?
 
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