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Cric4U

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Ya know. I am 2.5 months from graduating. I love this job. I am happy the entire shift while at work. I love the patients but i am a financial wreck. 300K in debt plus a slew of credit cards. I think it is a amazing....we do just what we are "supposed to"...you get good grades...become any parents dream, ooooo "a doctor." Spend your days busting your *** literally saving lives and WTF do i get for it...a ton of debt, black circles under my eyes, kids that see me occasionally, patients that are more often demanding than appreciative, fear of litigation, sometimes I think I should say ---k it, and go sell t-shirts on the beach in hawaii. I have a contract signed for next year and i can't even afford the state application fee. Oh you're a medical student $1000 please to take USMLE for each part....oh by the way you also get to take clinical skills exam and fly to LA and stay in a hotel. Oh you want a DEA # $600 dollars. State license $1400. At this point...I went to arguably one of the best medical schools in the country, I've essentially completed residency, I'm ready to spend my days helping people, many of whom are uninsured. And, my reward, I can't even buy a house when I'm done. I have buddies that went to law school, business, engineering, etc. They are well into their careers and have a nice life. I truly, truly, truly love my job. Is it worth it? Maybe? However, I think we should be asking this question...EM physicians provide a vital service to humanity...should we be screwed in the process? I think we as physicians have taken the "high road" for soooo long and have not stood up for our rights because we just "want to treat patients" that we have screwed ourselves and let everyone....including medical schools 30k+/year for tuition, NBME, medical boards, residency programs pathetic reimbursement. Ya know it's not all about money...people say money can't make you happy...but I can tell you a lack of money surely can make you pretty damn unhappy...:mad:
 

theCamel

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amen brother, and a big one finger salute to anyone who tries to guilt you or anyone who's worked hard into feeling bad about the money you make - or will be making
 

anothertbmember

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With the current income of physicians our return on investment (capital, opportunity cost, etc.) is unmatched. Look up the numbers. Sadly, my current financial status sucks.

But, yes, from time to time I do question my sanity and my desire to do this. Then I remember there are so many reasons why I do what I do.
 
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that dr. jack

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it's inevitable i'll feel the same way the OP does on some days, but at this point i'm not sorry i made this decision. i was in the same field as my dad, and could see exactly where i'd be sitting in 25 years, that is, if neurodiagnostics is still a useful diagnostic modality. if i'm gonna have spine surgeons talking $hit to me and throwing tantrums, at least they'll have to call me doctor now. that and the top salary for an EEG tech runs around $80,000, which will not buy a house in LA.
 

Hard24Get

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Great post. I think the undercurrent of becoming a doc being a stupid idea is that not taking charge of the medical profession was a very, very stupid idea that continues to bite us in our collective arse. There are so many middle men between doctors and patients, some of them useful, but many of them inserted to make money off of the services we provide. The things that need to be done, like quality assurance, cost control, and access to care should be handled by us, but instead there are the Press-Ganeys, the HMOs, and the government to kow-tow to. This is how we have ended up with medical students and residents being asked to pay thousands of dollars we don't have. And sure, in the end, the money is supposed to be worth it and well able to help pay off all debt, but with the public grumblings about "rich" doctors and what-not, who knows how long that will last? The worse thing is being almost 30 or in your 30s and having to be subjected to the humiliation of a poor credit score due to debt and/or still needing loaners from your parents while those around us have "real" jobs.

So even though I almost always manage to convince myself that medicine (and even harder, academic medicine) is worth all this, I have thought over and over that our relative lack of control in the health care system was a stupid idea of epic proportions.
 

jbar

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you can make $80,000 as an EEG tech? How much schooling is that? Damn.

I have to say it also is a matter of perspective. Before coming to med school I was pulling down $22,000 a year working as an EMT, so right now even a resident's salary sounds pretty good.
 

roja

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look in other threads. There are many people who were in well paying careers (some very very well paying) who left to become doctors. Its a tough thing to swallow, and sure, you could make 110K a year as a nurse, but if you just wanted easy money, easy life, why did you go into medicine?

Trust me, as I stare at all my debt (and prolonged earning money with two years of fellowship) it definately sucks. but it was definately worth it.
 

nymbarra

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So even though I almost always manage to convince myself that medicine (and even harder, academic medicine) is worth all this, I have thought over and over that our relative lack of control in the health care system was a stupid idea of epic proportions.

I don't want to start any flame wars w/ nursing, admin, or health policy people, but it seems that MDs could take a more active role in steering healthcare. The salary comparisons for the level of training and responsibility--not to mention number of hours per week--between physicians and other allied providers could really get me started...but let's try to think positive here.

Within EM, I see that there are so many opportunities to do health policy research. We are at the frontline of the healthcare debate, yet short of the IOM report a few years ago (which Dr. Kellerman was a part of...woohoo, Emory!), most of the health care policy research comes from economists. And within medicine, it's the family medicine departments that seem to be really embracing the issue.

No other health profession is better positioned to see the whole spectrum of health care:
Clinical work -> research -> population-based work (public health and policy)

Improving healthcare obviously is a very complex issue, but clearly I would like to see more EM representation. Not only would it benefit the public, but it would lead to also more equitable compensation for physicians.
 

MaddieMay

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Someone once told me that money can't make you happy, but it can allow you to live in a more comfortable state of misery.
 
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