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for those of us who decide to pursue medicine for $$$

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by goldfish85, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. goldfish85

    goldfish85 Member
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    what other fields are you sure to make as much money in medicine, or MORE money as many of SDNers claim??

    NOTE: please leave all over generalizations a side (ie dont just say go into law, business, because they are too general....please specify and provide your reasoning..)

    Follow this flow if you want--
    Job:
    Earning basement (worse cases):
    Earning Potential:
    Advantages:
    Disadvantages:
    Training/Requirements:
    Other:
     
  2. CTSballer11

    CTSballer11 Senior Member
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    This should be good. btw, I think we all can agree that medicine has the highest basement. (100K)
     
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  3. goinverted

    goinverted goinverted
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    I currently do sales over the summer and for the last three years I haven't had to work at all during school. I usually pull in around 45-55k over the three and a half months. If I were able to work all year it would probably be in the high 100's. Also my regional managers make upwards of 150k over three months. There is a lot of money in sales, it is just not a job that everyone can do or can like. I can do it, just don't like it enough to throw in the towel for med school.
     
  4. goldfish85

    goldfish85 Member
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    what are you selling and what kind of cut did you get? was this only to richer clients? and can anyone enter this type of job or does it req some degree?
     
  5. rpkall

    rpkall Darwin Award Winner
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    Orthopedic surgery, dermatology, radiology, anesthesiology, opthalmology--all have great lifestyles for great money (240k+, maybe much more if you're saavy and you live in the right area), in general.

    140k ain't bad, though, for FP or Psych, IM, etc. So I guess it's up to you. You should still pick the field you like best, though, even if you are in it for the money. Your patients will be a lot happier, and so will you.
     
  6. goinverted

    goinverted goinverted
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    You don't need a degre. I have sold in two different industries, the first was home security systems, and the second was pest control contracts. Our office of 14 guys pulled in almost 2 million in contracts last summer. We get a percentage of the contracts as commission. Usually it's around 28-35% depending on the amount you sold and your experience. It is not an easy job by any means. It's all door to door and we sell in both the upper/middle and middle/lower class areas. It's pretty lucrative and has provided my wife and I with so many chances to do things that most college kids can't. The job starts as soon as the semester ends and goes up until 2 days before the next semester starts. It's Monday through Saturday, around 7-8 hours a day.
     
  7. ultimateend

    ultimateend fear is the mind killer.
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    First thing I thought was "man, this guy must be selling A LOT of drugs."
     
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  8. goldfish85

    goldfish85 Member
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    hhaha yea that or selling viagra over internet email spam
     
  9. Mutt

    Mutt SDN Donor
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    I saw "Utah" and "wife in college" and instantly thought this guy must be Mormon. Which is great for going into sales because the obligatory door-to-door religious missions are really good preparation for door-to-door sales. I know I couldn't do sales of any sort, even after 2 years of preparation. Nonetheless, pulling in that kind of dough to support a family through the school year is quite a feat.
     
  10. andre4000

    andre4000 andre4000

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    dude--- radiology, dermatology, anesthesiology, good lifestyles, incomes, etc. Orthopaedists work a **** load of hours, get called in to operate in the middle of the night, might operate on pts. w/ no in health insurance and get no reimbursement, then spend the entire next day rounding, seeing pts. and operating on a couple hrs. sleep. Great job? Yes, if you're committed to it. Easy, no.
     
  11. goldfish85

    goldfish85 Member
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    how abt this one:
    what is the highest paying specialty which is least competitive to enter?
     
  12. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    It all depends on how efficient you are as a businessman.

    I would say Path.
     
  13. ragda26

    ragda26 Senior Member
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    hey,

    radio is good, but cant have a private practice with that.....

    like one doc i shaodwed said:

    medicine is a business if you make it one and not one if you dont
     
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  14. Orthodoc40

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    Plus its one of the longest residencies out there. (Ortho, I mean).
     
  15. Fermata

    Fermata Hold me.
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    :mad:

    Must.....keep.....on......down low......
     
  16. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I don't agree with this premise at all. There are salaried doctors out there who earn less than $100k post residency. But certainly the average is higher than six digits. Also, in fact, (I can tell you from my prior career experience) more than a few medical practices have been known to go bankrupt. So the basement, for an unlucky few, is actually a negative number (liabilities outpacing income/salary draw). :eek:
    Don't delude yourself into thinking that any salary is "guaranteed", a word that shows up on SDN quite a lot, but simply doesn't happen in the real world. Be optimistic, but not naive.
     
  17. miss bean

    miss bean Member
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    if you want to make a lot of money, go work for a hedge fund. Starting salaries are in the 100's, at least at the top firms. You probably have to live in New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, etc. But I have a friend who just got a $35,000 Holiday bonus, and he has worked there for three months. You could also work for various brokerage houses, be a bonds trader, anything in that banking/commerce sector. (Most of my friends who work in the field have only a BA/BS, some have MBAs-which is only half as costly as med school and a lot easier).

    I went to college with twin brothers who. One is now in third year of med school. One is a bonds trader in new york. The one in medical school is planning to do ortho or plastics and by his own admission, he will never make close to the money that his brother is/will. I think that you can make a really good living for yourself as a doctor. However, if the main reasons you want to be a doctor are financial, then switch to an economics major and go straight into finance.

    Also, if you are creative, you can make a great living just using your own ideas. My boyfriend made about $250,000 last year with his eBay business, and he wasn't even doing anything illegal.

    Good Luck you all!
     
  18. goinverted

    goinverted goinverted
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    Not quite obligatory, yes it is asked of us, but in no way is it obligatory. Besides we pay for it ourselves and it is two years of volunteer experience, usually with the underprivilaged. What a great topic for interviews! I would have to say that it is definitely easier having spent two years talking to strangers though. The med school interviews have been a cake walk. I don't ever get nervous anymore when I talk to someone new or when they ask me strange questions. So I guess the sales job was good for the money and for the resume. Plus the med schools have loved seeing that I can do something else and also that I had some management and training experience.
     
  19. unfrozencaveman

    unfrozencaveman not a dude
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    MBA's are half the time, but actually just as expensive. They cost a frickin fortune, but you're expected to make it back in no time (presumably at a Hedge Fund)
     
  20. bkflaneur

    bkflaneur Senior Member
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    First, physicians do pretty well. Even for the poorest paying specialties, most physicians are making $100-150k. But if you're really in it for the money, go do something else. While $100-150k is well above the average american salary, it's not big money if you consider the opportunity and monetary costs of medical school and residency. Corporate lawyers make similar salaries, but spend 4-5 years fewer in training (if you include residency as training).

    But if you really want big money, go into business or finance. Get a job in investment banking or work for a boutique hedge fund. I don't have hard figures for you, but if you're smart, work hard, and do well in business and finance, I think the earning potential is far higher than med school.

    Say you go to med school right after college and you do a 5 year residency. You're about 31 when you're done, and you go get a job as a general surgeon and make $200k/year. Compare that with getting an i-banking job right out of college. Starting at $80k with the potential for a big bonus. Instead of accruing debt in your 20s, you're saving money, getting pay raises and building a resume. Maybe you take two years off for business school (keg parties and networking). But by the time you're 31, you've had 7-9 years of work and have probably worked your way up the ladder enough to earn as much as your friend the surgeon (or more if you've done well), and you don't have all those loans to repay. You already own your house, car, and have $50k in a retirement account.

    I have friends from college who went to work at hedge funds and are planning to retire at 40. They're smart, but not brilliant. Maybe the hedge fund thing is a trend that won't last forever. But they make much more money than a physician.
     
  21. riceman04

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    dont forget that they have the highest insurance costs as well!!!!

    So most of that $ you make is gone even before you get a chance to spend it.

    And let's not start w/ Uncle Sam...b/c he will get his cut too!
     
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  22. pseudoknot

    Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I really don't think malpractice premiums are very high for derm, rads, and ophtho. I know they aren't for gas. And medical salaries are quoted after the cost of malpractice insurance is taken out (unless you hear someone talking about net revenue).

    Finally, everyone has to pay income tax, not just physicians, so that's irrelevant to this comparison.
     
  23. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Have you ever seen an imaging center? Radio is a lot of private practice.
     
  24. Tigerstang

    Tigerstang Senior Member
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    finally, someone who knows what's up. my bro works at a hedge fund in manhattan...walked out with >500k total compensation (bonus + vested) this year, and he has only been working there since march. he is 3 years out of college. he will likely be retired before i finish residency, etc.

     
  25. bubbleyum

    bubbleyum Senior Member
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    to the OP: if you are not already enrolled, i think you should get out of medicine RIGHT NOW before you become unhappy in a few years. go play the lottery, even, that might be a better investment for you.
     
  26. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I agree -- most hospitals outsource their radiology needs to groups, who staff the hospital. It's very much a private practice specialty. But I don't think it's called "radio". :rolleyes:
     
  27. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Yeah its Rads, but I was using their reference.
     
  28. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    There seems to be a pretty strong correlation between those who think medicine is the best money making profession, provides a "guaranteed" income level etc. and those who have never worked before. Mostly undergrads who have invested a lot of time being premed and now have some unrealistic expectations, or some need to keep up with their peers who took the easier business major paths. These threads tend to get more realistic responses and die out quickly on the specialty and nontrad boards.
     
  29. dz88

    dz88 Member
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    banking/commerce and business may be the way to make big money, but think of just how competitive it is. The stories of those making 300K and above are just a few isolated individuals with some serious talent. Money is not easy to make, don't be a doctor simply because the pay is good.
     
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  30. Orthodoc40

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    I would say get out now even if you ARE already enrolled - for the same reasons listed here.
     
  31. Orthodoc40

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    They're higher than most posters here realize. If you can read this Time article:

    http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1101030609-455786,00.html
     
  32. CTSballer11

    CTSballer11 Senior Member
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    the 200k is take home. that is after uncle sam and malpractice. just wanted to clear that up.
     
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  33. jon stewart

    jon stewart Senior Member
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    so if you're more concerned with the $$ then its a good idea to switch to economics? But those poeple who said there brothers or whatever are making like 150k, are those oppurtunities out there for everyone? Did they make that much after thier bach. degree or did they go to some graduate school? I dont know anything abt finance or business, so may sound like i dont know what im talking about. Also, doesnt the school you go to or went to when you get your econ degree make a big difference on your pay and your oppurtunities?
     
  34. MarzMD

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    So you are saying that when a site posts average physician salary, it is most likely take home?(after insurance, govt., etc) That is insane, I didnt think physicians got paid THAT much.
     
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  35. almost_there

    almost_there Senior Member
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    I asked this question previously, but never got a response. Are those doctors making < $100K doing so because they have no choice, i.e. cannot find any other position that pays more? Or because they choose to serve in positions that are more poorly compensated, work less hours, etc.?

    Perhaps I am naive, but it seems that those docs who make "negative" incomes (i.e. whose private practices fail) are those who are being businessmen, rather than just doctors, and thereby incur the risks and potential rewards of running a small business. And after their business fails, they can pick up and join a hospital for a good secure salary.

    What % of doctors are involuntarily unemployed?

    I think the point is that doctors have very marketable and well-compensated skills that allow them to have much more control over their work and compensation than most other professions. Sure, you can make a killing in finance, but hit a bad year or two, and you'll be out quickly. There's a lot more risk. Not that many people who make it big in finance or business -- it takes a good amount of smarts, hard work, personal marketing, communication skills, chutzpah, and just plain luck to do it.
     
  36. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I don't know what sites you are looking at, but in general, any site listing average salaries is pretax (i.e. NOT AFTER UNCLE SAM).
     
  37. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    As for those earning less than $100k, there are some of each category. The "average" salaries are where they are because half the doctors out there are doing worse than the average (the definition of a mean). There was a link to a gloom and doom news article that I linked to an SDN thread last year indicating something to the effect that FPs in certain midwestern locations were pulling in full time salaries as low as $70k. (If someone recalls what thread in what board that was, I will try and find it). I'm sure this is not the norm, but it exists. I merely am pointing out that there is no "guaranteed" income level, and no basement line salary, as some have suggested. As for doctors with negative incomes, they get there by being in medical practices which fail. Happens a lot. This can occur if your expenses outpace your reimbursements (i.e. unprofitable business in expensive areas or with high costs), if they are hit with liabilities (legal, taxes, employment issues), or can simply be the result of bad management. But if you see being in a "private practice" as distinct from being "in medicine" then your definition system confuses me. Most of the six digit and above figures people are seeking will be earned in private practice.
     
  38. CTSballer11

    CTSballer11 Senior Member
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    The avg reported salary is around 220-280k, depending on your source. The 200k is after malpractice insurance, overhead, not uncle same. That was my mistake.
     
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  39. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    Is this the mean, or the median? The Dr. Rey's of the world may screw up the mean.
     
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  40. pseudoknot

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    In general, hospitals do not employ physicians. This is even true for most doctors in hospital-based specialties such as emergency medicine and anesthesiology. Generally physicians work in private practice groups, and individually will have privileges at hospitals. You could think of the hospital as being the stadium and the doctors as the football team, although that's not a perfect analogy.
     
  41. CTSballer11

    CTSballer11 Senior Member
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    Dr. Rey is not a general surgeon.
     
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  42. DrBowtie

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    Or the hospital pays the group to staff the hospital. So while you work at the hospital your paychecks come from your group.
     
  43. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    This is the normal set up.
     
  44. almost_there

    almost_there Senior Member
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    Er, that's the definition of "median", not mean. So the doctors that make negative incomes actually skew the mean downwards. But I get what you mean.

    I really was naive. Almost all doctors are in private practice, and hospitals typically hire private groups for staff? Wow, I didn't know that that was how it worked. So how does someone become "Head of Orthopedic Surgery, Big Shot Hospital"? The private group decides who that will be? Then the doctors are not employees of that hospital? I'm curious how that organizational structure works.

    And -- does the hospital not have rights to fire/hire physicians?

    Am I the only one who apparently is completely in the dark about how physician employment is structured?
     
  45. MarzMD

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    It was news to me also. I second more information on the topic.
     
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  46. riceman04

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    You missed my point about the taxes. Yes, everyone has to pay taxes but I was refering to the fact that docs dont end up making that much $. Regardless of the fact that everyone else has to pay taxes takes nothing away from the fact that they are in a higher tax bracket and thus have to pay a significant amount of taxes (assuming no property is purchased or no other write off options are pursued).

    And how could a standard salary for physicians be posted when the salary varies from one region to the next...maybe I am missing something.
     
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  47. SeventhSon

    SeventhSon SIMMER DOWN
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    what is this hedge fund crap people are talking about? ive never heard of it
     
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  48. almost_there

    almost_there Senior Member
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    Typically, they are loosely regulated investment funds open only to individuals/institutions with lots of money (something $10+ million) to invest... most have as their selling point money managers with a winning track record or algorithm(s) to trade stock. Why they are good vehicles to making lots of money is that the fund typically demands 1-2% of the PRINCIPAL + something like 20% of the PROFITS. Consider a $3 billion fund that makes 10% return. Management fees are $30-$60M (principal) + $60M (profits). This largess trickles down even to low-level analysts in their annual bonuses.

    The original meaning of "hedge fund" was a fund that shorts one stock while buying another, hedging some of the risk. But the term does not strictly mean this any more...

    A good link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedge_fund
     
  49. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Here's a link to an article I found on google regarding outsourcing of EDs. I will dig up more stuff when I have a chance. http://www.ed-qual.com/Emergency_Medicine_News/ED_News_ED_Outsourcing_Article.htm

    This is a slightly different variation on the theme, as it is non-MD run staffing. I believe the MD run practice group model is the more prevalent version.
     
  50. nimotsu

    nimotsu 荷物
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    I think choosing a career is a multivariable decision. Many people think money is the key, yet I've seen many people with money that are not necessarily happy (whatever that feeling is anyway). It's about money, satisfaction, etc... but yeah money can't hurt :D

    I thought about patent law.
    Need a MS/Ph.D in physical or biological science in many cases
    Law degree and experience with quirky patent system
    Salary is good for this one... it should increase as intellectual property and patents become a huge issue (especially because of China and S. Korea).
     
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