Interesting article on the lives of physicians

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by snowballz, Oct 8, 2001.

  1. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member

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    Hey gang,

    Here is something everyone should read. Very interesting..and truthful. Every money hungry premed (I'm thinking/hoping there aren't many) should read this.
    http://www.nymag.com/page.cfm?page_id=5044

    Enjoy.

    Alicia
     
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  3. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member

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    Man, is that some depressing **** or what? Seems the key to happiness in medicine is to STAY OUT OF NYC :) --Trek
     
  4. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    WoW! Great post. Eye-opening in view of the loans most of us are planning on taking out. Thanks.

    Also check out Joanne Kaufmann's Tough Medicine columns, from the same magazine at this site.
     
  5. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member

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    I guess it's a dose of reality. My hope for this trend is that many people who are desiring a high income will aspire to other professions..leaving the people who really, truly want to care for others to gain admittance into medical school.

    Still though..the average income is $120,000. Coming from my socioeconomic background...that's very, very good. I think we need to realize many people live on much, much, much, much less than that. I think to be a good physician, (now, this is just spouting from my ass) we need to be able to communicate effectively with ALL socioeconomic/educational backgrounds..and be able to identify with them. Dropping salaries may not be a bad thing for patients.

    Alicia
     
  6. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie

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    Snowballz, while I can understand where you're coming from, lets put this in perspective, ok?

    1) After graduating from medical school, I, personally will only have about 80,000 in debt. Im *LUCKY*. I have a college trust fund that wasnt used up b/c I got a scholarship. I am also paying in-state tuition in Tx (~7,000/year). Most people will have more like 200,000 in debt at graduation. You cant pay loans off during residency, when you are only earning maybe 25,000/year. So thats at LEAST 3 years of interest on the principle. Add to that, that unless you work completely from a hospital (ER, whatever), you have to pay malpractice insurance, business overheads, staff salaries, etc etc etc. That stuff is WAY expensive. Yes, 120,000 a year is a great salary - but we wont see probably half of that. So please stop the crap about dropping physician salaries being a good thing. Sure, cut them if you want your doc to live in a cheap apartment, not have kids and retire with no savings to live on (the then nonexistant) social security at age 65.

    2) Maybe this will make people say "wow, you shouldnt go to med school, you're in it for the $$", but yes, I DO expect to earn more than people who didnt work their butts off for at least seven years. I DO expect to be compensated for undertaking a job where people's lives are on the line and if I say one word wrong I could get sued for millions - not to mention having to pay for and endure the years of training.

    3) This isnt even mostly about money. I will spend at least seven years of my life learning every gory detail about anatomy, physiology, pathology, neuroscience, etc that can be drilled into me. I will not sleep for five of those years, because I will be in the hospital, learning to treat patients as best I can. After finally getting licensed and practicing on my own, Im supposed to be OK with the idea that a 19 year old high school dropout is on the other end of the phone at Aetna (or whoever) telling me that an MRI of the head of a patient with papillary edema, severe headaches, bilateral hemianopsia and diplopia "isnt medically indicated"? Please. No, I wont know EVERYTHING, but I sure as heck will know more about whats medically indicated than that high school dropout clerk that's denying the scan.

    I dont expect to be treated like "a God" or have gold flung at me as I walk down the street. But it is reasonable to expect that I will be paid a salary that will allow my family to own a modest house in a safe neigborhood, have reliable cars (2, so my spouse can also drive to work), and maybe be able to send my kids to private school. I also think its reasonable to expect that people will realize that yes, I DID go through all that training, I DO know more about details of medicine than people who didnt undergo training that extensive (PAs, nurses, technicians, clerks - and NO Im not saying that I always know better than everybody - experienced nurses know a heck of a lot, and I look forward to learning from them. But.), and I should be able to make medical decisions about what tests are NECESSARY to my patient's care. HMOs dont do that. All they care about is the bottom line. Anyways.

    Yes, Im ranting. Im pissed off by that article and Im cranky b/c There is TOO MUCH to learn in head and neck and Im behind (literally, we just started the pelvis/perineum today). So if anybody's offended, realize it wasnt meant to offend. Im venting and its my personal opinion, which IM entitled to.

    Star
     
  7. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A.

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    good point Alicia. Can't help but think that it sounds like a solid response to an interview question... I'll remember that ;)
     
  8. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member

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    In response to Starflyer..

    I think you make some valid points. However, the point I was making was that this should not and must not deter the ones who have deep desire for medicine. You read way too much into what I was saying. Sorry, if you took it incorrectly. Calm down.

    And The Bull needs to find his own damn answer. :p

    Alicia
     
  9. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie

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    snowballz -

    That, as I said, was mostly a rant, and wasnt really directed at you - it was just an opening for me to vent a little. Sorry, I didnt mean to attack you. In addition to everything else, I just found out that I have a lovely fever/flu/something, so thats probably making me more irritated than usual. please accept my apologies for venting at you.

    Star
     
  10. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member

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    Starflyer,

    It's okay. I'm not one to be begrudged till the day I die. I understand. I, too, think someone who goes through so much education and hardship getting there should be rewarded with something. Maybe we will find that these articles are journalistic fanaticism by some disgruntled ex-premed!! :D

    Alicia
     
  11. Wu-Tang Killa Bee

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    That was TRILL!! (true/real)


    There is gonna be a lot of slow singin' and flower bringin' if my burglar alarm starts ringin'--- Biggie
     
  12. Drako

    Drako Senior Member

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    if you guys are worrying about money matters...read Arthur Ashe's autobiography and practice what he preached. That man is very wise (to me, he is still alive).
     
  13. Kazzar

    Kazzar Psychiatrist

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    I think the doctors who are quoted in the article are full of it. Not because they aren't telling the truth about being paid less, but because they are whinning about losing power and prestige and now "have to be a team member." That's proof of the god-complex that many doctors have.

    I have no problem working with nurses, techs, PAs, and volunteers. I do not care if I am "judged" the same or on the same level as them. The only important thing to me is that my medical opinion must be valued the highest - which is still the case for doctors even in the most stringent HMOs.

    So whats the big deal about losing a personal assistant or the gluttonous salary... heck its a variable market. If it stops being rewarding - people will stop wanting to become doctors, pay will rise, etc. anyway.

    Now it's the chance for us who want to be doctors to show our resolve - no matter how many years of training - because we feel that is how we can help society the most. It's somethign we feel in our hearts, not in our bank to deposit a check with many zeroes as possible.

    I say, for shame, those who opine the lessening of salary and prestige. Those are petty success markers. Anybody making over $100,000 (avg doc salary being $120,000) is going to have more than everything they need to have a comfortable life. If you want 2 Mercedes and yacht - be a lawyer or start a business.

    I find it satisfying to be paid less. It makes me focus on the real reason I want to become a doctor - to do my part in the world to make it a better place.

    8 years of training is nothing considering how many lives I will be able to save.

    I say - pay us less. Weed out the bastards.
     
  14. none

    none 1K Member

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    Pre-docs...just stay off the east and west coasts! You can keep your prestige AND money!
     
  15. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member

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    Say bro- you just completely contradicted yourself- whining about no power but you want your opinion valued the most? Seems you ARE looking to have power and prestige. --Trek

     
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  17. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member

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    I agree with Kazzar, however, I don't think my opinion needs to be valued the most. Part of the doctor education system is attending physicians and nurses. Many older nurses know more than the residents.

    I think when dealing with a patient, it may be helpful to ask someone else their opinions regarding a patients care. Just my two cents. (a nurse or doc who's been in the game longer)

    Alicia
     
  18. Kazzar

    Kazzar Psychiatrist

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    Oh yeah I totally agree. I mispoke. I meant, that if I am a doctor of 30 years, my opinion should be taken over an administrator that thinks an MRI is too costly. And I agree some nurses might know more than residents on some things. But they didnt have all the schooling so they couldn't know what is going on in an enzymatic level or what not. But second opinions are always great and should not be overlooked or shunned.

    But by "power and prestige" I mean controlling people and having dominence over who goes where/does what/reports to who/etc.

    This bad writting is evidence of my lower verbal score - heh.
     
  19. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member

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    Kazzar,

    No harm done with the writing. I sometimes leave words out...and sound extremely goofy for it!! :D

    Alicia
     
  20. nochaser

    nochaser Senior Member

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    if physician salaries are dropping, then medical education must reflect this downward trend. that, or restructure the amount of time it takes to become a licensed practicing physician. especially when there are NP's and PA's that can earn the same as a PC doc, with fewer years of education (roughly 3-6 years fewer, depending on program) and NO internship or residency (that shaves off another 3-4 years for primary care), and they are basically doing the same things that PC docs do. humbling, isn't it?
     
  21. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.

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    I agree with Kazzar, I believe that doctors can do without the perks. The people in that article are all complaining over ego problems. As for the issue of pay, both my parents are professionals with seven years of education. Their combined income does not equal that of the average doctor, so excuse me if I don't cry too hard. Doctor's still make a good living and if it is what you enjoy doing, then you still get a good deal. If the price I pay for being a doctor is to have to only own a house in one of the richest places on long island and own mid-level luxury car than that is what I will live with.Besides, these doctors wouldn't need second jobs if they just tuned down their lifestyle. Has anyone in that article ever heard of Toyota, Honda, or Nissan? I believe that though there are problems with HMO's,however stopping overinflated incomes and egoes isn't one of them.
     
  22. Tim Duncan

    Tim Duncan Member

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    I said it in another thread and I'll state it again.


    Every time I read one of those 'MD profession sucks' articles, I notice a common theme... all the doctors bitching are in well patrolled urban areas like Boston, NYC, LA, and SF where there's a glut of practicing doctors. Well, WTF did they expect? A shiny Mercedes with their sign on bonus when they're not really needed?! If doctors want to make the big bucks, they have to move to one of the small town, rural clinics where the internal medicine salaries can range from 250k to 500k.


    In contrast, where are many of the highly paid lawyers, dotcomers, and consultants in those cities today? At the unemployment office whereas the doctors are still seeing patients. Let's see, when there was a shortage, during the 97-99 tech boom, the aforementioned professionals made top dollars, and during the bust, 2000 and up, they're struggling to make ends meet. Doctors are immune to the boom/bust cycles of the technology oriented work sectors unlike most other highly paid white collar professionals. So, why aren't these facts mentioned in those articles?
     

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