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Interview Question: MD Salaries

slothster

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Nov 13, 2012
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  1. Pre-Medical
At a MD school interview last week, the interviewer asked me:

"how much do you think primary care docs earn?"

followed by

"how much do you think a cardiothoracic surgeon earns?"

Any guesses on why he would ask me this? Perhaps I came across as a money-grubbing/ in it for the benjamins-type applicant. But still so weird...

I was pretty confident with my answers, which I'm now thinking might have hurt me.

Is physician salary not a fairly well-known topic among pre-meds who have spent the past 4 years working toward medical school? I'm not saying we're doing it for the money, but like any other opportunity cost we're making a decision about our future where salary must factor in at some level...
 
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PreMedOrDead

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Actually sounds like a pretty good question. Judges both your understanding of the career (necessary to know what you're getting yourself into) and your motivation for the career.

Depends, did you say $150,000 and $300,000 or did you say $176,690 and $407,539?

Former is a reasonable understanding of the career and why you're going into it (stability and compensation ought to be at least a small part of choosing the career), the latter is $.$
 
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slothster

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Nov 13, 2012
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Actually sounds like a pretty good question. Judges both your understanding of the career (necessary to know what you're getting yourself into) and your motivation for the career.

Depends, did you say $150,000 and $300,000 or did you say $176,690 and $407,539?

Former is a reasonable understanding of the career and why you're going into it (stability and compensation ought to be at least a small part of choosing the career), the latter is $.$
Ha!

I think I said "$100-150K" for primary care and "$350-400K" for the surgeon.

Maybe it was my lack of accuracy that led to the rejection.
 
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steackncheese

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A lot of people pretend to be interested in primary care for application season. If I am ever a student interviewer in the future, I am going to ask this question with the follow-up question "Now why would anybody want to be a primary care doctor?" I'm sure most people would have a prepared answer triumphing the merits of primary care, but hopefully it could get a few people to squirm :smuggrin:

Primary care docs should make more money and get more kudos for how uniquely difficult their job is. A lot of the blame falls on the 'top' schools for the negative stigma they attach to primary care.
 
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MedPR

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Rarely, I would assume, does a rejection come down to a single response in an interview...

Definitely. At one of the schools I was accepted to I answered the "why should we pick you?" question like this:

I've never been able to come up with a good answer for this question, but I guess it's because blah blah blah cliche cliche cliche.
 
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BABSstudent

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My answer would have been that it depends on the area of the country, having their own practice versus being employed by someone else, etc.

But to be honest, one answer is not likely going to do you in unless you say your hobby is torturing babies.
 
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gasblaster

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Agree with the others. Depends on a lot of factors. One of the biggest would be academic vs private practice. Location of the country. Urban versus rural. Family practice, general internal medicine, peds, ob-gyn? But I think your answer isn't far off the mark as a generalization.
 
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Cuongoff

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Agree with the others. Depends on a lot of factors. One of the biggest would be academic vs private practice. Location of the country. Urban versus rural. Family practice, general internal medicine, peds, ob-gyn? But I think your answer isn't far off the mark as a generalization.


This. Maybe it wasn't a question asking specifically for the salaries but a question aimed how your thought process works? Maybe I dig too deep into my interview questions but maybe they were looking for you to ask these questions. Rural or urban? Hospital or private? etc.
 
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slothster

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Thanks for the input, all. I guess I'm overanalyzing everything given the quick post-interview rejection.

I emailed admissions asking for feedback and got the generic "blah blah blah you're not a perfect fit with our mission," which leaves me wondering why I was deemed a fit pre-interview but not post...

I guess it's time to move on.

Thanks again.
 
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mcloaf

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Thanks for the input, all. I guess I'm overanalyzing everything given the quick post-interview rejection.

I emailed admissions asking for feedback and got the generic "blah blah blah you're not a perfect fit with our mission," which leaves me wondering why I was deemed a fit pre-interview but not post...

I guess it's time to move on.

Thanks again.

Eh, just because somebody reviewing files for interview invites thought you might fit their mission doesn't mean the whole committee will necessarily agree.

Their loss. :oops:
 
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