Likkriue

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It used to be "Is dentistry worth 300k?". Nowadays 300k is actually on the more affordable side.

Im glad to be out of dental school by 2021(if I get in this cycle), I cant imagine how classes of 2025 are going to handle paying their debt. Dental school tuition has risen from 60k private schools to close to 75k in just 5 years.

In another 5 years it will be "Is dentistry worth 500k?". And USC dental school will be "OMG USC IS CHARGING 650k!!!".

But seriously, USC should be ashamed charging almost 90k just for tuition.
 

schmoob

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I think your purview needs updating.

FM and IM docs are starting at $250K/year out of residency for M-F 8a-5p or hospitalist 7/7 positions these days. They also have ample opportunity to take on extra moonlighting shifts at $130+/hr, add 40% to that for nocturning in a rural hospital or rural ED. Demand is through the roof for primary care docs right now and for the foreseeable future. Also, most new physicians I speak with have student loans at around $200K and are able to pay them off in less than a year if they really wanted to. This is an awesome time to be a physician.
What's to stop a new dentist from going to a high demand rural area and working similarly long hours? Three years soon than an IM/FM too.
It's not all doom and gloom for dentists. I bet those IM residents on 36 hour rotations and 100 hour weeks are thanking for their lucky stars they didn't choose dentistry.
It is not an awesome time to be a physician. Demand for primary care is through the roof, but reimbursement rates are low, so they have to literally run through patients to produce.
Oh, and do the forget charting...
 

GypsyHummus

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Lowly non trad here weighing options between dentistry, medicine, and podiatry, and from the looks of it, dentistry has the best return on investment.

Schooling is only 4 years, which is amazing for non trade like myself. The pay is also outrageous for the amount of hours worked. There are pods clearing 180K easy, but they work something like 70-80 hours/week, with surgeons even more. Dentists can make a nice fat 150K gross and work 40 hours/week, sometimes less.

That said, 150K becomes 100K very quickly with taxes n stuff, so I say if you plan to live off of 20K/year (which is totally doable in many areas of America) putting 80K to loans isn't too bad.
 
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deleted547631

What's to stop a new dentist from going to a high demand rural area and working similarly long hours? Three years soon than an IM/FM too.
It's not all doom and gloom for dentists. I bet those IM residents on 36 hour rotations and 100 hour weeks are thanking for their lucky stars they didn't choose dentistry.
It is not an awesome time to be a physician. Demand for primary care is through the roof, but reimbursement rates are low, so they have to literally run through patients to produce.
Oh, and do the forget charting...
Your assumptions about medical training were true about 10 years ago.

1) There's no such thing as a 36 hour shift. All medical residents are capped at 16 hours per shift.

2) Total work hours are limited to 80 per week for residents.

3) Many specialties in medicine have great lifestyles and pay including outpatient primary care. Again, you're working with older assumptions here.
 
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schmoob

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Your assumptions about medical training were true about 10 years ago.

1) There's no such thing as a 36 hour shift. All medical residents are capped at 16 hours per shift.

2) Total work hours are limited to 80 per week for residents.

3) Many specialties in medicine have great lifestyles and pay including outpatient primary care. Again, you're working with older assumptions here.
-No, I'm not.

"Under current ACGME requirements, first-year residents may not work more than 16 hours straight, while shifts for all other residents must not exceed 28 hours, which includes a 4-hour transition. And all residents must have at least 8 hours off, and ideally 10, between shifts, and at least 14 hours off after working continuously for 24 hours."

And yes, you are limited to WORKING 80 hours a week. But again, how much charting and paperwork piles up throughout those 80 hours? That's fine, you did your 80 hours for the week and you're done at the hospital, but the documentation and paperwork still need to get done, no matter where you do it. Your Attending may not let you do anything clinically at the hospital after your 80 hours, but you still have things you need to get done. I have yet to meet a resident who works no more than 80 hours a week, despite the guidelines.

So, say I'm a dentist with $400K debt. Say I decide to work myself like a medical resident and focus on production for at least 3 years. Say I take $40K gross for myself while paying student loans with the rest of my income. At the end of those 3 years, what sort of financial standing do you think the dentist will be in compared to the FP doc who just finished residency while their loans just accrued interest?

Please take some time to think about the statements you have made in this thread. If you're going to come to the dental forums and start pissing on it and saying how much better medicine is, not to mention pissing on the military by saying no one wants to join, they're "forced to," you need a reality check. It's time to put down the Kool-Aid, this isn't Jonestown.
Enjoy med school, and enjoy your "80" hour residency.
 
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deleted547631

-No, I'm not.

"Under current ACGME requirements, first-year residents may not work more than 16 hours straight, while shifts for all other residents must not exceed 28 hours, which includes a 4-hour transition. And all residents must have at least 8 hours off, and ideally 10, between shifts, and at least 14 hours off after working continuously for 24 hours."

And yes, you are limited to WORKING 80 hours a week. But again, how much charting and paperwork piles up throughout those 80 hours? That's fine, you did your 80 hours for the week and you're done at the hospital, but the documentation and paperwork still need to get done, no matter where you do it. Your Attending may not let you do anything clinically at the hospital after your 80 hours, but you still have things you need to get done. I have yet to meet a resident who works no more than 80 hours a week, despite the guidelines.

So, say I'm a dentist with $400K debt. Say I decide to work myself like a medical resident and focus on production for at least 3 years. Say I take $40K gross for myself while paying student loans with the rest of my income. At the end of those 3 years, what sort of financial standing do you think the dentist will be in compared to the FP doc who just finished residency while their loans just accrued interest?

Please take some time to think about the statements you have made in this thread. If you're going to come to the dental forums and start pissing on it and saying how much better medicine is, not to mention pissing on the military by saying no one wants to join, they're "forced to," you need a reality check. It's time to put down the Kool-Aid, this isn't Jonestown.
Enjoy med school, and enjoy your "80" hour residency.
You seem triggered.

Back to the topic, with the direction dentistry is going (student debt, market forces, etc) students should really seek out the best information. What's being spouted on this forum re: medicine is outdated. FP and IM doctors are riding a wave of demand and salaries approaching $250K starting. One could moonlight as a resident after PGY1 and double their salary if they're so inclined. If we're focusing on ROI, you got me there - residency extends your debt and allows interest to increase but the payoff is strong afterwards.

Fact: you probably did the HPSP primarily for the money and that's 100% fine. Medical students are doing the same thing. You have to weigh your options.
 

Incis0r

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Say I decide to work myself like a medical resident and focus on production for at least 3 years. Say I take $40K gross for myself while paying student loans with the rest of my income. At the end of those 3 years, what sort of financial standing do you think the dentist will be in compared to the FP doc who just finished residency while their loans just accrued interest?
Dentist will be in excellent financial standing, but his health will have suffered unfortunately :(

Fact: you probably did the HPSP primarily for the money and that's 100% fine. Medical students are doing the same thing. You have to weigh your options.
Please don't assume things about other people. You don't know what decisions they have taken and what situations they have faced.
 
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deleted547631

Dentist will be in excellent financial standing, but his health will have suffered unfortunately :(



Please don't assume things about other people. You don't know what decisions they have taken and what situations they have faced.
Well said. No offense to @schmoob. Let's keep it constructive.

I weighed in from the medical side because discussion about physician salaries, etc. seemed outdated.
 
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CanaDMD

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Well said. No offense to @schmoob. Let's keep it constructive.

I weighed in from the medical side because discussion about physician salaries, etc. seemed outdated.
Glad to hear your point of view.

Let's keep things civil here.

So, to resume, GP dentists are about just as well off as GP docs (forget IM as they aren't truly GP; I'm thinking family med). What about dental specialists?

It really isn't a pissing match for whoever commented that. This isn't me trying to start a med vs dent debate. I'm simply trying to obtain a logical comparison between the two fields.
 
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You seem triggered.

Back to the topic, with the direction dentistry is going (student debt, market forces, etc) students should really seek out the best information. What's being spouted on this forum re: medicine is outdated. FP and IM doctors are riding a wave of demand and salaries approaching $250K starting. One could moonlight as a resident after PGY1 and double their salary if they're so inclined. If we're focusing on ROI, you got me there - residency extends your debt and allows interest to increase but the payoff is strong afterwards.

Fact: you probably did the HPSP primarily for the money and that's 100% fine. Medical students are doing the same thing. You have to weigh your options.
Outdated or no, 250k/yr just isn't worth the time or effort needed to be a physician. Residency is a life encompassing experience that pays you peanuts while your loans accrue interest. In the case of FM/IM you're going to spend 3 years working roughly 80 hrs a week (around 11.5hrs/day) to make 250k. By that time, the Dentist would've dropped his debt to likely well below the FM/IM resident and either in his own practice or looking to purchase one which will boost his salary to enough to be competitive w/ a FM/IM attending. The big difference here? The Dentist did this working 40 hours a week M-F.

For most people who picked between Dentistry and Medicine, it was never about the income as most specialties in Medicine will out earn a GP Dentist but about the lifestyle Dentistry enables. Not to mention the working environments are like night and day. Hospital Bureaucracy <<<<<<<< Private Practice.
 
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Cello

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I think your purview needs updating.

FM and IM docs are starting at $250K/year out of residency for M-F 8a-5p or hospitalist 7/7 positions these days. They also have ample opportunity to take on extra moonlighting shifts at $130+/hr, add 40% to that for nocturning in a rural hospital or rural ED. Demand is through the roof for primary care docs right now and for the foreseeable future. Also, most new physicians I speak with have student loans at around $200K and are able to pay them off in less than a year if they really wanted to. This is an awesome time to be a physician.
As I have several friends who are IM and FM docs, no they are not earning those salaries, working those hours, and apparently it is you who need to update your purview. In fact, I know of one FP who made less than $100k their first year out, even less than one of the NPs at their same practice. That is certainly the exception, but so is $250k right out of residency. Frankly, that is a fantasy. A $250k starting salary is typical for surgical specialists and maybe a few others (EM, derm, and anesthesiology), not general physicians. The majority I know are making just under $200k on their first contract, and I know a good number of practicing physicians.

If you don't believe me, have a look at the AAMC's own figures for FM and IM which jive with what I have seen with my own friends and acquaintances:

Family Practice (w/OB) $187,298
Internal Medicine: General $180,000
Hospitalist: Internal Medicine $205,378


Also, you really give yourself away by suggesting that FM and IM only work M-F 8-5. Most generalists I know are clocking at least 50 hours per week, often more. The last official figure I saw put internists somewhere around 55 hours per week. You are also likely not factoring in call, and if you think that a physician's day is done when the clinic closes then you simply don't know the volume of paperwork required of modern physicians. I know a few surgeons who finished fellowship last year and were shocked to discover how much of their time is spent charting and completing notes. Remember, you are not paid to dictate, you are not paid to take notes, you are not paid to chart. You are paid according to a fee-for-service model, but you will not get paid if you don't complete your notes as the patient often can't be billed until you do.

I would be happy to relay your comments about physicians to my physician friends and fiancee who are generally very happy to enlighten medical students about the realities of real world medicine.

As an example, I was at a dinner with a dozen orthopedic surgeons last year. One of them found out that I was going to dental school. He stood up at the table, gathered everyone's attention, and then announced that I was the "smartest person in the room" because I was going into dentistry. There was a lot of good spirited laughter and ribbing. It turns out that his father-in-law is a dentist, and he says he wishes he had gone to dental school instead of medicine. To each their own, but you'll find in time that many physicians are very bitter about the current state of medicine.

PS - Kudos to you on having a residency directory who is cool with you moonlighting. Not every residency program allows that, nor is it possible everywhere.

Dentistry's moving towards Pharmacy's model, which is predominantly corporate churning with huge downward pressure on salaries. The best ROI is shifting back towards medicine, in my opinion.
Not really.

Pharmacists don't perform procedures. It is much easier to stick them behind a desk and turn them into glorified clerks. One of my fellow dental students left pharmacy and came to dentistry because his perception is the opposite of yours. (He did very well on the MCAT by the way)

You think there hasn't been a corporate takeover of medicine? You can't hope to make it as a solo practitioner anymore in most regions. My soon to be brother-in-law's father runs a solo ortho practice in Florida and he has been in the red for years now. The market simply does not favor independent practitioners, hence the large corporate hospital networks which contract group practices for specialty work. The physician employee is here to stay. Contrast that with dentistry where the majority of dentists are self-employed.

You want to talk about downward pressure on salaries? Let's talk about midlevel providers. Also, you left malpractice insurance out of the equation entirely. My fiancee is paying $32,000 in tail coverage because she worked in a practice for one year and is now moving to another one. That is on top of the nearly $30,000 already paid in malpractice insurance for the year she practiced. That sounds like a lot of money (and it is), but OB/GYN docs often pay close to $100,000 in tail coverage when they leave a practice! These are things nobody tells you about until you are practicing in the real world.
 
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deleted547631

As I have several friends who are IM and FM docs, no they are not earning those salaries, working those hours, and apparently it is you who need to update your purview. In fact, I know of one FP who made less than $100k their first year out, even less than one of the NPs at their same practice. That is certainly the exception, but so is $250k right out of residency. Frankly, that is a fantasy. A $250k starting salary is typical for surgical specialists and maybe a few others (EM, derm, and anesthesiology), not general physicians. The majority I know are making just under $200k on their first contract, and I know a good number of practicing physicians.
Good points all around but I must continue to standby what I've mentioned earlier and say that starting salaries can be much higher than what is being stated here and what the AAMC surveys suggest. Here's an anecdotal from my point of view since we're all throwing them around: a good friend of mine who is currently a PGY3 in Internal Medicine in the South has been offered a hospitalist position with a salary base of $241,500 with potential for wRVU bonuses beyond a certain RVU number for 14 days per month (i.e. 7 on and 7 off). Additionally, he was offered a locum tenens position where if he were to work one additional seven day stretch as a nocturnist at rural hospital about 60 miles away he would be grossing an extra $20,000 per month just on that at the offer of $230 per hour. His fellow co-residents are getting similar offers, with the locum tenens positions being via word of mouth. Another: before my cousin started his fellowship in pulm/critical care, he grossed $320K during his gap year after completing his IM residency working roughly 17 shifts per month at the same hospital he completed his IM training. My freshly minted FM buddy in Wisconsin moonlights in a rural hospital with an ED and makes $150 per hour for a 48hr weekend shift, that's $7,200 per weekend to do a few admits and nurse a pager all day on top of his $220K/year M-F 8a-5p outpatient position with loan forgiveness.

Midlevel providers have been commonplace in medicine now for over 30 years and they're actually helping boost physician salaries. Yes, anesthesia is worried about midlevels but they are generally not a threat to others as there is simply too much demand for physician services. As they say in the FM forum, if a family medicine doctor is worried about losing their job to a midlevel then perhaps they should. Regarding the midlevel threat in dentistry, maybe dental therapists will end up being a great thing for dentists to utilize to boost their productivity. Did you know that the Kellogg and R.W. Johnson foundations are among the primary lobbying backers pushing for dental therapists at state legislatures? Independent midlevels will come to dentistry, next, it's just a matter of time. Overall, I'd say the ones who have to worry in medicine are the proceduralists because the shift away from fee for service is real and, in my opinion, political and market pressure will eventually push for dental services to be covered under the medical umbrella.

I find your story about having dinner with the orthopods cheering you on a great one. At the end of the day we're all on the same team.

Back to the topic of the original post: If you're only willing to pursue dentistry or medicine if it's paid for by the department of defense, you should re-evaluate your career plan.
 

schmoob

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You seem triggered.

Back to the topic, with the direction dentistry is going (student debt, market forces, etc) students should really seek out the best information. What's being spouted on this forum re: medicine is outdated. FP and IM doctors are riding a wave of demand and salaries approaching $250K starting. One could moonlight as a resident after PGY1 and double their salary if they're so inclined. If we're focusing on ROI, you got me there - residency extends your debt and allows interest to increase but the payoff is strong afterwards.

Fact: you probably did the HPSP primarily for the money and that's 100% fine. Medical students are doing the same thing. You have to weigh your options.
Fact: Your assumption is no fact at all. You have no proof that I did it for the money. You have no proof I did not do it out of patriotism.
Fact: You have no proof that I did HPSP at all.

I agree with you that going military strictly for financial purposes is not the best way to go.

I also think that you should look at some of these amazing offers your buddies are getting. Especially your FM friend. Doing a 48 hour weekend shift after a 45 hour week, and going directly into another 45 hour week is not a good idea. It is not healthy physically, mentally, or socially; epecially after the burnout of a residency. Financially it's great, but who needs that kind of money when you're working yourself to death?
 
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Big Time Hoosier

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Quality of life is not measured by income alone. I was accepted to medical school, but turned it down. Not an easy decision after working so hard to get in. More than half of my physician mentors told me not to go to medical school. The career simply is not what it used to be. In fact, I personally know a handful of physicians who have quit medicine for other careers because of the toll it was taking on their family, and I have read about many instances of this. I've never even heard anecdotally of a dentist leaving the profession for this reason. My cousins who are dentists keyed me in on the work/life balance dentistry offers. I only wish I had been a pre-dent in undergrad, rather than losing 4 years trying to figure out what to do with my life following undergrad. Medical specialists will always earn more than general dentists. Now, dental specialists are another story. My friend got a job offer paying just shy of $400,000 after he finished his endodontics residency. That's working 30-40 hours a week. Try beating that in medicine. My brother-in-law's friend makes $700,000 - $800,000 as an endodontist in a small city. Moral of the story: if you want a solid work/life balance with insane earning potential, become an endodontist.

Big Hoss
 

Incis0r

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Quality of life is not measured by income alone. I was accepted to medical school, but turned it down. Not an easy decision after working so hard to get in. More than half of my physician mentors told me not to go to medical school. The career simply is not what it used to be. In fact, I personally know a handful of physicians who have quit medicine for other careers because of the toll it was taking on their family, and I have read about many instances of this. I've never even heard anecdotally of a dentist leaving the profession for this reason. My cousins who are dentists keyed me in on the work/life balance dentistry offers. I only wish I had been a pre-dent in undergrad, rather than losing 4 years trying to figure out what to do with my life following undergrad. Medical specialists will always earn more than general dentists. Now, dental specialists are another story. My friend got a job offer paying just shy of $400,000 after he finished his endodontics residency. That's working 30-40 hours a week. Try beating that in medicine. My brother-in-law's friend makes $700,000 - $800,000 as an endodontist in a small city. Moral of the story: if you want a solid work/life balance with insane earning potential, become an endodontist.

Big Hoss
Interesting post. Wanted to share my experience too.

Went to my PCP for annual physical. No co-pay. Insurance paid him $300 for a 30 min visit.
 

DocJL

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This is an awesome time to be a physician.

Agree that bottom line, no physicians are starving.

I would be concerned, however, with the effect of obamacare, which will eventually lead to singe payer socialized healthcare.
This is also causing a push towards more responsibility for non-physician providers, including nurses, nurse practitioners, and PA's.
How this will effect physicians incomes, especially primary care doctors, is a great unknown.
Could end up with a lot more responsiblity - somebody has to supervise these providers - and be on the hook for any mistakes they make, in our litigation driven society (think also higher malpractice premiums, etc), for less income.
 
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GypsyHummus

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Agree that bottom line, no physicians are starving.

I would be concerned, however, with the effect of obamacare, which will eventually lead to singe payer socialized healthcare.
This is also causing a push towards more responsibility for non-physician providers, including nurses, nurse practitioners, and PA's.
How this will effect physicians incomes, especially primary care doctors, is a great unknown.
Could end up with a lot more responsiblity (think also higher malpractice premiums, etc), for less income.
Docs are gonna get their saturation. There has been a ridiculous explosion of new schools, which will lead to a ridiculous amount of med students applying for residency. Soon, it will be had for docs to grab anything that isn't general internal medicine.
 

schmoob

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Docs are gonna get their saturation. There has been a ridiculous explosion of new schools, which will lead to a ridiculous amount of med students applying for residency. Soon, it will be had for docs to grab anything that isn't general internal medicine.
If anything at all...
Medical residencies are limited; there is a set limit and that number is controlled by the government.
 
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DaleDoback

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Interesting post. Wanted to share my experience too.

Went to my PCP for annual physical. No co-pay. Insurance paid him $300 for a 30 min visit.
I take out a set of wisdom teeth in 30 minutes for $2500. Insurance varies from $1200 to $2500. Either way, I can do that 10 times on a Friday and feel pretty damn good about the weekend ahead.

Good thread. As an OMS, I will happily say that I am glad I did not go to medical school, even during my residency.
 
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KrisKross

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For me, no. I quit dentistry after 3 years of practice. You don't know if you're going to like it, until you've taken out the loans and then it's too late.
 

ncide

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For me, no. I quit dentistry after 3 years of practice. You don't know if you're going to like it, until you've taken out the loans and then it's too late.
Damn man, that's unfortunate. What are you doing now? What made you change career paths?
 
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I take out a set of wisdom teeth in 30 minutes for $2500. Insurance varies from $1200 to $2500. Either way, I can do that 10 times on a Friday and feel pretty damn good about the weekend ahead.

Good thread. As an OMS, I will happily say that I am glad I did not go to medical school, even during my residency.
What do you think the future looks like for OMS? I've read around on here that it's really moving towards on the go stuff where general dentists take a bit of the cut or that saturation is getting higher and such. Thoughts?
 
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DaleDoback

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What do you think the future looks like for OMS? I've read around on here that it's really moving towards on the go stuff where general dentists take a bit of the cut or that saturation is getting higher and such. Thoughts?
Totally depends on the location. In my area, things have never been better. There will always be super-dentists, but there will always be a need. We have new oral surgeons come to town and it still doesn't affect our production/collection numbers. I feel great about my future, but if I lived in New York or Cali, I'd be a little more skeptical.
 
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Panis et Circenses

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As I have several friends who are IM and FM docs, no they are not earning those salaries, working those hours, and apparently it is you who need to update your purview. In fact, I know of one FP who made less than $100k their first year out, even less than one of the NPs at their same practice. That is certainly the exception, but so is $250k right out of residency. Frankly, that is a fantasy. A $250k starting salary is typical for surgical specialists and maybe a few others (EM, derm, and anesthesiology), not general physicians. The majority I know are making just under $200k on their first contract, and I know a good number of practicing physicians.

If you don't believe me, have a look at the AAMC's own figures for FM and IM which jive with what I have seen with my own friends and acquaintances:

Family Practice (w/OB) $187,298
Internal Medicine: General $180,000
Hospitalist: Internal Medicine $205,378


Also, you really give yourself away by suggesting that FM and IM only work M-F 8-5. Most generalists I know are clocking at least 50 hours per week, often more. The last official figure I saw put internists somewhere around 55 hours per week. You are also likely not factoring in call, and if you think that a physician's day is done when the clinic closes then you simply don't know the volume of paperwork required of modern physicians. I know a few surgeons who finished fellowship last year and were shocked to discover how much of their time is spent charting and completing notes. Remember, you are not paid to dictate, you are not paid to take notes, you are not paid to chart. You are paid according to a fee-for-service model, but you will not get paid if you don't complete your notes as the patient often can't be billed until you do.

I would be happy to relay your comments about physicians to my physician friends and fiancee who are generally very happy to enlighten medical students about the realities of real world medicine.

As an example, I was at a dinner with a dozen orthopedic surgeons last year. One of them found out that I was going to dental school. He stood up at the table, gathered everyone's attention, and then announced that I was the "smartest person in the room" because I was going into dentistry. There was a lot of good spirited laughter and ribbing. It turns out that his father-in-law is a dentist, and he says he wishes he had gone to dental school instead of medicine. To each their own, but you'll find in time that many physicians are very bitter about the current state of medicine.

PS - Kudos to you on having a residency directory who is cool with you moonlighting. Not every residency program allows that, nor is it possible everywhere.



Not really.

Pharmacists don't perform procedures. It is much easier to stick them behind a desk and turn them into glorified clerks. One of my fellow dental students left pharmacy and came to dentistry because his perception is the opposite of yours. (He did very well on the MCAT by the way)

You think there hasn't been a corporate takeover of medicine? You can't hope to make it as a solo practitioner anymore in most regions. My soon to be brother-in-law's father runs a solo ortho practice in Florida and he has been in the red for years now. The market simply does not favor independent practitioners, hence the large corporate hospital networks which contract group practices for specialty work. The physician employee is here to stay. Contrast that with dentistry where the majority of dentists are self-employed.

You want to talk about downward pressure on salaries? Let's talk about midlevel providers. Also, you left malpractice insurance out of the equation entirely. My fiancee is paying $32,000 in tail coverage because she worked in a practice for one year and is now moving to another one. That is on top of the nearly $30,000 already paid in malpractice insurance for the year she practiced. That sounds like a lot of money (and it is), but OB/GYN docs often pay close to $100,000 in tail coverage when they leave a practice! These are things nobody tells you about until you are practicing in the real world.
I think you are a little out of touch with physician salaries. If we're looking at protecting the future of the field, the medical people have done a much better job at this. The residency slots are paid for with government funding, one of the smartest things they could have done. They will forever have supply/demand in their favor for doing this. Not only that, it's pretty hard to over-saturate an area with doctors (for most specialties anyway), because most of the time they are large groups who hire another person when their own workload is becoming too great. (No anesthesiologist/radiologist/pathologist/etc. is going to rent a random building wherever he wants and set up shop... Impossible!).

The average doctor will make much, much more money than the average dentist for a number of reasons:
1. Doctors salaries are higher pretty much across the board
2. Doctors' schooling costs a lot less
3. Most doctors don't have to pay money to start a practice (or to acquire somebody else's).
4. Most doctors specialize and aren't general care (for some reason dentists love to compare their salaries to general practice doctors)
5. Even medical specialists make more money than dental specialists.
6. Doctors salaries are actually increasing annually, while dentists salaries have either stayed the same or gone down on average for decades.

I'll admit that most people don't go into dentistry for the money, but the autonomy. But stop pretending that dentists make more than doctors, they don't. Not only that, dentists often can't live in desirous locations because the market is quite terrible and over-saturated in almost every big city. Doctors don't have this problem to the extent that dentists do. From what I understand, certain areas like Las Vegas are hurting for not being able to get enough doctors, but if you've ever been to Vegas, it's almost laughable at how many dentists there are there.

In my town (which is extremely oversaturated with dentsits), the average dentist makes about $150,000. The average doctor (specialist) makes around $400,000. I know this because I have family members and close friends in these fields. Does that mean doctors have a better job? It may or may not depending on how you look at it.

I'm not saying being a doctor is a better job, but come on let's not pretend that the average dentist makes more than the average doctor.

And for the record, the anesthesia group in my city starts out at $280k for new partners, and after two years they become a full time partner and make 420k. From forums I've read, that seems pretty standard. So newly trained doctors probably do end up making more than 250 on average. (Remember that most doctors aren't general practitioners).

Another thing you mention is the corporate takeover of the medical field. This is true, and it's a downside to medicine. However, you completely turn a blind eye to the exact thing that is happening in the dental field. Sure, for now dentists have much more autonomy, but what's going to happen as these corporate companies grow? They will grow. Many dentists in the future are going to have a hard time competing with these corporate groups, they will bully and push dentists around, eventually they will start to get monopolies on insurance for individuals who are members of large corporations, and just like that.. The future of dentistry could change forever. Especially as our country becomes more socialist, people are going to demand that their employers give them dental insurance. Eventually laws will be passed that require large employers to give their full-time employees dental insurance. The big dog dental chains will make deals with employers so that they will give them cheap dental insurance- provided that they go to employees of their own dental chain. Then what do you know? Dentists won't be able to compete with corporations, and will be forced to retire, go broke, or join them.

Talk to a doctor 50 years ago, I doubt they would believe that that could be possible. But it happened. Why can't/won't this happen to the dental field?
 
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Panis et Circenses

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Agree that bottom line, no physicians are starving.

I would be concerned, however, with the effect of obamacare, which will eventually lead to singe payer socialized healthcare.
This is also causing a push towards more responsibility for non-physician providers, including nurses, nurse practitioners, and PA's.
How this will effect physicians incomes, especially primary care doctors, is a great unknown.
Could end up with a lot more responsiblity - somebody has to supervise these providers - and be on the hook for any mistakes they make, in our litigation driven society (think also higher malpractice premiums, etc), for less income.
My uncle is an anesthesiologist, he said that he supervises many nurse anesthetists. His pay has gone up, way up. The reason that nurse practitioners are hired is because of the shortage of work. They do much of the same work that anesthesiologists do, but get paid less for it. The money will go up to the top (to the doctors). Midlevels will be a problem if the field gets saturated, but that's not going to happen anytime soon. Sure this is just one anecdote, but if it happened to my uncle, why wouldn't it be able to happen in other circumstances? This could be a symptom in the short term, and it could end up being a problem in the long term.. But hey the future of dentistry is just as uncertain as the future of medicine. We see that dental therapists have become a thing, it has hit Minnesota, and other places as well. We don't know if this will continue to expand or not. One thing is for sure, this will hurt the dental field, due to the already current status of the field being already over-severed in many, many areas.
 

Cello

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I think you are a little out of touch with physician salaries.
Because marrying a surgeon, sharing our finances for almost two years, and having dozens of close friends who are physicians means I'm out of touch. What could I possibly know about physician salaries, right? :rofl:

If we're looking at protecting the future of the field, the medical people have done a much better job at this.
:laugh:

The residency slots are paid for with government funding, one of the smartest things they could have done. They will forever have supply/demand in their favor for doing this. Not only that, it's pretty hard to over-saturate an area with doctors (for most specialties anyway), because most of the time they are large groups who hire another person when their own workload is becoming too great. (No anesthesiologist/radiologist/pathologist/etc. is going to rent a random building wherever he wants and set up shop... Impossible!).
You have applied for jobs in various markets across the nation? Because my fiancee has, and I was there every step of the way, looking at the contracts with her, reading about the financials of the practice, going to dinner with partners of various groups to get an idea of their financials. Contrary to what you think, there are saturation issues, particularly in big cities. When you are super specialized like my fiancee then you are pretty much required to find a big city to work in because anything smaller doesn't have the catchment area to sustain you.

The average doctor will make much, much more money than the average dentist for a number of reasons:
1. Doctors salaries are higher pretty much across the board
They also endure much longer training. Orthopedic specialists (sports, hand, joint, spine, foot/ankle, etc.) are looking at finishing their education when they are 32 - 33 at the earliest. Most dentists have been in practice for 6 - 7 years by then and have socked away some decent savings or paid down their loans if they are smart. If you are talking about internists or FP then they still endure a 3/4 year residency and manage to make only a little more than your average general dentist.

Don't forget that average salaries for dentists include associates and part-time dentists (mothers, older dentists looking to retire) who work 1, 2, or 3 days per week. I don't know of any part-time physicians who work less than a 35 hour week.

2. Doctors' schooling costs a lot less
It probably depends upon what you mean by a lot. Most physicians can't pay down their student loans during residency, they barely manage to make minimum payments and they are almost certainly not saving anything. By the time they finish residency they may have kept their student loans from increasing, but a smart dentist will have either paid theirs down or put a large amount of money into savings / retirement.

3. Most doctors don't have to pay money to start a practice (or to acquire somebody else's).
Many doctors buy into a group practice which is like buying part of a practice. Anyway, what does that matter? It is money you get back if you don't run the business into the ground. You will almost never make the salary of an owner if you choose to be an employee.

4. Most doctors specialize and aren't general care (for some reason dentists love to compare their salaries to general practice doctors)
As they should, because most dentists don't specialize...

5. Even medical specialists make more money than dental specialists.
Not really. Have you seen the salaries that endo pulls down and the hours they work? Even some oral surgeons do very well working few hours and pulling 3rds all day. Optho and derm might have similar hours and pay, but most physicians specialists do not. Physician specialists typically work far more hours to earn the same salary that dental specialists do. It is sickening how much money some endo and ortho guys pull in while working 40 hours per week. To make the same, physician specialists are often working twice as much or more.

6. Doctors salaries are actually increasing annually, while dentists salaries have either stayed the same or gone down on average for decades.
Physician reimbursements are being cut constantly. Have you actually talked to specialists about Medicare reimbursements? I promise you will have difficulty finding any specialists who thinks they are being paid more now than they were 10 or 15 years ago. That is easily one of the biggest gripes I hear from specialists, next to EMR and meaningful use of course.

I'll admit that most people don't go into dentistry for the money, but the autonomy. But stop pretending that dentists make more than doctors, they don't. Not only that, dentists often can't live in desirous locations because the market is quite terrible and over-saturated in almost every big city. Doctors don't have this problem to the extent that dentists do. From what I understand, certain areas like Las Vegas are hurting for not being able to get enough doctors, but if you've ever been to Vegas, it's almost laughable at how many dentists there are there.
Again, you think market saturation isn't an issue for medicine? Jump on to their forum and see what they have to say about it.

In my town (which is extremely oversaturated with dentsits), the average dentist makes about $120,000. The average doctor (specialist) makes around $400,000. I know this because I have family members and close friends in these fields. Does that mean doctors have a better job? It may or may not depending on how you look at it.
Your town is a bad market for dentists, that doesn't mean that all markets are great for physicians or even that all markets are bad for dentists.

I'm not saying being a doctor is a better job, but come on let's not pretend that the average dentist makes more than the average doctor.
For how much we work, we do make a lot more than many physicians. I have clocked my fiance at up to 115 hours some weeks between call and her regular hours. The crazy thing is, she had probably 10+ hours of notes to dictate that she didn't have time for and had to be pushed onto another week. She averages somewhere around 75-80 hours per week. I will likely make more than half of her salary and work half of the time she works. Mathematically, that works out to a higher wage for me.

And for the record, the anesthesia group in my city starts out at $280k for new partners, and after two years they become a full time partner and make 420k. From forums I've read, that seems pretty standard. So newly trained doctors probably do end up making more than 250 on average. (Remember that most doctors aren't general practitioners).
Good luck to anesthesiologists when the allied health union convinces all 50 states that CRNAs can work autonomously. The VA system is already replacing MD anesthesiologists with nurse anesthetists and I believe that 26 states have now decided that nurses can operate independently and with a full scope of practice (without the pain management aspect) that an anesthesiologist can. We have a CRNA program at our school and I have yet to meet one who doesn't think that they should have the same scope of practice as an MD anesthesiologist. What does a CRNA cost? If a CRNA can act autonomously and accept full legal responsibility for their care then I would prefer them to an MD anesthesiologist as an employer. Seriously, best of luck to every future anesthesiologist out there, it is a field in danger of going the way of the horse and buggy.

Another thing you mention is the corporate takeover of the medical field. This is true, and it's a downside to medicine. However, you completely turn a blind eye to the exact thing that is happening in the dental field. Sure, for now dentists have much more autonomy, but what's going to happen as these corporate companies grow? They will grow. Many dentists in the future are going to have a hard time competing with these corporate groups, they will bully and push dentists around, eventually they will start to get monopolies on insurance for individuals who are members of large corporations, and just like that.. The future of dentistry could change forever. Especially as our country becomes more socialist, people are going to demand that their employers give them dental insurance. Eventually laws will be passed that require large employers to give their full-time employees dental insurance. The big dog dental chains will make deals with employers so that they will give them cheap dental insurance- provided that they go to employees of their own dental chain. Then what do you know? Dentists won't be able to compete with corporations, and will be forced to retire, go broke, or join them.
I was responding to a poster who was talking about the corporate takeover of dentistry.

But referring back to a point you made earlier; medicare funded medical residency programs IS socialism. You argued that socialism is the reason that medicine has been protected from the pressures that dentistry faces; but now you argue that socialism will be the reason that dentistry becomes more corporate. This is a contradiction.

I am concerned about corporate takeovers, but you are kidding yourself if you don't think that corporations are a serious threat to every single job market in this country. I look at restaurants and think that if fancy one-offs can survive and compete with Chipotle and McDonalds then there is no reason that business savvy dentists won't be able to do the same. It may mean working for the man for a while to have the financial and business means to get there, but what's wrong with that? Frankly, if dentists see corporate practice as a stepping stone then patients will too. Eventually patients will come to realize that they find better doctors and care with dentists who own their own practice and they can make the choice to see a corporate office with a younger dentist or to see the established and experienced dentist with their own office.
 
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Panis et Circenses

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@Cello You are misinformed on many levels
1. Doctor oversaturation (there is a shortage).
2. Dental specialists don't earn more than medical specialists on average (I've heard of anecdotes of endodontists, and orthodontists making a lot of money. The sad truth is that lots of newer orthodontists can't even bring in 200k.. Hence why I said ON AVERAGE, because there are also plastic surgeons and dermatologists who gross over a million a year).
3. Even if your wife is a doctor, it seems you are still out of touch with physician's salaries.
4. Oral Surgeons are trained as much as (or more than) most types of doctors, so you're wrong again, not all individuals in the dental world get less training than doctors
5. Some dentists have to work (and do) 50+ hours a week to make the same amount of money that a general practice doctor does. A dentist may make 175k in 35 hours/week, but the physician can make 400k+ in 45 hours/week. Even the $/hour ratio is in favor of the MD.

But I never argued that dentists don't make more than general practice doctors.
My argument (which you don't seem to understand) is that doctors on average make more than dentists.
 
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Panis et Circenses

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I look at restaurants and think that if fancy one-offs can survive and compete with Chipotle and McDonalds then there is no reason that business savvy dentists won't be able to do the same.
Not the case when an employee of a company can NOT see you because their insurance plan only allows them to see doctors at (fill in the blank) corporation. How do you think corporate took over the medicine world? You don't get it.

No use arguing with you, you lost all credibility with the "4th year residency" BS at Midwestern dental school lol. Nobody should take you seriously at this point.
 

Cello

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Not the case when an employee of a company can NOT see you because their insurance plan only allows them to see doctors at (fill in the blank) corporation. How do you think corporate took over the medicine world? You don't get it.

No use arguing with you, you lost all credibility with the "4th year residency" BS at Midwestern dental school lol. Nobody should take you seriously at this point.
Hey Mr. Troll, way to ignore everything I called you out on, but I suppose it was largely indefensible.

You want to talk about BS? How do you KNOW that your average dentist is making $120k in your town and that your average anesthesiologist is making $400k? You don't. That is the answer. I would have called you out, but it hardly seemed worth it then.

I will respond to the post in that other thread later.
 

Panis et Circenses

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Hey Mr. Troll, way to ignore everything I called you out on, but I suppose it was largely indefensible.

You want to talk about BS? How do you KNOW that your average dentist is making $120k in your town and that your average anesthesiologist is making $400k? You don't. That is the answer. I would have called you out, but it hardly seemed worth it then.

I will respond to the post in that other thread later.
Because my uncle is an anesthesiologist and my friend does taxes for 30+ dentists in my town. The dentists average is $150k, that was a typo. But I know these numbers for a fact.
 

Cello

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Because my uncle is an anesthesiologist and my friend does taxes for 30+ dentists in my town. The dentists average is $150k, that was a typo. But I know these numbers for a fact.
Your uncle is not an average.
Your friend has shown you tax statements for 30+ dentists in town which you have personally seen? You are absolutely certain that this is a good statistical cross-section of the dental population in your town?

Have you even taken statistics?
 

Panis et Circenses

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Your uncle is not an average.
Your friend has shown you tax statements for 30+ dentists in town? You know that this is a good statistical cross-section of the dental population in your town?

Have you even taken statistics?
You're right. I have a different uncle who is also an anesthesiologist who lives 2 hours away, and he declined to come into this group because he was making more than 400k. I overhead them talking about it and that's how I know. This is what I'm telling you, you are out of touch with physician salary. There are around 70 dentists in my city (far more than there should be), so yep that's a pretty good representation of the whole.

The physician average salaries they list online are low-balling actual salaries.. I'm not sure if they do this to protect themselves, or if they average the salaries of residents in with the rest, but they are listed very low.
 
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Because my uncle is an anesthesiologist and my friend does taxes for 30+ dentists in my town. The dentists average is $150k, that was a typo. But I know these numbers for a fact.
At the end of the day, think a lot of it has do with specialty/location/practice model...a general or specialized dentist who is entrepreneurial and in the right location can do quite well, particularly if they can get cash paying patients
 

Cello

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You're right. I have a different uncle who is also an anesthesiologist who lives 2 hours away, and he declined to come into this group because he was making more than 400k. I overhead them talking about it and that's how I know. This is what I'm telling you, you are out of touch with physician salary. There are around 70 dentists in my city (far more than there should be), so yep that's a pretty good representation of the whole.

The physician average salaries they list online are low-balling actual salaries..
Two anesthesiologists in separate markets certainly constitutes an average in your town. :rolleyes:
 

Panis et Circenses

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Two anesthesiologists in separate markets certainly constitutes an average in your town. :rolleyes:
You read that wrong. The anesthesiologists in my town make slightly over 400k. My other uncle, 2 hours away from me, makes a significant amount more than that.
 

Panis et Circenses

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At the end of the day, think a lot of it has do with specialty/location/practice model...a general or specialized dentist who is entrepreneurial and in the right location can do quite well, particularly if they can get cash paying patients
You're right. The income potential for a dentist is as high, or potentially higher than a doctor. I'm just talking on average.
 

Cello

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Look, this thread is chock-full of generalizations and oversimplifications.

At the end of the day, you should do what you think you will be happy doing. Dentists are not poor, neither are doctors. Dentists can make more than a doctor, and doctors can make more than a dentist. Don't expect to be the exception because you probably won't be. Yet you will still be just fine. Life is simply too short to be spent chasing dollars.
 
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Panis et Circenses

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Look, this thread is chock full of generalizations and oversimplifications.

At the end of the day, you should do what you think you will be happy doing. Dentists are not poor, neither are doctors. Dentists can make more than a doctor, and doctors can make more than a dentist. Don't expect to be the exception because you probably won't be. Yet you will still be just fine. Life is simply too short to be spent chasing dollars.
I think we can all agree on that. Cheers. :smuggrin:
 

Panis et Circenses

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http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291061.htm

Although its not perfect, it definitely paints a different picture than what you're suggesting.
I have a lot of doctor uncles, including my dad who is a doctor. I one time asked my mom if the pay of a certain specialty matched up what was on one of these websites. She said 'that looks more like our post tax income'. I was able to get it out of her that my dad made somewhere in the 400-500k range. Sure, these are just anecdotes.. But this is also an area where nurses and most other healthcare individuals are getting paid lower than the national average (which leads me to believe these physician salaries are very low-balled).

The only for way this to be true was is if they take into account their pay, not including bonuses, and averaging the average pay of what residents make. I know at least for anesthesiologist group in my area, they have collections from two hospitals and some surgical centers as well. If you ask one hospital what is the average you pay to one anesthesiologist, it make be in the 250k region, but if you ask the anesthesiologist who is receiving the paycheck (and collections from all the different areas), it's over 400k. We'd have to look at the methods of this study, who was doing the reporting, if it was self reporting (there would be strategic reasons to lowball your salary in self-reporting), etc.
 
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I have a lot of doctor uncles, including my dad who is a doctor. I one time asked my mom if the pay of a certain specialty matched up what was on one of these websites. She said 'that looks more like our post tax income'. I was able to get it out of her that my dad made somewhere in the 400-500k range. Sure, these are just anecdotes.. But this is also an area where nurses and most other healthcare individuals are getting paid lower than the national average (which leads me to believe these physician salaries are very low-balled).

The only for way this to be true was is if they take into account their pay, not including bonuses, and averaging the average pay of what residents make. I know at least for anesthesiologist group in my area, they have collections from two hospitals and some surgical centers as well. If you ask one hospital what is the average you pay to one anesthesiologist, it make be in the 250k region, but if you ask the anesthesiologist who is receiving the paycheck (and collections from all the different areas), it's over 400k. We'd have to look at the methods of this study, who was doing the reporting, if it was self reporting (there would be strategic reasons to lowball your salary in self-reporting), etc.
http://www.bls.gov/respondents/ncs/collection_process.htm

If you're going to believe anecdotes over a sample size of over 25,000 from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (not just some 'site') because their is some government conspiracy that necessitates the need to low ball Anesthesiologists income, then this isn't much of a dialogue to be had.
 

Panis et Circenses

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If you're going to believe anecdotes over a sample size of over 25,000 from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (not just some 'site') because their is some government conspiracy that necessitates the need to low ball Anesthesiologists income, then this isn't much of a dialogue to be had.
It's pretty hilarious that you say that, because I just found on the exact same site that you quoted, that anesthesiologists average $443,859. Now that I can assure you is much closer to the actual salary.

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm#tab-5
 
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Panis et Circenses

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Did you actually finish reading that table? Its sourced from a different group altogether.
Did you see who quoted it? The same website that you just assumed to be the unequivocal authority on wages. If you expect that site to have even a fraction of credibility, why are there two vastly different salaries listed for the same job?

"In 2014, physicians practicing primary care received total median annual compensation of $241,273 and physicians practicing in medical specialties received total median annual compensation of $411,852."
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm#tab-5
 
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distressstudent

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BLS also reports OMFS earning only 233k too. ADA's survey indicates that it'd be closer to 400k+

Medscape also reports anesthesiologist having a much higher salary than 260k

BLS is certainly reporting something different. I reckon it's the difference between total compensation and wage.
 
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Panis et Circenses

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BLS also reports OMFS earning only 233k too. ADA's survey indicates that it'd be closer to 400k+

Medscape also reports anesthesiologist having a much higher salary than 260k

BLS is certainly reporting something different. I reckon it's the difference between total compensation and wage.
Exactly. The organization here that has the medical wages right is MGMA, the Medical Group Management Association. And as I previously quoted, they have the medical specialist salary at $411,852. Now that number I can believe.
 
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Did you see who quoted it? The same website that you just assumed to be the unequivocal authority on wages. If you expect that site to have even a fraction of credibility, why are there two vastly different salaries listed for the same job?

"In 2014, physicians practicing primary care received total median annual compensation of $241,273 and physicians practicing in medical specialties received total median annual compensation of $411,852."
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm#tab-5
The very first statement I made about the BLS was that it wasn't perfect. Second, you really need to actually READ what you're quoting.

"Wages for physicians and surgeons are among the highest of all occupations. According to the Medical Group Management Association’s Physician Compensation and Production Survey, median total compensation for physicians varies with their type of practice. In 2014, physicians practicing primary care received total median annual compensation of $241,273 and physicians practicing in medical specialties received total median annual compensation of $411,852. "

Everything after the bolded is referencing the MGMA data.

The BLS collects their data directly from employers so I'm inclined to lend it more credence vs the self reporting of the MGMA. Not to mention the sample size collected by the BLS absolutely dwarfs the MGMA's sample size. MGMA has less total respondents (ALL physicians) than the BLS has data for *just* the Anesthesiologists.
 
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distressstudent

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Exactly. The organization here that has the medical wages right is MGMA, the Medical Group Management Association. And as I previously quoted, they have the medical specialist salary at $411,852. Now that number I can believe.
It seems like MGMA still overstates their salary though.

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/crna-vs-md-anesthesiologist-income-in-2015.633585/

Now I think about it, I think BLS is simply reporting wages and multiplying that by 40 (average work hours). I don't think you can find a single full-time doctor that works only 40 hours a week. If you make up the difference, then yeah wages seems to be accurate while annual salary won't be.
 

Panis et Circenses

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The very first statement I made about the BLS was that it wasn't perfect. Second, you really need to actually READ what you're quoting.

"Wages for physicians and surgeons are among the highest of all occupations. According to the Medical Group Management Association’s Physician Compensation and Production Survey, median total compensation for physicians varies with their type of practice. In 2014, physicians practicing primary care received total median annual compensation of $241,273 and physicians practicing in medical specialties received total median annual compensation of $411,852. "

Everything after the bolded is referencing the MGMA data.

The BLS collects their data directly from employers so I'm inclined to lend it more credence vs the self reporting of the MGMA.
Did you read anything I posted earlier? Most anesthesiologists do surgeries at multiple hospitals and surgical centers. Collections from multiple places. Therefore collections from one "employer" (even though they are usually independent groups of physicians) would underestimate the salary of an "employee" such as an anesthesiologist. The bls data is completely off.

It seems like MGMA still overstates their salary though.
Seems to line up almost exactly with physicians that I personally know. You are entitled to believe whatever you want, but that won't change reality at all.
 
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