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ive been hearing some things...

Discussion in 'hSDN' started by VeggieForce, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. VeggieForce

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    ive been hearing that doctors dont make a lot of money... and going into another profession and leading an easier lifestyle would be better. some said that the janitors make more money than the people doing residency?
    is this stuff true? because then i may not become a doctor after all....
     
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  3. JStephens

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    There is some truth to it, yes. It just depends on who you talk to and what their opinion is. Family Practice is really feeling the pain right now due to a number of things, but the blanket statement that Doctors don't make good money is not true in and of itself.
     
  4. Crazyday

    Crazyday Junior in HS
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    Maybe more than the people doing residency, because they don't get paid much. In most cases the amount a resident gets paid is nothing close to the amount they get paid as an attending or fellow.

    If medicine really is your thing, then you'll be fine. All physicians are compensated enough to lead at worst, a decent life (better than most of the people out there). If you like the job and what you do, then you'll be happy.

    Most doctors are compensated very well. It depends on where you live too, family practice in some of the higher cost of living places can be painful. But this is far from representative of the whole situation.
     
  5. niranjan162

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    another thing to take into account is while some doctors do make good money, they are often working so many hours they cant spend it.
     
  6. tennisball80

    tennisball80 Membership Revoked
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    The expenses for medical school are very expensive too. Every doctor needs to pay that back before he or she can make a lot of money.
     
  7. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of doctors bring home a huge paycheck (6 figures, at least). Whether or not that paycheck is representative of the amount of work (training and on-the-job) they've done is another story.

    If money is your main or only goal, that's almost certainly true.

    Most residents make between $40k-50k. At 80 hours a week, that works out to around $10-12.50 an hour. I'd imagine many janitors make more than that.
     
  8. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I doubt it. At my hospital, janitors basically make minimum wage, which is currently $6.55 per hour. They do get some additional benefits like life insurance and a retirement account.

    OP, I think that what you're hearing is a gross exaggeration. If you've grown up in an upper middle class household, you probably don't have much perspective on what constitutes an "average" income. Residents make a salary that is reasonably close to the median income for U.S. households. After they finish residency, most physicians make six figure salaries, and some make much, much more. When you look at the actual numbers, you can't say that physicians don't make a lot of money compared to the average American worker!

    That being said, most physicians start out their careers with a lot more debt than the average American worker does. They may also be working more hours than the average and feeling squeezed by stagnant reimbursements. The process of becoming a physician takes a *minimum* of seven years of training post-college (11 years total training post-high school). That's a lot of delayed gratification for someone who isn't in this for the love of medicine. If your main goal in life is to make a lot of money, medicine is probably not the way to go unless you can finagle becoming the CEO of an insurance company or hospital. There are a lot easier ways to make money without working as hard or training as long.
     
  9. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    Fair enough, but the point is that residents get paid very, very little for the amount of work they do and have put in.
     
  10. VeggieForce

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    i really want to get money as a doctor, but there are other things involved. one thing i want to know is, what's with this malpractice thing? i read in this forum that the six figure salary can go down very quickly because doctors have to pay for malpractice which would mean that going to some other field would be better. i mean, i do like to help people, but im not willing to give up my family, sleep, and my happiness in life. like, i want a nice life, where i get nice money (above average), and nice house and time for my family. that's what i want. i dont want to give all that up to help people. but i kno some doctors that dont have that hard life like im reading in these forums. this doctor gets off on weekends too.
     
  11. DrJonesss

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    Malpractice also has a lot to do with what specialty you choose. All doctors must have malpractice insurance, but the cost difference between an anesthesiologist vs. a dermatologist is huge.
    It also depends what state you live in. Malpractice for physicians in my home state of PA is crippling.

    edit: how much time you get to yourself and your family also depends on specialty. Being on call in a hospital vs. having a private practice and making your own hours, for example.

    Bottom line, there's a lot of flexibility in choosing this path, but they all have one thing in common: if you can't deal with being flat broke and working your ass off for a good twelve years, then a few more years to pay back the six-figure debt you've likely accumulated, you're better off finding another profession.
     
  12. IndianVercetti

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    Income is important, but should never be the driving factor in choosing a career. I've always been told that in being a physician, you should have a genuine appreciation for the tasks you will be doing. It won't be pleasant always, but you should gain satisfaction from your work ethic.
     
  13. nascardoc

    nascardoc Daddy to 2 kiddos
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    I would highly recommend doing some shadowing and talking with docs before you decide on anything. If you want to go into medicine solely to make money, then I would recommend going into a different field. I say this, not because docs don't make good money, b/c they do, but b/c you HAVE to sacrifice things in order to get into med school, get thru med school and residency, and then be a doc. There are some specialties that offer a better lifestyle, but often those are very competitive and you need to do very well in med school and your boards to get into those fields. If you're not willing to sacrifice, especially your sleep, then medicine is not for you.
     
  14. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
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    For resident physician salary, that is true. First year residents usually make anywhere from $45,000-50,000. It will go up by a few thousand each subsequent year, but rarely past $55,000 by the final year of residency.

    Many doctors will complete their residency within 4 years (most within 6). The majority of attending physicians easily clear $100,000 per year.

    Now, the ones that eclipse the JefGreen $300,000+ mark, well... who knows. :cool:
     
  15. xnfs93hy

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    PGY-1 – $43,072
    PGY-2 – $45,561
    PGY-3 – $48,058
    PGY-4 – $50,771

    This is a what a resident gets paid each year at the hospital I volunteer at. This is in Central NJ.

    Unless you are a pediatrician, I can guarantee you will be making upper 100 thousands your first year here in NJ.

    I can safely say that there are many, MANY, doc's making 300k a year. However, I believe you are saying that not many doc's make that figure out of residency right? If so, you are probably right, unless you are in a very high paying specialty.

    Medicine is a great field to go into if you want to make money, but expect to make huge sacrifices.

    In healthcare, your chief goal should be to give your patient the BEST care you can possibly give them, period. There isn't a doubt in my mind that there are plenty of doctors out there who went into the field because of the money, but, as long as it wasn't their #1 priority, then who cares? Seriously, who cares? As long as you deliver the best care to your patients and you enjoy what you do, then who cares?

    My goal is to make 1 million dollars (not in one year in this case). Could I do the as an accountant? ABSOLUTELY! Why don't I become an accountant then? I hate the job. My dad is a CFO and I could NEVER do what he does day to day. I take accounting courses in school, they are insanely boring, and I could not fathom doing this in college much less as a job/career.

    Working in health care is exciting and you are always learning. :thumbup:
     
  16. swim2006

    swim2006 Member
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    Regarding Fellows your statement isn't fully true. Fellows are paid as continuing residents so if you did a specialty that had a 3 year residency and then chose to do a fellowship your first year you would be aid the same as a 4th year resident. So a 4th surgery resident and a 1st year pediatric fellow are paid the same.
     
  17. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Agreed. The fellows I know are only paid about $50k, and some are work-horses. I'd look at both residency and fellowship as training; not where you are going to start earning.

    As for the main theme of this thread, medicine is still a very comfortable profession, but not really the cash cow it once was. This is the ONLY profession that has lost ground against inflation in terms of income over the past decade. It is a field where insurance companies for the most part dictate what you can charge by what they reimburse you for patients/procedures, and in most specialties reimbursements decline somewhat every year. Meaning if you want to earn the same as last year, you have to do more procedures this year. So either incomes go down or hours go up each year (not a happy tradeoff). While medmal is burdensome, it is not really the driving force in salary issues (except perhaps in OBGYN).

    The real difference between medicine today and, say, 20 years ago, is tuition debt. There are people coming out of med school with close to a quarter of a million dollars in undergrad and med school tuition debt. And you won't be realistically able to pay that off on a resident's or fellow's salary, so that amount will grow pretty substantially in the 3-11 years you ultimately train after med school. So guess what -- this cuts into a paycheck that is already being cut into because of insurance company reimbursements. So it's not that surprising to read articles like the one in the NY Times where doctors are having to do second jobs or sell things on ebay to pay their mortages. It's not really the same profession, financially, that it was for the prior generation.

    Finally, you have to factor in the time value of money. If you can get a job earning six digits in 3 years or a job earning a bit more in 10, you have to realize that the 3 years is a better deal. Such is the case when comparing other professions to medicine. If you can get a good job after a shorting amount of schooling and training, you will beat out medicine in value. A dollar today is worth a LOT more than a dollar ten years from now. Which means that a lower salary today can actually be a much smarter financial decision than the greater value you might earn doing med school and a long residency. Thus if money is your real motivating factor, it's kind of rare for medicine to ever be the smartest choice. Which is why I think IndianVerceti got it right -- money can't be the driving choice here. You have to already want to do medicine, and if the salary is comfortable, it will just be icing on the cake.
     
  18. NaCksm

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    What do you guys mean by Family practice is feeling the pain and the painfulness? What causes those factors and why?
    If I become a doctor I want to be a Family Doctor. May anyone explain why family practice is really hard and stuff to me?
     
  19. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    It's the field which has been losing more ground to inflation than any other (10% compared to the average of 7% over the past decade). This is in big part because they don't have any big money "procedures", so they largely are getting paid by the office visit. You can only get so many patients through your door each day, and so if the insurance companies keep lowering the reimbursement amount per office visit, then you either have to see more patients a day each year or make less money each year. So you've seen office visits cut down to about 15 minutes, and FP docs having to see crazy numbers of people each day. And FP, because they are non-specialists with no big money procedures, were getting paid among the lower paid of physicians to start with. Which is why you are seeing articles in the NY times a year ago about FP docs having to take second jobs or sell things on ebay to make their mortgage. Not to mention that a lot of FPs don't like to have to rush patients through like cattle, and to see so many a day.
     
  20. Algophiliac

    Algophiliac Someday...
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    :laugh:

    Just curious, but how do salaries compare to the standards when dealing with academic medicine? I gathered they were only marginally lower and the positions more difficult to attain, but this route seems perfect. :love: I'm guessing it would go...residency, fellowship, low-level professor/minor research...and then on and on?

    Law2Doc, you mentioned the main difference as being tuition debt. Why is tuition so much more expensive nowadays, while salaries are not proportionately rising in any field?
     
  21. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    I will say that L2D has a better handle on this than I do, but your medical school debt will consist of:

    -tuition
    -cost of living
    -fees, etc

    Schools continue to raise tuition and fees proportional to inflation. It's not the primary source of their income, but they still have to balance the budget. Your cost of living will also rise each year with inflation, regardless.

    So you will come out of school with a debt that reflects the cost of 4 years of medical education at the time you were in school.

    The problem is, that while the cost of medical education is continually rising with inflation, the value of that education (what you can earn with it) is falling. As L2D points out above, insurance companies have a stranglehold on the reimbursements issued to physicians and those reimbursements are falling against inflation. While they should be rising, there is a collaborative monopoly (I'm probably using that term wrong) and the physicians don't have the power to force a reimbursement increase.
     
  22. NaCksm

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    Ah really? Thanks! Does anyone have more information about FP and their crisis?
    This is something else I have to think about if I want to be a FP doctor then...
     
  23. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Again, bear in mind you have to do it because you enjoy it, not because you think it will make you rich, and you will be fine. If it's the reverse, then I'd rethink this.
     
  24. NaCksm

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    Yes, I really do want to be a doctor. I enjoy helping people and seeing people heal and survive.
    Oh and I'm not the original poster of this topic, I think your confusing me with the OP.
    I plan to become a CNA next year, I'm not sure though because I am already really busy -.-. Does anyone have any experiences with being a CNA? How do you guys interact with patients and start conversation with them? Also, how about those in a bad mood or who are generally really mean.
    Thanks
     

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