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question on becoming a doctor for the money

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by GottaGet, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. skee lo

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    If you want money, get an MBA and go into BUSINESS. There are so many sh*tty doctors who are absolutely terrible at their jobs because they don't truly love medicine and only chose the career for the prestige and compensation.
     
    #51 skee lo, Jul 18, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
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  3. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Unlike a professional degree, you don't get an MBA to "go into business". You go into business, and later down the road, if it helps you advance you THEN might go get the MBA (ideally on an employer's dime). Folks on here are so focused with the notion that you get a degree to get a job (as you need to in medicine, law, dentistry) that they miss the boat that the MBA is not that kind of "prerequisite" degree. It is not a preprofessional degree. It is a degree to hone existing business skills. Which is why most of the better MBA programs require a couple of years of business work first, and most of the attendees of the best MBA programs have their degrees paid for by employers. So sure, go into business, but the MBA is not the gateway for this.
     
  4. Trismegistus4

    Trismegistus4 Worried Wellologist
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    A good point that's often overlooked by people like Law2Doc when they say that anybody with the brains to get into med school could go to a top law school or be among the cream of the crop in the business world. To succeed in the business world, you've got to have social skills out the wazoo--it's all about networking, hobnobbing, office politics, a sense of how your customers feel, the ability to envision the future direction of the industry, etc. If you're a smart geek with just enough social skills to survive a med school interview, you can become a doctor, join a group practice, and hum along, whereas you'd flop in the business world because you lack that intuitive sense for how many times per month you should play golf with the boss or whether it's financially worth it to replace your accounting system or whatever (I count myself in this group.)
     
  5. skee lo

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    You're correct and I'm aware of this. It was just a misuse of juxtaposition on my part. The point is, if money is of primary importance, I suggest going into business/finance rather than medicine.
     
    #54 skee lo, Jul 18, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  6. Law2Doc

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    Didn't overlook it at all, just disagree with the premise that law and medicine require substantially different skillsets. They actually don't, and I've got a bit of a unique vantage point at having directly observed both industries from the front row. Both are service industry jobs which emphasize interpersonal skills. You may actually need better social skills in medicine, because a lot of folks consider it okay for their lawyer to be a bit abrasive. In both jobs you are acting as advisor, and trying to help folks out with their problems. Both have TONS of office politics, including kissing up to the bosses. If you don't think working in a medical practice or hospital department involves office politics, you have a surprise coming. There is actually more of this in medicine, from what I've seen. In both cases how your customers feel does matter. Medicine more than law because it's more of a word of mouth business. In both cases practices have to deal with accounting systems and other administrative office costs and issues; this isn't law/business specific, any practice needs to deal with this. In both cases practices can flop from mismanagement (I've worked with several bankrupt medical practices in my prior career). You need to be smart and have a good head on your shoulders to succeed in either field.
     
    #55 Law2Doc, Jul 18, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2008
  7. Trismegistus4

    Trismegistus4 Worried Wellologist
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    Oh, give it a rest. You're perfectly well aware that I wasn't saying that all of those things are totally irrelevant everywhere in medicine. You're perfectly well aware that I wasn't saying you can be horrible at all of those things and still be a smashing success in medicine, but rather that the bar for such things is lower in medicine. You know as well as I do that there are tons of docs who do decently as docs who would never make it in the business world. In medicine, you can be mediocre at the soft-skills stuff and still do average, while in business you have to be GOOD at that stuff or you'll be out on the street.
     
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Give it a rest? I'm not the one jumping around SDN from thread to thread saying "a point that's overlooked by Law2Doc" etc.
    I disagree with your point for the reasons I stated above.
     
  9. Trismegistus4

    Trismegistus4 Worried Wellologist
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    Yes, give a rest to jumping around the forums looking for any threads where people mention money, prestige, or any of the other "traditional" perquisites of medicine, saying it's not like that any more, too bad, there's nothing you can do, this is how it's going to be from now on, and if you don't like it don't go into medicine.
     
  10. makushin

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    So when top law schools admit students based on test scores with no interview, and something like 90% of the graduates of theses schools eventually go into high paying corporate law, where is the personality filter?

    These corporate law types are just as big of nerds as doctors. If you don't think so, then you haven't met many.

    The successfull plantiff/injury lawyer types require a certain personality, but there isn't many of them around anyways.

    As far as Wall street goes, there are plenty of introverted math types in that scene too. Personality may seperate the average banker from the star, but average bankers still pull doctor money.
     
  11. pdlaw2000

    pdlaw2000 P.P.P.P.P.P

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    When a big law firm hires a new assosciate out of law school, they are little more than a paralegal that can sign the pleadings, they are worked to death, 80 - 90 hours a week, with grunt work, that is the weeding out process, the next step might be doing unimportant depositions, going to court to do nothing more than stand up for 45 seconds to ask for more time from the judge, but have very little client contact other than updates and to get information. That is the weeding out process, sooner or later thier assigned partner or senior associate will have to make a determination if they are qualified enough to actually sit in on a client meeting, or god for bid actually have a legal conversation with a client about their case.

    I know associates who have been little slaves for 5 or 6 years, their only involvement is producing paper, and if there is a trail, the may sit at the table and shuffle papers around, but thats it. And in really big firms, those little slaves were the best and the brightest in thier class.
     
  12. pdlaw2000

    pdlaw2000 P.P.P.P.P.P

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    There is an area of law for every personality. The key is, to match the personality to the right area of law.

    I think the same can be said about medicine as well.
     
  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    You are describing life of a litigation associate; corporate is a bit different. You start out life going through documents, doing "due diligence" for a big transaction. And by documents I don't mean a binder full of documents, I mean a warehouse full of documents. You also get to research issues relevant to the transaction, and writing up memos for the more senior folks. But as you get more seasoned, you quickly get pulled into drafting and editing documents, then later negotiating documents with your senior associate counterparts at other firms, and eventually start going to client meetings, board meetings, transaction planning sessions, meetings with the bankers/accountants/appraisers/regulators. Eventually you know enough of what you are doing that the partners at your firm trust you to be the information collection point-man, and just have folks at the clients' businesses call you directly, and you have a team of younger associates under you that you can mobilize to get the deals done. So much like medicine, your people skills in listening to clients to understand what they really want (how you can help them) are going to be key, your leadership skills and being able to delegate are going to be key, your attention to detail is going to be key, and your willingness to roll up your sleeves and be a grunt is key.

    The excitement and pace of the deals is actually kind of fun -- there's always a deadline, always a chance that a deal can get "blown up", always a chance that one party or another will ask for a better deal mid-negotiation, that the clients will renegotiate on the fly (making a lot of your documentation and hard work a waste of time), that the money won't come through or won't hit escrow when needed, that the government regulators will drag their feet on giving you the certificates you need. And lots of excitement in that there are a lot of moving parts that need to be orchestrated just right, and that tens of millions of dollars (or more) may be at stake, often everything a client has worked for his whole life is at risk. And in the heat of the deal, you may be pulling the long hours pdlaw describes -- even pulling all nighters as the deal gets hot. Then the deal closes and you clean out the papers that have buried your office during the past couple of weeks and get geared up for the next deal. Sort of a rollercoaster existence.

    But, like medicine, it's not for everyone. Like medicine, it consumes the majority of your waking life, so you have to really like it. But this represents yet another path for someone uber smart and hard working, with decent interpersonal skills and a good attention to detail. Someone who can work through problems and always keep their head in the game. The stakes are high, but they are in medicine too -- most clients/patients would be hard pressed to tell you which would bother them more, losing $10,000,000 or their uncle Eddie.
     
  14. combatwombat

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    I get the feeling it's taboo to even mention salary when at the applicant stage of a medical career. If the adcoms get the slightest hint you're just in it for the money and not a starry-eyed idealist who wants to heal the sick because its their passion, they'll pass you over for someone who is (or at least appears to be). It's like everybody in the institution wants to play down the fact that there are wealthy physicians.

    But at the same time, there are stickys (stickys, not threads) in the anesthesiology forum about creative ways to spend their piles of money.

    It's kind of a transparent, duplicitous game in my opinion. Doctors do not need to be making so much, especially in a society like ours where the medical system is so bloated, corrupt, and inefficient [/rant]
     
  15. MJB

    MJB Senior Member
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    I'll still take this life over the miserable existence I know many people in those professions experience. Nothing ever challenges them, and they live for the weekends. I've been there before. No thanks.

    I do find it interesting that our society has no problem paying these guys in those fields the kind of money they do, but screams loudly about the cost of healthcare.
     
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  17. pdlaw2000

    pdlaw2000 P.P.P.P.P.P

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    Now that is true, but really funny.

    The point being, life is never rosie for those just starting out in a professsion, no matter what field your in, in the beginning most feel over worked and underpaid. I think they call it "paying your dues" and if you happen to shine early in an organization, you have to sleep with one eye open because there is always one person just above you who hates you because you do shine.

    By the time I finished all of my 2nd interviews with firms that I interviewed with before Bar results, I was already making more on my own then what they were offering. Today, I am fed up with being self employed, especially after going through this last tax season, I'm still trying to figure out what happened to my "bush tax cut"

    Did I go into law for the money? I don't really know, sometimes after getting a big hug from a client who thought their lives were over, and prevailed in court, I think I went into law for them. But really, I took law over medicine back then because of lack of motivation to actually do the schooling, I knew back then that medicine, over the long term, was a better financial option, but law offered the quicker return on investment.
     
    #65 pdlaw2000, Jul 20, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2008
  18. Sainttpk

    Sainttpk Senior Member

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    That sounds really arrogant. Just as many doctors live miserable lives just like many plumbers, firefighters, and buisnessman. When it comes down to it, being a physician is just a job.

    Yes you can be passionate about it, but that doesn't change the fact that patients can be annoying, and that doctors are no different then any other group of people.
     
  19. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Probably not accurate if you factor in the time value of money and the opportunity cost of switching from law to medicine (ie a decade of not earning a law salary). Let's put it this way, EVERY dean or interviewer I came across when applying felt the need to emphasize that I would NEVER catch up financially in medicine to had been in law (even ignoring future raises and bonuses).
    I already was aware of this fact, but all these adcom members felt the need to mention it. It's a common theme. Folks in high yield professions can not be making a financially driven decision to switch, because the time out of the rat race, and the reduced net present value of money earned a decade later, negate the potentially slightly higher income down the road. That and the fact that most folks I interviewed with acknowledged that medicine was changing and that the numbers still existing today almost certainly wouldn't be the same a decade from now (unlike law, medicine has lost a lot of ground against inflation over the last decade and pundits project it to continue to do so).
     
  20. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Yes it is taboo to mention salaries on the interview trail. There are three or four "bad" reasons some folks go into medicine, and wanting to make a lot of money is top of the list. Not so much because it is tacky to talk about it, but because it is understood within the profession (although perhaps not as well on SDN) that there are much better and more efficient ways of earning medicine, and if this is a primary motivation of yours, you probably don't have what it take to happily stick through the long houred, many year, emotionally draining, physically exhausting schooling and training. The goal is to generate good doctors, not folks who are going to complain 24/7, look disgustedly at their patients, and put the business aspects over the sentiments within the Hippocratic oath.

    I would also point out that since pretty much all med students become doctors, you are basically interviewing for entry into the profession, and in any first "job" interview, it is considered bad form to address salary -- there are always better, later times for this.

    As for your last sentence, I think you need to realize that physician earnings are not that impressive when you factor in the decade it takes to start earning them, the debt most people have to assume to get the education, and the fact that during parts of residency, you will be working 80 hours per week (effectively twice the hours of large segments of our population) for a pretty nominal salary.
     
  21. pdlaw2000

    pdlaw2000 P.P.P.P.P.P

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    Please focus on the "back then" language in my last comment. But I hear ya, Law2Doc, it is a stupid move to go from Lawyer to Doctor late in the game, and anyone who does it is an idiot. I got your point over, and over, and over, and over and over again. But its just money and time, and we all have plenty of time.
     
  22. futureboy

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    Yeah, pdlaw was talking about comparing law and medicine at the time he was deciding between the two (before going to school), not at the time he was switching from law to medicine.
     
  23. futureboy

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    I don't think Law2Doc was saying that anyone switching from lawyer to doctor is an idiot. After all, he's making the switch himself after a substantial number of years in law practice. He's just saying that people should be aware of the financial reality of making the switch and to do the math before taking the plunge. Seems like sound advice to me.

    For me, it would be approximately a wash assuming $150,000/year as a physician and practicing until age 65.
     
  24. pdlaw2000

    pdlaw2000 P.P.P.P.P.P

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    I am guessing that as soon as all of the Boomers retire and start collecting thier S.S. our govt. will move the retirement age to 70 or 71. But they will not do it until after the boomers are over 65, which is close.

    No one wants to piss off the largest block of actual voters by telling them they have to work an extra 5+ years to collect their money.
     
  25. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Right. I'm not saying making the switch is idiotic. I'm saying making the switch "for the money" is idiotic. There are perfectly reasonable reasons you might change careers, but this one is really flawed.
     
  26. QuikClot

    QuikClot Senior Member

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    Oh, seconded and thirded. I've heard it so. many. times. No, it is not easy to make a great big pile of money. It sounds easy, and sometimes the media, with its adoring profiles of the latest twenty-something technology CEO, make it seem easy, but it isn't easy. The evidence? Fewer than ten percent of earners make more than what doctors make, despite the fact that making money is a major life goal for most Americans.

    Being a physician can be very, very lucrative, or just very comfortable, depending. The reason not to do it solely for the money, if there is such a reason, is this: unless you are very low-empathy, dealing with sick people each and every day will pretty much break your spirit unless it is a passion with you to begin with.

    In my clinicals, I'm starting to see a fair number of unhappy doctors, and invariably that is what is wrong with them; they're sick of patients. If you go into medicine for the money you are likely very quickly to grow to hate seeing patients. And when that happens, every day is a weariness, giant Publisher's-Clearinghouse-sized paycheck notwithstanding.

    My 2 cents.
     
    #74 QuikClot, Jul 23, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  27. supersunny

    supersunny 1K Member

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    investment banking analyst
     
  28. 8744

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    This is very true. The fundamental thing that the SDN community doesn't realize is that to be successful in business, you have to have something to sell that people want to buy. Either that or you have to make yourself indispensable to a company that has something to sell and needs you to help them sell it. The rest is just pushing around papers and going to silly meetings. I think everybody wants to go into "management" to be as far away from production or sales as possible and have one of those jobs that involves a lot of striding through airports talking into empty air on a hands-free phone while looking for a plug for the laptop.

    During my last spate of air travel I think I was the only professional person without a laptop, a cell phone, a PDA, or anything to do while I was traveling.
     
  29. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound Just throw a pill at it!

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    I think you would be hard-pressed to find any MBA go work for a company and be making 200,000 plus only 5-6 years out (when a med student would get out of school).

    And the people who say to go into business for themselves are crazy. This easily is the same hours and stress as a doctor. My father owns a business and EASILY works 84 hours a week. And he doesn't even make over six digits to justify it.

    Medicine is still the best way to almost guarantee making lots of dough. But anyone who does it just for the money is going to get burnt out.
     
  30. ManualEvac

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    :thumbup: Exactly right, Even if you are able to garner a high salary in business, someone is always right behind you trying to steal your thunder. Competition is intense, and the more so as you increase your income. There is also very little stability. Look at Trump. he has oscillated between hundreds of millions in the bank and in the hole for his entire career. not that medicine is a cakewalk, but once you're in med school, it's pretty hard to not eventually land a steady 6-figure life gig regardless of specialty.
     
  31. postnational

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    You can't just compare a physician to just about any type of lawyer or businessman. You also can't compare a physician to the "sudden" millionaire type (for every start up that succeeds and makes the owner a multi-millionaire how many fail?).

    The performance of medical students during their undergraduate years and on standardized testing can only be compared to that of law students in high ranked law schools (usually, I am sure there are exceptions to the rule) and analysts in top investment banks. In other words can you really compare a medical school to a business school that admits pretty much everyone that applies?

    The pro about medicine is that there no matter where one attends medical school he will almost certainly have a job lined up which is in the six figure range. Also medicine provides incredible geographic mobility.

    Where the game changes is in the top applicants. Essentially a top applicant (great numbers, ivy league degree, etc) could (and usually would) make much more money in a different career path. NY biglaw for example starts if I am not mistaken at over 150k plus bonus these days. I have friends who are in their late 20s and they are already clearing above 200k. Investment banking and consulting in large urban centers pay even more (it is not uncommon to find someone in the 7 figure range a few years after their MBA).

    Compared to the general financial reality of the every day person, a physician, any kind of physician, is certainly better off. Compared to other "top" (for lack of a better word) professions he not only makes less money but he also has invested much more time.



    You are very wrong. Networking is over-rated when seen from the outside (and usually it belongs in the those "how to become wealthy" self help books). The people who work in investment banks and big law firms are usually already networked or they are able to network after putting minimal effort into it. Putting aside the fact that a lot of them share the same socio-economical background (family connections) you will see that they have networked from early on. If you look where most people on Wall Street went to college you will understand. Furthermore, most firms provide you with things that make networking easy (memberships at exclusive gyms, country clubs, dining clubs, etc). Really you have to be a socially inept virgin in order to fail at networking. Granted, not everyone can become a major rainmaker, but still it is not like its hard.

    Quite frankly, at the risk of overgeneralizing, I find my physician friends to have much more pleasant personalities than my friends who are in investment banking or law.
     
  32. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Um, your timing is way off. You go to med school for 4 years. Then another 3-7 years of residency (4 being the average) during which you are earning nominal income. And some do a fellowship or subspecialize for a couple of years after this. So we are talking 7-13 years before beginning to earn a decent salary. Plus at this point you have about $250k of debt so you can really add another year's income to the comparison. 8-14 years is actually a pretty decent horizon for making money in a lot of other fields. And that's again ignoring the time value of money in that the money in other fields earned earlier is worth more than the same amount of money you might earn later. You have to NPV everything to do the calculations. And because of this deferred income always loses out.
     
  33. Discchic

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    After reading the majority of posts in this thread I though I might be able to offer a little insight. No, I'm not a doctor, med student or nurse. I am a business owner contemplating becoming a med student. Honestly, the science of it interests me more than anything and it always has. I'm 28 and own a third of a business in the computer industry. I also do consulting for another. I don't make great money believe it or not. However, at my age, I have purchased two homes in areas that aren't what most would call cheap (I live in California). I have virtually no debt and live decently. I also do not currently posses a college degree. Hell, I barely graduated high school! The point is, I believe it is the person that is successful not the career choice. Obviously, career choice helps but I think it is unreasonable for anyone under 30 to want to make a ton of money right away. Even if you join the medical field, it's up to you to be successful and work your way up just like in business. Someday, I hope my company sells for a couple million, until then, I will be happy finding a career that I enjoy and the money will come after that.
     
  34. pdlaw2000

    pdlaw2000 P.P.P.P.P.P

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    Ok, so wife had to got to an ENT yesterday, so we went and what do you know, a former engineer of 8 years, went to two (2) top rated schools, undergrad and masters, got out of it becasue he A. didn't like the work, and B. was not making any money. I told him that I was switching from Law to Doc and he said it was a great idea, the money was great, and the hours were better. Now this is from a real person, not a theory of a med or pre-med student.
     
  35. saidel273

    saidel273 MD Class of 2012

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    Medicine is a great path to make money regardless of what many people say here. The thing to keep in mind is that most medical students are not superstars. A 3.7 GPA and a 30 on your MCAT hardly mean you have executive materials on you. There are of course superstars in medicine, but they are the minority.

    Superstars will always make big money anywhere you throw them. Many successful surgeons make at least half a million... an equivalent of the salary of an senior executive...So for those people medicine is a very favorable option from a money perspective.

    The rest of the folks simply don't have political, leadership skills that are fundementals if you desire to move up in your area of work. So if you don't have those skills but you are a very hard working person, then medicine is a great option. I don't believe there is any other industry where simply hard work translates into a salary close to 200k. This is an incredible amount of money if you've worked in other industries and know how hard it is to get that next promotion...
     
  36. Newmanium

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    One thing I didn't realize about law schools was that, for competitive applicants, it's not that hard to get full ride scholarships to even some of the top schools. Top candidates decide between Harvard Law or a full ride to Columbia. If you even dropped down a few schools on the rankings, it was even easier to get scholarships. Considering that you can work summers at $2800+/week, it's easy to get out of a top-law degree with no debt, and starting salaries of $160k+. If all you want is money, that's a pretty sweet setup.

    All sounds great. The catch is you have to be a lawyer. Game over. 80+ hours a week, doesn't seem that much different from medicine (80+ hours of boring work at a desk is the worst form of torture IMHO). Plus, at the end of the day, you have to struggle with that gnawing suspicion that your job is meaningless (corporate law). There's a reason the extremely low paid non-profit gigs, which were full of "meaning", were some of the most competitive - some of the smartest lawyers tend to "get it"... life isn't about money.

    When I was in undergrad, I massively underestimated the difficulty of doing something you don't enjoy for just *40 hours* a week, let alone 80. It saps your life force.
     
  37. hibore222

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    I know that this thread is several old, but I really liked it, and wanted to add some thoughts on my favorite quotes (in bold) from it.

    ***

    "Medicine is a guaranteed six figure salary for the rest of your life after a minimum of 7 years post-undergrad study (only four of which aren't paid). There are no other careers that offer this stability."


    After seeing numerous $100-$150k 50something middle managers deal with unemployment over the past few years (including some cases of long-term 1 year+ unemployment), the stability of being a doc is phenomenally appealing.

    **


    "Law? Again, for some lucky, very smart and hard-working people, a six figure job out of law school is possible. But most law grads don't have those kinds of jobs. Nor do most lawyers make bank. Plus the work of a lawyer is tedious, thankless and unbelievably boring."



    A big +1 on the boring part.



    **


    ".However, I do not agree that medical students would necessarily be the most financially successful lawyers or business people. Financial success in those fields requires a different set of skills like marketing, strong interpersonal communication, and a "go getter" money-oriented attitide that medical students do not need to succeed in medical school. Yes, these skills help in running a medical practice, but they are not absolutely needed to earn $150,000 per year. Only a modest amount of attorneys or business people earn that much. According to a survey by my state bar association (Ohio), the average (or was it median?) income of Ohio attorneys is about $80,000 per year. Transplant medical students into law or business, and I would bet that more than half could not earn as much as they will as doctors.".
    .
    .
    .**.
    .
    .
    .".As far as comparing the average medical student to the average business/law/whatever student, I'll have to disagree with you. It may be true that the average intelligence is higher in the medical field, but that isn't what makes someone a millionaire in the business or banking world. It's charisma, relentlessness, sometimes ruthlessness, perhaps connections, intuition, etc. The skills do not overlap very well, which is why I believe the saying that doctors make lousy businessmen is somewhat accurate….
    If you are absolutely hellbent on becoming the worlds richest man, then I agree... you'd probably be better off going for broke in the business world. Probably straight out of high school. But on the flipside, you don't have to view medicine as locking you into a pay-for-fee career. It can be a component of your total endeavors, a stepping stone, a door opener, a cash provider, a safety net, and is all of those things while being flexible in location, high in demand, relatively protected from economic collapse, and satisfying intellectually and morally to boot."



    That final sentence completely summed up the myriad reasons why I want to become a doctor.



    **


    "I don't disagree with anyone who says that there are other ways to make more money than in medicine. Some might even be a lot easier if you happen to have the connections, capital, and/or knack for business. But I can't think of many (any?) others that offers the same combination of near guaranteed very good pay, extreme job mobility, extreme job security, and longevity in the career (how many 70 year old brick masons are there really?). And I think that is the real allure of medicine for a lot of young people. Not the thought of being a multi-billionaire, but rather it being a very conservative investment, wherein when you put in your dues you can expect a comfortable lifestyle and good security."

    **


    "What a few of us are trying to say is that you can still be the most awkward super-goob in the world, but if you have brains and were accepted to med school, it's quite likely that you can hum along at the average pay in many specialties... often 200-300K. I know a lot of them. Those same people trying to cut it in business, law, finance... would be flat broke or struggling to make ends-meet."

    This reminds me of a friend's dad that is a retired anesthesiologist. This guy is THE biggest space-cadet in the world. Seriously. It is comical. The guy just does not care about any sort of social etiquette whatsoever. He sorta just plays golf and meanders around the house all day. There is almost no way that he could've made the money that he did in the "business" world.


    **


    "No, it is not easy to make a great big pile of money. It sounds easy, and sometimes the media, with its adoring profiles of the latest twenty-something technology CEO, make it seem easy, but it isn't easy. The evidence? Fewer than ten percent of earners make more than what doctors make, despite the fact that making money is a major life goal for most Americans."



    **


    "The pro about medicine is that there no matter where one attends medical school he will almost certainly have a job lined up which is in the six figure range. Also medicine provides incredible geographic mobility."

    Love love love the 'geographic mobility' part.


    **


    "Where the game changes is in the top applicants. Essentially a top applicant (great numbers, ivy league degree, etc) could (and usually would) make much more money in a different career path. NY biglaw for example starts if I am not mistaken at over 150k plus bonus these days. I have friends who are in their late 20s and they are already clearing above 200k. Investment banking and consulting in large urban centers pay even more (it is not uncommon to find someone in the 7 figure range a few years after their MBA)."


    A great point. Doctor is a great career if you want to be making 100k-400k. I-banking is a great career if you're looking to make $500k+. I don't have any hard evidence, but IMO, it is easier to get a $150k FP job than get one of the (increasingly few) i-banking jobs that pay significantly more.


    **


    "Quite frankly, at the risk of overgeneralizing, I find my physician friends to have much more pleasant personalities than my friends who are in investment banking or law."


    **


    "The thing to keep in mind is that most medical students are not superstars. A 3.7 GPA and a 30 on your MCAT hardly mean you have executive materials on you. There are of course superstars in medicine, but they are the minority.

    Superstars will always make big money anywhere you throw them. Many successful surgeons make at least half a million... an equivalent of the salary of an senior executive...So for those people medicine is a very favorable option from a money perspective.


    The rest of the folks simply don't have political, leadership skills that are fundamentals if you desire to move up in your area of work. So if you don't have those skills but you are a very hard working person, then medicine is a great option. I don't believe there is any other industry where simply hard work translates into a salary close to 200k. This is an incredible amount of money if you've worked in other industries and know how hard it is to get that next promotion."



    Wow, these paragraphs really hit close to home. I'm 25, and have worked/consulted for big corporations for a few years, and most of the managers and executives that I've dealt were certainly intelligent people. But, IMO, above a certain percentile, IQ is a pretty irrelevant factor. What matters to continue rising up the corporate ladder is getting others to believe in you, like you, and want to be led by you, strength in managing relationships, etc. It's often less about technical knowledge and IQ and far more about people and leadership skills. And honestly, that's one thing that really appeals to me about being a doctor. It's work that I find interesting, but it's also a job that requires technical skills more than leadership/people skills. I also highly value the "clear path" that being a doctor provides. I know the steps needed to get a certain position and salary that I desire. Getting similar salary levels in the business world depends infinitely less on "passing exams and certifications" and far more on getting bosses/hiring managers to like you and think that you would be the best for a job. And I think that this fits my personality great. For instance, I was very involved with student government in my large high school and enjoyed planning activities and events, and was really good with working out details. But I never attempted to run for office. I knew that I wouldn't have won, and I was more of a "back of the room guy". And I think that, compared to the business world, physician is a better career path for people that consider themselves 'back of the room' types.

    One thing that a lot of young people entering the business world don't understand is the pyramid nature of the corporate world. By graduating college, they've been successful in a pretty linear path. Schools don't actively seek to limit the number of people that can rise to the next level, but the pyramid nature of the corporation actively does seek to limit those who can continue to rise.

    This all reminds me of a convo with a 24yo friend that I recently had. He has just begin in a sales-oriented role in a large company, and he mapped out the next ten years of his life, certain that he would pass through the various hoops (area manager, district manager, regional manager, etc.) and certain that he would be in the highest level in eight years and making 500k a year (which is possible; one of the numerous members of his "class" (throughout the company's numerous nationwide office) will probably rise to that level within ten years) . When I asked him why he was so certain that he would continue to keep rising through all those hoops, his response was "well, I've been successful in everything else that I've done in life". But just landing his job was a difficult feat, and I'm sure that almost everyone else that was starting in the junior sales role with him had a similar track record. Obviously, they can't all keep going up.

    Growing up, my now 55yo dad has slowly/consistently risen up the corporate ladder in his career. But it has been amazing to me to see, even among "professional college graduates", how many of them are 50-somethings non-manager "workers", making 50k-70k and having no one reporting to them and quite vulnerable to economic downturns. Yes, getting into medical school, passing all certifying tests, and completing residency is a very difficult process. I'm just about to start my pre-reqs, and even if I work my hardest, I'm well aware that it is far from certain that I'll be able to successfully complete all the steps required to become an attending physician ten or so years from now. But those that complete all steps have technical knowledge that is in enormous demand in our country. Given that the technical knowledge is so valuable (especially with the physician shortage in this country), you can enjoy your life practicing your craft, free from a need to continually "climb the ladder" and with far greater income and security than most other workers.
     
    #85 hibore222, Nov 21, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  38. RNtoMD87

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    I don't understand going into medicine for the money. Money is the LAST reason I want to be a doctor. I can easily make 133,000 a year working 5-12s a week as a nurse, and all of the doctors I've spoken to say they never work less than 65 hours a week and often work 80-95 hours per week. Then when you add in the student loans and years of lost wages, I just don't understand how anyone can "be a doctor for the money". Honestly if medical school was going to cost me more than the 80,000 that it will, I would probably question whether I wanted to do it more than I am. I mean I would love doing medicine, but if it was going to put me 600,000 in debt and take me awhile to even START paying on it, I would strongly think it over.
     
    Crayola227 likes this.
  39. topicsinenglish

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    You like to make your points important, I like your style and made me interact
     
  40. redfish955

    redfish955 Probationary Status

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    There are a lot of careers in which you can earn 75-110K a year while working 40-50 hours a week, find a wife in a similar situation, max out your 401k from 22-58, and live off of 150k-220k a year jointly. If I was working 65 hours a week I would more likely be looking for a wife who wanted to stay at home. Doctors are likely in school or paying off school debt until they are at least 35. Meanwhile a disciplined engineer could have a net worth of 400k-500k by the time they are 35. The key to fields like accounting and engineering is that you can start building your net worth at an early age and if you do you can retire very wealthy. If you max out a 401k and get that first home paid off by the time your 35 your looking at a nice 300k-500k second home or a beach condo and 300k+ in your 401k. If you graduate from one of the better under grad fields and get an expensive apartment and new beamer your going to look like a fool at 35. My youngest brother did well enough in school and on the GRE to get into t-14 schools and top econ phd programs. He took a job earning 80k a year with a 40 hour work week. It may not come with the prestige as a Northwestern law degree or an econ professor at a big state school. However, he should retire with millions and it sets him up to settle down with a well educated woman working similar hours to him. Plus he actually gets to enjoy his 20s and 30s. He will never have the opportunity to rub shoulders with someone like a specialty surgeon but he should definately be just as well off as about 50% of the doctors earning around 200k that racked up 200k in debt. The typical successful MBA spent the last 6 years working at Goldman, serving in the army, or failed at a tenure track professor role, received a good scholarship and is planning on going into a corporate role at a fortune 500 company earning 110k and working 40-55 hour weeks. Long story short if your pretty frugal with your money through your twenties and early thirties you can set yourself up to be wealthy while doing something you actually enjoy. What you expect from your wife and want out of her should also be impacted by your career as well. If you want a stay at home trophy wife you probably shouldn't be a high school chemistry teacher and if you want a wealthy attorney you will probably be at your wits end when dealing with kids and other things if your working a lot too. If your only in it for the money I would pick a tough but rewarding undergrad degree like engineering, applied math, analytical econ, or ect. If you graduate with a 3.4 it may be a good indication you will not win out battles for competitive residencies. If you crush it with a 3.9 I would suspect you are capable of winning out battles for tough residencies or finishing in the top 1/3rd of your class at a T-14 law school. Just so you know how difficult these fields are Colorado School of Mines has a 36% acceptance rate and a 71% 6 year graduation rate. They only offer math and engineering there.
     
    #88 redfish955, Apr 17, 2018 at 5:10 AM
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 12:26 PM
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  41. star.buck

    star.buck MD Class of 2020

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    Gotta love this guy's perspective on women and family... so very... "objective"...

    ... and a 36% acceptance rate sounds AMAZING... compared to nearly every single med school's acceptance rate...
     
  42. redfish955

    redfish955 Probationary Status

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    I was making the point that they are getting quality students and only about 70% of them are getting through these programs. If you pursue one there is a good chance you will be working very hard just to keep your grades above a 3.0. The good thing about these fields is that students typically show an upswing in gpa if they are grasping the concepts from the classes their first two to three years.
     
    #90 redfish955, Apr 19, 2018 at 5:05 AM
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018 at 6:10 AM

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