Salaries higher than doctors?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Wanna B a Doc, Mar 16, 2002.

  1. Wanna B a Doc

    Wanna B a Doc Junior Member

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    I hear people in this forum tell others, "don't become a physician for the high salaries and respect that you get from total strangers, do it because you want to help people. There are tons of careers out there that you can expect to easily earn much more than a doctor." Now while I agree with this opinion, I don't know if it is actually true. I am becoming a doctor because I love helping people, and want a career that will earn me a respectable salary, but I do think that we are misleading people by telling them the above quote. I think about this because I use to tell people the same thing until I thought about it, now I'm not too sure. A side from being an actor, a rock-star, or a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, I don't know of many careers that a person would expect to earn $200,000 to $1,000,000+ a year. If anyone knows of any I would be interested to hear what they are. :p
     
  2. scooter31

    scooter31 'Ello Guv'nah!
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    Well my submission to this thread definitely betrays my Las Vegas roots, but strippers at high end clubs have been known to make salries in the lower end of the bracket you posted. Seriously, if you're good at shakin your moneymaker, there's $$ to be had. Oh, and a more, ahem, respectful career that brings in some serious loot is investment banking, from what my business degreed friends tell me. I've been told if you're good at it and make your way up the career ladder, $500,000 a year isn't out of your reach. Anyone else have any other ideas about big money jobs???
     
  3. intraining

    intraining Junior Member
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    Go to Colombia and get some good hookups with the coke boys. Stay above the law and you will make more money than all the people in SDN combined will make in their lifetime.

    and </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Wanna B a Doc:
    <strong>I hear people in this forum tell others, "don't become a physician for the high salaries and respect that you get from total strangers, do it because you want to help people. There are tons of careers out there that you can expect to easily earn much more than a doctor." Now while I agree with this opinion, I don't know if it is actually true. I am becoming a doctor because I love helping people, and want a career that will earn me a respectable salary, but I do think that we are misleading people by telling them the above quote. I think about this because I use to tell people the same thing until I thought about it, now I'm not too sure. A side from being an actor, a rock-star, or a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, I don't know of many careers that a person would expect to earn $200,000 to $1,000,000+ a year. If anyone knows of any I would be interested to hear what they are. :p </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  4. Hedwig

    Hedwig Senior Member
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    Are you kidding me?

    - Financial Analyst
    - Investment banker (the bonuses alone are like the combined yearly salaries of 5 family practitioners!)
    - Economist (corporate, not academic)
    - Tax attorney
    - Defense attorney for famous malefactors (e.g, OJ Simpson)
    - Professional athlete in the [your favorite sports league here]
    - Best-selling author
    - Autocratic Arab ruler
    - Crooked labor union kingpin
    - Day trader (i.e., of stocks and bonds)
    - Night trader (i.e, a pimp)
    - College president
    - Autocratic American ruler
    - Chief of drug cartel
    - Crooked [your favorite evangelical Protestant sect here] televangelist
    - Real estate developer
    - Software developer
    - Landlord in Manhattan
    - Publisher of [your favorite major publication here]
    - [Your favorite actor/singer/songwriter here]
    - (Major) restauranteur
    - Movie producer
    - Elder in the Church of Scientology
    - Airline pilot
    - Architect
    - Certified public accountant
    - High-class "escort"

    and on and on and on...
     
  5. jargon124

    jargon124 Senior Member
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    Lots of professions make more or as much as people in medicine. Most of these are business or business related:

    -Corporate law (after making partner at a "BIGLAW" firm, expect 250K and UP in locations like NYC/Palo Alto/SF/Chicago)

    -Investment bankers (very difficult to get into, but if you do, and are GOOD, you can make into the MILLIONS - no kidding - these people work like crazy though, often 100+ hours a week)

    -Management consulting (work for firms like McKinsey, KPMG...again if you are good at your job you will eventually make 250K and up)

    -Accounting (talented, well established partners at big accounting firms can make upwards of 200K and up I'm guessing)

    -Enterpeneurship (big ideas needed, of course this is a long shot but let's not forget that much wealth can be created this way)

    -Stock brokers (not popular these days, but good ones can make nearly 1 million/year believe it or not)
     
  6. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist
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    You could basically make this kind of money in small business if you ran your business correctly and had the correct type of market. For example, my sister's boyfriend's father owns a small nursery (as in trees, not kids) in my hometown (~100k people). He earns over $800k/year because he is good at what he does and he has only one or two competing nurseries. You may say his case is unusual, but it is only so because there are so few people who actually are willing to work that hard in order to make it happen. I have a friend from college who works his ass off as a pharmaceutical rep and makes nearly $150k/yr as a 23 year old. Yeah, he has a good market, but he is also a work-horse and is good at making the sale. It just requires a little innovation to see what will work and some drive.

    Had I stayed in Columbia, MO, for med school, I would have tried to open a Hooter's restaurant because it is a goldmine waiting to happen in that city. It is the perfect restaurant for a college town (anyone still at Mizzou, feel free to take my idea, in the spirit of the fact that we are in the Sweet 16!). Making money in small business just requires seeing what would make money in a certain place and doing it.
     
  7. vixen

    vixen I like members
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    don't forget us dentists! :D <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  8. vixen

    vixen I like members
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    my best friend went to penn undergrad and did the wharton ugrad program there...he's a venture capitalist and makes ~90,000 (this is his first year) <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="eek.gif" />
     
  9. TheAce

    TheAce Attending
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    Hooters requires $3M in assets and $1M in liquid assets for you to open a franchise. Somehow, I don't think you have that kind of cash laying around.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by SocialistMD:
    <strong>Had I stayed in Columbia, MO, for med school, I would have tried to open a Hooter's restaurant because it is a goldmine waiting to happen in that city. It is the perfect restaurant for a college town (anyone still at Mizzou, feel free to take my idea, in the spirit of the fact that we are in the Sweet 16!). Making money in small business just requires seeing what would make money in a certain place and doing it.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  10. Kluver Bucy

    Kluver Bucy Gold Member
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    Here's a link to show you what people emerging from a good, 18-month MBA program are earning: <a href="http://www.columbia.edu/cu/business/career/placementreport/2001/pr9.htm" target="_blank">http://www.columbia.edu/cu/business/career/placementreport/2001/pr9.htm</a>
     
  11. H-townComp

    H-townComp Member
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    the people in Hollywood and the media-controllers are known to be billionaires and they have a stranglehold on the U.S. Gov't foreign policy too, now that's fame and wicked power.
     
  12. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by TheAce:
    <strong>Hooters requires $3M in assets and $1M in liquid assets for you to open a franchise. Somehow, I don't think you have that kind of cash laying around.
    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I didn't, but I had investors who did.
     
  13. Hedwig

    Hedwig Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by H-townComp:
    <strong>the people in Hollywood and the media-controllers are known to be billionaires and they have a stranglehold on the U.S. Gov't foreign policy too, now that's fame and wicked power.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">What exactly is a "media-controller"? An examination of the coverage of any given issue in newspapers across the country (and I've done this as a journalism minor and editor-in-chief of my college paper) reveals that there's such a wide rift between the generally liberal and libertarian orientations of the major east and west coast papers and the generally conservative and more authoritarian papers in between that to imply that someone is pulling the strings behind the scenes is ridiculous. The same goes for television news. In short, the media are businesses, and businesses respond to their customers' tastes and beliefs in order to maximize readership/viewership and, it follows, ad sales. Point being: media (that isn't owned by the state, as in many European nations) in democratic nations aren't "controlled," a theory which is both paranoid and probably, though you didn't explicitly mention any demographic subgroup, venemously racist. Indeed, the vast majority of owners/publishers of both large-sized and medium-sized media outlets (which number in the thousands) are Christians, if indeed you're implying what it sounds like. You're not exactly enhancing the tarnished image of your particular demographic if you are indeed implying some conspiracy....

    If not, forgive me, I have secular humanism oozing out of my pores <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />

    I second that Hollywood remark, though. People out there make so much money, which really bugs me considering that the movies that town spits out are SO BAD. Anyone see "Slackers"? OMG...

    - Stephanie
     
  14. squeek

    squeek Senior Member
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    Wanna B A Doc, I would change that bracket to a range slightly lower: $150,000-$400,000, hitting the $400,000 only if you're an orthopod or work constantly in a pretty competetive speciality in a big city (or do neurosurgery in Fargo, North Dakota. In that case, you're likely to make $1 million a year).

    Your average family medicine doc makes ~$150,000/year. (Check out salary.com for info on specific specialties. I used Seattle as my basis for salary). You could make that working in city government, for goodness' sake!
     
  15. Mr. worried

    Mr. worried Junior Member
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    Here is a link to the us department of labor web site. It contains information, taken from census 2000 and other sources, about almost every occupation in the US that is held by a significant number of people. (i.e. rockstar is not a job held by a significant number of people.)
    For each occupation is gives info on annual salary or wage.
    I would like to to know of one of these occupations in which the average salary is above that of a physicians.
    <a href="http://stats.bls.gov/oco/home.htm" target="_blank">http://stats.bls.gov/oco/home.htm</a>
     
  16. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    As mentioned by a couple posts above, I think the major difference between medicine and other careers is that an income near six digits is almost guarenteed for everyone graduating medical school. Yes, there are many individuals in other fields such as finance, internet, entertainment, etc that CAN make much more than doctors. However, these incomes are the top people in these fields, not the average.

    An example would be MBAs. There are many people with MBAs from average schools who run the local Wal-mart for 40K. Then there are those who go to top notch business schools who average &gt;80K to start. Lawyers also have this wide range of incomes. Famous actors make millions, but the vast majority have to work other jobs to make ends meet.

    So, it seems that the risk is less in medicine. The major hurdle comes in getting into medical school, not where you go or what you do afterwards.
     
  17. vixen

    vixen I like members
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    less risk in dentistry also...and also good stability.
     
  18. Dr. Dad

    Dr. Dad Senior Member
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    If money is what your looking for, go rent the movie "wall street" and then I think you will get the picture. Investment banking is where it is. They not only get several hundred thousand a year, but they also get "perks".

    As far as security is concerned. I disagree. You see people do not respect doctors. They see them as rich snobs with several BMW's. Even the future doctors on this board have made comments about doctors being snobs and not wanting their salaries to drop. This is why when you are a doctor you get sued for anything under the sun. In the future as experts predict, doctors salaries will be dropping and dropping, insurance rates are skyrocketing. All of this means that us doctors are going to be some po' folks in the future (maybe a nice $50,000 take home after insurance). We will make enough to live comfortably, but it will be a far cry from what we have today.

    On the other hand. The divorce rate is skyrocketing, maybe divorce lawyer is a good route to go for a secure salary in the 6 figures. If you are a lawyer and cannot find a client getting divorce, you got problems. Oh yeah, lawyers don't have malpractice suits or insurance either.
     
  19. Rafaelc378

    Rafaelc378 Junior Member
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    I started med school this year and studied premed wanting to genuinely help people. I still do. But I would be lying if I said money were not a factor.

    But even still. My parents are immigrants and are blue-collar middle class folk. Their combined salaries don't top 40k. Aside from loans and need-based scholarships, they got the money to put me through undergrad and now through med school by living below their means and only buying what was necessary. My dad never had a credit card until he was 40, and only then to be able to reserve hotel rooms and rent cars on trips.

    All this has rubbed off on me. I pay using cash and pay off my CC bill in full. I'll almost never pay more than $30 for a pair of pants and I've been wearing the same watch that I got as a gift when I started High School.

    I don't know if it's just me or because of my background, but making the kind of money an MD makes, even if it would lower in the future, would hardly be rank being called "po' folks".
     
  20. Soupbone

    Soupbone Member
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    Amen Rafaelc378,

    I know were you are coming from. My mom raised me on less than what I will make as an intern.

    peace,
    S0upb0ne
    "...what adds flavor to soup"
     
  21. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member
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    MBA's making alot of money HAHAHAHA!! I have 4 friends with MBA's that make 40-80k. That is good cash, but ain't alot. One of the MBA's is a personal trainer in Phoenix, and he makes 40k.
    MBA's are a dime a dozen.
    I know only a couple of lawyers and it takes a good 5-10 years to start making 90k in most fields of law. IF YOU CAN GET A JOB! Being a lawyer certainly is not like the show "Law and Order"!
    My father is a manufacturing consultant...last year he pulled in 130k, with the economic down swing, this year will be 40k less.
    Listen, being a physician means you have a wonderful career and wage for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. You can bank on the fact that you will always have a steady income of 6 figures. You can debate till the cows come home, but this is why there is an AMA, and the billion of other physician organizations...they ENSURE the future of physicians. If you want to make sure you are respected in the community...then be honest, treat your patients as family, donate time, write a book, run for office or whatever. If you want to change the world, then act on your desires.
    We are a select few, a lucky few.
     
  22. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I think everyone agrees that physicians have pretty good job security (unless of course you get hit with a frivolous malpractice suit -- anyone see that piece on 60 Minutes about the pyschiatrist in Utah? He's waiting tables now.). Yes lawyers and MBA's may be a dime a dozen, but I think the point is that if you are dedicated enough and can work hard enough to get into med school in the first place, you could probably apply those same talents to a field like law or business and also be successful, in which case you will probably be making more money and at an earlier age.
     
  23. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member
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    I don't know if this has already been mentioned or not (just skimmed the other responses) but small businessmen have it made. My brother-in-law is a businessman and is also starting his own consulting company, and he takes home a very hefty paycheck. He does not have a graduate degree, but is a CPA, which is a big accomplishment in itself, if you've ever seen a CPA exam. :) However, it didn't take him 7 years of schooling/residency to get him to the place where he is earning more than a lot of physicians I know.

    Downside: While you do set your own hours, you can never really be on vacation-- you're always being called about something or another. You're always checking the office, working VERY late hours and very odd hours as well (like most doctors,) and the responsibility is immense: keeping the books right, etc. Because if you don't, or even if you make an honest mistake, you don't just lose a deal here and there, you can very easily be carted off to jail and/or heavily fined/watched by the IRS (AKA Wrathful Gods of Money.) :D
     
  24. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    Again, I think the problem with small business owners is that it is very risky. We always hear about those who have been successful, but a large portion of these businesses fold. Restaurants, for example. I forgot the exact statistic but something like 50-60% of new restaurants close within the first year. There goes the 20K investment down the drain.
     
  25. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member
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    20K to open a resaurant? Try 10-20X that much

    Ed
     
  26. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Gotrob:
    <strong>Most of what is being said is true. Some strippers probably make as much or more than some doctors. Some lawyers, some small business owners, some teachers, make as much or more than some doctors. But...and this is a big BUT...it is not as easy as everyone seems to think. The absolute lowest ranked medical student that graduates will have the opportunity to make well over $100,000 dollars. There are many, many lawyers who can't afford to pay their rent much less their student loans. How many small businesses fail every year? How many tech gurus are out of jobs right now? No, I don't think you should become a doctor SOLEY for the paycheck, but it would be a mistake to think all future doctors would be better off financially in another field.

    well...maybe if they all became dentists</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Here is the response....

    I just came back from a trip to Boston visiting some highschool/college friends who are now at Boston U Law and Harvard Law. My friend is at top 1/3 of BU law whose class size is like and my other friend is at the middle of Harvard Law whose class size is 500ish. Both of them are making 120-150k next year as starting salary.

    Here are some arguments:

    1) With an Ivy undergrad GPA of 3.85 and MCAT of 38, I believe that I could have pulled off a decent LSAT to get into a top 10 law school (or if not, at least I could go to BU and be at top 1/3. after all, law school and med school demand memorization and reading, albeit reading materials are a bit different). Law schools look at your numbers and admit you, no interview necessary.

    2) My friends have basically stopped working hard in school since beginning of 2nd year. In the beginning of 2nd year, you apply and obtain a summer internship between your 2nd and 3rd year summer. Hence only your first year's grades matter. And if you don't screw up your internship job majorly, then you will get a permanent position with that same firm when you graduate. That's how my two friends got their jobs. They have been cruising since 2nd year of law school. This is vastly different than med school where every year counts more and more (clinical years are weighted heavier than basic science years) toward residencies. And for some who aim for hot-shot fields, they have to do research during summers or whatever time they can find. Even during 4th year, some med students still want to do an away rotation at another hospital of their first choice and work their asses off to impress some stupid attendings to secure a coveted residency spot.

    3) My friends are going to be 24 yo when they starting rolling in the sure dough of 120+k. When I am 24, I will be in 4th year med school and still have 3-10 years of residency after that. And all the higher paying residencies require more years of training. Internist, family docs and general pediatrician pretty much max out at 200-250k.

    Therefore, what I am emphasizing on is opportunity cost. I could have used my high undergrad GPA and good standardize testing skill to get into a top 10 or 5 law school and secure 6-figure salary upon graduation, but I did not. Going to law school requires one fewer year of tuition +living expense AND immediate dough right after graduation. Plus, it does not hurt while my friends are set on their jobs by the beginning of their 2nd year law school, while I have to be on-call and kiss up to attendings AND residents even during my 3rd year of med school.

    Hope this clears up the comparison more.
     
  27. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member
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    I have one more thing about comparing law and medicine...to practice law, you have to be a LAWYER...and I know of no other animal so despised on earth!
    I come from a blue collar family, and doctors and priests are the highest on the nobility pyramid. With lawyers being on the bottom. You couldn't pay me enough to be a lawyer.

    As far as being dedicated enough to apply that to business...hell yes, I am going to be part owner in a restaraunt/bar after residency! That is why I am going into EM...no call means extra opportunities for venture.
     
  28. Dr. Dad

    Dr. Dad Senior Member
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    While being a lawyer is not like the TV show "Law and Order", being a doctor is not like the show "ER" either.

    Lawyers are not as looked down as as people think. Sure there are a lot of lawyer jokes, but when ever you have legal troubles...guess where you go. You look for the best darn lawyer you can get. And as a special bonus, lawyers tend to have a lot more power and prestige.

    Doctors are also not seen as "nobility". As I said before, doctors are looked at as snobs with lots of money. People view them as greedy and unwilling to sacrifice their high salaries for the good of health care costs. Its not true of course, but that is the way they are viewed by most people. Nurses are people who care about helping people and doing good. Doctors are know it all, silver spoon, rich people who could care less about the outcome of the patient as long as they get paid.

    That being said, do what you want to do, not what you think everyone else will like the most.
     
  29. Freeeedom!

    Freeeedom! Senior Member
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    Once again, my comment was based upon MY FAMILY. Lawyers are literally hated in the blue collar family and area I come from...right up there with "crook" and "tax collector". It was a family dream that someone go into medicine. Dr. Dad, I am sorry if the "Dr. kids and Dr. relatives" don't feel the same way.
    Yep, I guess you have to hire a lawyer to get out of "legal trouble"...that is my point.
    This is silly.
     

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