Should MDs take a pay cut to make healthcare more affordable?

Status
Not open for further replies.
May 25, 2013
100
23
Status
The cost of healthcare today is absolutely outrageous, and this is coming from a pre-med student. Insurance costs are completely out of control, common prescription drugs, like Xarelto (latest blood-thinner) are far too expensive for the average American.

In my opinion universal healthcare is the end-goal. Obamacare hasn't helped much, a vast percentage of Americans can't afford healthcare. Something has to change, for the sake of the system we need to cut insurance companies out and cut doctor pay, there is no other ethical solution.

European countries and Canadians pay their doctors less and America doesn't offer a statistically superior outcome for the majority of illnesses. Healthcare providers can't ethically profit off the backs of our bankrupt patients while we look the other way with endlessly greedy insurance companies. Capitalism and healthcare simple don't work.
 

bashwell

5+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2013
1,934
1,948
Status
Resident [Any Field]
The cost of healthcare today is absolutely outrageous, and this is coming from a pre-med student. Insurance costs are completely out of control, common prescription drugs, like Xarelto (latest blood-thinner) are far too expensive for the average American.

In my opinion universal healthcare is the end-goal. Obamacare hasn't helped much, a vast percentage of Americans can't afford healthcare. Something has to change, for the sake of the system we need to cut insurance companies out and cut doctor pay, there is no other ethical solution.

European countries and Canadians pay their doctors less and America doesn't offer a statistically superior outcome for the majority of illnesses. Healthcare providers can't ethically profit off the backs of our bankrupt patients while we look the other way with endlessly greedy insurance companies. Capitalism and healthcare simple don't work.
Doctors' salaries are a miniscule and quite arguably insignificant part of the reason why US healthcare is so expensive.

The biggest pieces of the healthcare cost pie are Medicare, Medicaid, the VHA, and CHIP. These make up something like 67% of US healthcare costs.
 
Last edited:
OP
G
May 25, 2013
100
23
Status
You don't have any patients... And based on your whining, you don't have any money either :laugh:
As a pre-med student I can't see myself ethically telling my patient go bankrupt or die for a medically necessary procedure or drug that is affordable in Canada or Europe. I would take a pay cut if it came to it.
 

dadaddadaBATMAN

5+ Year Member
Apr 27, 2014
522
776
Umbrella pulled out
The cost of healthcare today is absolutely outrageous, and this is coming from a pre-med student. Insurance costs are completely out of control, common prescription drugs, like Xarelto (latest blood-thinner) are far too expensive for the average American.

In my opinion universal healthcare is the end-goal. Obamacare hasn't helped much, a vast percentage of Americans can't afford healthcare. Something has to change, for the sake of the system we need to cut insurance companies out and cut doctor pay, there is no other ethical solution.

European countries and Canadians pay their doctors less and America doesn't offer a statistically superior outcome for the majority of illnesses. Healthcare providers can't ethically profit off the backs of our bankrupt patients while we look the other way with endlessly greedy insurance companies. Capitalism and healthcare simple don't work.
Inflammatory, premed, and poorly researched.
3/10 trolling

If serious, you should probably look at the cut of healthcare spending for physician salaries. Cutting our pay in half would decrease costs around 5%. It would also tremendously piss off and demoralize the workforce that provides the actual care.

Comparisons in physician pay across countries rarely take into account differences in training time, median pay (often higher relative to gdp in europe), and hours worked. It's a very poor way to measure usa salaries.

Cutting insurance out of the picture isn't exactly a straight-forward decision. Good luck with that.

I'm out
 

thepoopologist

Ph.D in Clinical Meconium
7+ Year Member
Oct 24, 2009
3,584
754
Status
Attending Physician
As a pre-med student I can't see myself ethically telling my patient go bankrupt or die for a medically necessary procedure or drug that is affordable in Canada or Europe. I would take a pay cut if it came to it.
It's easy to sacrifice something you haven't yet earned. I've sacrificed a good deal of my health and financial future to get to where I am now. What I know will do some good but I will quit this job before I work for less pay because someone is under the mistaken impression that the lack of a patients ability to pay for healthcare is solely associated with my income. I am already accountable for every decision I make as a doc, and while the victories are sweet, every mistake is my fault. I have written enough documentation to fill a good length novel. There are several shades of gray before these two extremes (bankrupt or die) are reached. Those shades are filled with good patients, terrible patients, and everything in between. When you make it to the other side we'll talk. In the meantime, shut the **** up and stop pretending you know a goddamn thing you're talking about.
 
OP
G
May 25, 2013
100
23
Status
It's easy to sacrifice something you haven't yet earned. I've sacrificed a good deal of my health and financial future to get to where I am now. What I know will do some good but I will quit this job before I work for less pay because someone is under the mistaken impression that the lack of a patients ability to pay for healthcare is solely associated with my income. I am already accountable for every decision I make as a doc, and while the victories are sweet, every mistake is my fault. I have written enough documentation to fill a good length novel. There are several shades of gray before these two extremes (bankrupt or die) are reached. Those shades are filled with good patients, terrible patients, and everything in between. When you make it to the other side we'll talk. In the meantime, shut the **** up and stop pretending you know a goddamn thing you're talking about.
I have every right to question the ethical nature of the system that enables overcharging patients when statistically American quality of care is no better than Scandinavian or Canadian quality of care. If I am deciding whether or not to dedicate my life to this profession it's not a bad question to ask. And standing on your ivory tower condescending the lowly pre-med is juvenile.
 
Last edited:

thepoopologist

Ph.D in Clinical Meconium
7+ Year Member
Oct 24, 2009
3,584
754
Status
Attending Physician
I have every right to question the ethical nature of the system that enables overcharging patients when statistically American quality of care is no better than Scandinavian or Canadian quality of care. If I want to dedicate my life to this profession it's not a bad question to ask. And standing on your ivory tower condescending the lowly pre-med is juvenile.


No, no, no. I'm questioning your idea that cutting a physicians pay will alleviate the problem of patients being overcharged. What you are stating here is a completely different idea.

And I'm not standing on an ivory tower. I'm here as a person who has experienced it. Once you are in a position where you must shoulder the responsibility of the decisions you make, are pulling teeth with insurance companies to get patients covered, are dealing with nurses, ancillary staff, and administrators, all wanting their pound of flesh out of you, are dealing with a large cross section of patients whom utilize the majority of healthcare costs, let me know what you think about your pay getting cut.

There are long standing institutions, politics, and the bottom line, among other things, all at play here. Its easy to stand there and point at a doctors income as the cause of it, failing to account for the standard it takes to even become a doctor here. Its easy to say this medication or that medication costs too much, failing to account for the decades of research and failed trials by PHDs to even get to that medication.

I would argue that your viewpoint is juvenile. You are free to think whatever you want. I doubt your opinion will be the same 10 years from now
 
Last edited:

Shirafune

5+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2014
946
733
Status
Medical Student
I have every right to question the ethical nature of the system that enables overcharging patients when statistically American quality of care is no better than Scandinavian or Canadian quality of care. If I am deciding whether or not to dedicate my life to this profession it's not a bad question to ask. And standing on your ivory tower condescending the lowly pre-med is juvenile.
When you have no little no experience with matters pertinent to the issue, pretending you are educated enough to criticize the system is ethical entitlement. When you actually work the job, then you may consider if physicians are overpayed.
 

bashwell

5+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2013
1,934
1,948
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I have every right to question the ethical nature of overcharging patients when statistically American quality of care is no better than Scandinavian or Canadian quality of care. If I want to dedicate my life to this profession it's not a bad question to ask. And standing on your ivory tower lecturing the lowly pre-med is juvenile.
1) You're moving the goalposts. Originally you questioned physician pay. Now you're questioning physicians overcharging patients. These two are not equivalent let alone identical. Not unless you think the main reason most physicians have the salary they do is because most physicians overcharge their patients. But what makes you think most physicians overcharge their patients?

2) Also, overcharging patients is a different issue than US healthcare costs. These are likewise not equivalent to each other. For example, it's possible for a nation to have low healthcare costs but the physicians in the same nation still overcharge their patients.

3) You're not being lectured to; rather, you're being reasoned with. No need to play the victim card.

4) However, yes, the fact that you're a pre-med is entirely relevant given what you're saying about physicians, etc. Knowledge and experience are necessary conditions in order to make reasonable arguments with regard to what you're arguing. If you lack the relevant knowledge and experience, then this undermines your arguments which depend on the relevant knowledge and experience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ModyzMalak

bashwell

5+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2013
1,934
1,948
Status
Resident [Any Field]
If I am deciding whether or not to dedicate my life to this profession it's not a bad question to ask.
Another option if you want to become a physician is that you could apply to med school (also for citizenship) in places like the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. They seem closer in line to your current medical practice and healthcare preferences.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ModyzMalak

Psai

This space for lease
Removed
5+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2014
11,519
23,499
ヽ(´ー`)ノ
Status
Resident [Any Field]
As a mother, you don't understand anything about physician pay, statistics, that Canadian doctors have comparable incomes, that any difference will go to middlemen rather than patients, etc. We have nothing to do with insurance companies and obamacare which was obviously designed to help insurance companies, not patients. We don't set drug prices and this is coming from a mother.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Jack

Merely

Account on Hold
Account on Hold
7+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2012
1,570
1,373
Somewhere Sunny
Status
Medical Student, Resident [Any Field]
As a pre-med student I can't see myself ethically telling my patient go bankrupt or die for a medically necessary procedure or drug that is affordable in Canada or Europe. I would take a pay cut if it came to it.
If you make it to medical school, through medical school, into residency, and through residency, you're going to come back here, read this comment of yours, and realize what a naive little kid you were. Don't be offended by it though, it is normal, you're very young still. Argue with people, read more, research, and enjoy your life because that's what it's all about.
 

atomi

Member
Removed
Account on Hold
10+ Year Member
Feb 6, 2005
2,381
2,889
Minnesota
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Xarelto (latest blood-thinner) are far too expensive for the average American.
Where in the constitution does it say that we are entitled to Xarelto at a reasonable cost?
Perhaps the company that invented Xarelto could just kindly remove it from the market.
In fact, they should just cancel all drugs coming down the pipeline whose retail price will be more than $10/month so we don't have this inconvenient problem of expensive drugs.
 

VisionaryTics

Señor Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2009
1,925
2,317
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Where in the constitution does it say that we are entitled to Xarelto at a reasonable cost?
Perhaps the company that invented Xarelto could just kindly remove it from the market.
In fact, they should just cancel all drugs coming down the pipeline whose retail price will be more than $10/month so we don't have this inconvenient problem of expensive drugs.
I do always shake my head at the fact that pretty much all of our unresectable recurrent head and neck SCC patients are getting pembrolizumab ($13,000 per month) to bend the 3-year survival curve from 5% to 5.1% (actually there's no data yet and I'm glad I live in a country where we try and strive with pharmaceutical research).
 

Psai

This space for lease
Removed
5+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2014
11,519
23,499
ヽ(´ー`)ノ
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I do always shake my head at the fact that pretty much all of our unresectable recurrent head and neck SCC patients are getting pembrolizumab ($13,000 per month) to bend the 3-year survival curve from 5% to 5.1% (actually there's no data yet and I'm glad I live in a country where we try and strive with pharmaceutical research).
Nah it's the evil doctors that are trying to profiteer off the poor patients.
 

Terry Toma

2+ Year Member
Aug 26, 2015
351
1,007
Status
Medical Student
Seems to me that there are better ways for physicians to work toward reducing patient costs. If you contribute to research that allows an expensive test or procedure to be replaced with a lower cost alternative, you've just had a greater impact on patient expense than you'd have by working for half pay.
 
  • Like
Reactions: QualityProcess

SouthernSurgeon

Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2008
4,363
8,304
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I do always shake my head at the fact that pretty much all of our unresectable recurrent head and neck SCC patients are getting pembrolizumab ($13,000 per month) to bend the 3-year survival curve from 5% to 5.1% (actually there's no data yet and I'm glad I live in a country where we try and strive with pharmaceutical research).
There was a really nice article a while back (NYT) about how even Memorial Sloan Kettering was starting to question some of these treatments and had decided not to carry one of the new agents on formulary
 
  • Like
Reactions: Goro

Dr. Death

2+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2015
1,545
2,732
So if you can't afford food, the grocery clerks should take a paycut?
If you can't afford gas the station attendant should take a paycut?
If you can't afford clothes the walmart employees should take a paycut?
If you can't afford rent or utilities your landlord and the utility company employees should take a paycut?
Maybe you should go to law school and only take pro bono cases.
 

Mad Jack

Critically Caring
5+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2013
35,550
65,162
4th Dimension
The cost of healthcare today is absolutely outrageous, and this is coming from a pre-med student. Insurance costs are completely out of control, common prescription drugs, like Xarelto (latest blood-thinner) are far too expensive for the average American.

In my opinion universal healthcare is the end-goal. Obamacare hasn't helped much, a vast percentage of Americans can't afford healthcare. Something has to change, for the sake of the system we need to cut insurance companies out and cut doctor pay, there is no other ethical solution.

European countries and Canadians pay their doctors less and America doesn't offer a statistically superior outcome for the majority of illnesses. Healthcare providers can't ethically profit off the backs of our bankrupt patients while we look the other way with endlessly greedy insurance companies. Capitalism and healthcare simple don't work.

If I had to work for British wages with my debt, I'd go bankrupt anyway, so nah. If people can't afford the skills I'm paying a fortune to learn, too bad, because I can't afford to provide them for wages that would leave my family starving.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wengerout

jqueb29

7+ Year Member
May 4, 2011
1,085
1,779
Status
Medical Student
There is no ethical solution to any problem that involves the government mandatorily limiting someone's income. The free market is the only ethical way to do things. Many of the problems we have with healthcare are in fact due to government preventing it from being a free market. Such things include:

1. Terrible rate for Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements. Doctors and hospitals are reimbursed below cost, so that lost money must be made up elsewhere. This results in either non-Medicare/Medicaid patients paying more than they would otherwise, or physicians refusing to see M/M patients.

2. EMTALA is one of the worst pieces of legislation ever. I'm not heartless and would definitely treat anybody who comes into the ER with an actual emergency, but when someone comes in treating the ER like it's a primary care doctor, we should be able to tell them to get out. When these people don't pay for their care, the money must, once again, be made up elsewhere. This is a decent part of the reason why an aspirin in a hospital can be like $25; you're subsidizing those who come to the ER with a little cough and then don't pay a dime. This causes your bill to be higher and insurance premiums to be higher since their bill is also higher.

3. The mandates by Obamacare in regards to what things an insurance plan must provide. The ACA mandates that most plans must cover things such as pediatric care even if you have no kids, prostate cancer treatment even if you're a woman, etc. These pointless mandates increase your premium.
 

sb247

Doer of things
7+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2012
20,305
30,917
Galt's Gulch
forums.studentdoctor.net
The cost of healthcare today is absolutely outrageous, and this is coming from a pre-med student. Insurance costs are completely out of control, common prescription drugs, like Xarelto (latest blood-thinner) are far too expensive for the average American.

In my opinion universal healthcare is the end-goal. Obamacare hasn't helped much, a vast percentage of Americans can't afford healthcare. Something has to change, for the sake of the system we need to cut insurance companies out and cut doctor pay, there is no other ethical solution.

European countries and Canadians pay their doctors less and America doesn't offer a statistically superior outcome for the majority of illnesses. Healthcare providers can't ethically profit off the backs of our bankrupt patients while we look the other way with endlessly greedy insurance companies. Capitalism and healthcare simple don't work.
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
 
  • Like
Reactions: wengerout
5

516662

there's a thread like this one every week by some premed thinking he/she is a saint. maybe people should just stop getting sick or putting themselves in harm's way. that'll cut costs for sure.
 

stoichiometrist

7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2011
2,185
2,174
I think iPhone prices are too high. Let's ask Apple engineers to take a pay cut so that we can pay less for each iPhone.
 

Mr. Hat

10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2006
937
940
Status
Attending Physician
The cost of healthcare today is absolutely outrageous, and this is coming from a pre-med student. Insurance costs are completely out of control, common prescription drugs, like Xarelto (latest blood-thinner) are far too expensive for the average American.

In my opinion universal healthcare is the end-goal. Obamacare hasn't helped much, a vast percentage of Americans can't afford healthcare. Something has to change, for the sake of the system we need to cut insurance companies out and cut doctor pay, there is no other ethical solution.

European countries and Canadians pay their doctors less and America doesn't offer a statistically superior outcome for the majority of illnesses. Healthcare providers can't ethically profit off the backs of our bankrupt patients while we look the other way with endlessly greedy insurance companies. Capitalism and healthcare simple don't work.
Wow, a pre-med creating a thread advocating for socialized medicine and cutting physician pay. About as unique as a loaf of bread in a bakery.

But it's all good, the premeds who start this way grow up and learn. I still fondly remember the kids in my med school class who, during MS1, advocated for the same things. By MS4 most of them had changed their tune and were matching Ortho, Derm, ENT, Anes, etc.

Funny how years of hard work and sacrifice can change one's perspective.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wengerout

NicMouse64

2+ Year Member
Nov 26, 2014
688
932
Status
Medical Student
OP has the right idea but comes to the wrong conclusion. Doctors pay should not decrease, it should increase according to inflation. We need to take insurance companies out of the picture and provide sensible healthcare for all. Socialized medicine doesn't have to mean less physician pay, this is a fallacy IMO. We will see where I am on this position in 10 years, however.
 

sb247

Doer of things
7+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2012
20,305
30,917
Galt's Gulch
forums.studentdoctor.net
OP has the right idea but comes to the wrong conclusion. Doctors pay should not decrease, it should increase according to inflation. We need to take insurance companies out of the picture and provide sensible healthcare for all. Socialized medicine doesn't have to mean less physician pay, this is a fallacy IMO. We will see where I am on this position in 10 years, however.
when your income tax keeps getting increased because everyone claims a "right" to the newest and most expensive treatments you will like socialized medicine less
 

NicMouse64

2+ Year Member
Nov 26, 2014
688
932
Status
Medical Student
when your income tax keeps getting increased because everyone claims a "right" to the newest and most expensive treatments you will like socialized medicine less
Yes, there should be a two tiered system, one funded by taxpayers (medicare for all) with strict regulations on what treatment can be provided. A private system where those that can afford the "newest and most expensive treatments" to get them on their own dime.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wengerout

sb247

Doer of things
7+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2012
20,305
30,917
Galt's Gulch
forums.studentdoctor.net
Yes, there should be a two tiered system, one funded by taxpayers (medicare for all) with strict regulations on what treatment can be provided. A private system where those that can afford the "newest and most expensive treatments" to get them on their own dime.
nope...I don't have a right to go through someone else's pockets for my healthcare expenses, regardless of how "reasonable" I claim to be with the amount of expense
 
  • Like
Reactions: doctor-mommy

sonofva

10+ Year Member
Aug 31, 2009
1,066
384
Status
Attending Physician
The cost of healthcare today is absolutely outrageous, and this is coming from a pre-med student. Insurance costs are completely out of control, common prescription drugs, like Xarelto (latest blood-thinner) are far too expensive for the average American.

In my opinion universal healthcare is the end-goal. Obamacare hasn't helped much, a vast percentage of Americans can't afford healthcare. Something has to change, for the sake of the system we need to cut insurance companies out and cut doctor pay, there is no other ethical solution.

European countries and Canadians pay their doctors less and America doesn't offer a statistically superior outcome for the majority of illnesses. Healthcare providers can't ethically profit off the backs of our bankrupt patients while we look the other way with endlessly greedy insurance companies. Capitalism and healthcare simple don't work.
YOU SHOULD TAKE A PAY CUT!!!!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.