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So much for gloomy career prospects?

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Birdnals

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Interesting article from Doximity showed up in my mailbox (link here). Essentially, it shows that the job market and salaries for physicians are actually on the rise despite all the gloom and doom that seems to surround the field. What stuck out most to me, especially since they counter many of the common talking points, were that:

- Starting salaries for primary care fields and specialists on the rise
- Solo practices appear to be making a comeback

--begin rant (read at your own peril)--

Throughout the process of pursuing medical school, I feel like I'm told every other day how terrible medicine is and that it is only getting worse. I admit my naivety, and despite the risk of sounding ignorant, I've always felt like much of the qualms I hear are of the "back in my day..." variety and/or from people lacking enough experience outside of medicine to understand that every field has its pain in the a**es. Things change in every profession, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. At the end of the day we have to adapt and hope to have a hand in future changes if we think they're really so bad.

I understand that there are serious issues that need to be addressed by our field. But I think some of these issues leave some of our more experienced colleagues with a jaded perspective causing them look at everything with a sour view. At the end of the day, we get to do what we love and get paid (increasingly) well for it.

--end rant--
 
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PhillyMed777

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Although I appreciate the enthusiasm, there are many caveats to that article I can't even begin to count. Here's some:

1) It doesn't account for hours worked. E.g., radiology surveys technically show they made slightly more money in the last year than in prior years. This doesn't account for the fact that they now work way more hours and harder at work. They more often take weekends as well. Strictly speaking, medicare has most DEFINITELY slashed their payments in the last 5-6 years, even though it is not reflected as such.

2) What is this data really? Is it salary? There is a difference between salary and compensation. Salary is a term given more to an employee. Trend is actually towards being employed, which would explain why starting salaries are higher. In PP, the docs may given themselves a low "salary," but their total compensation is completely different. If PP is on the downslope, their low "salaries" are cut out of the average, even though their total compensation was higher. The article also doesn't also reflect what one's full financial potential is, i.e. are there fewer partnership jobs available?

3) The article comes from Merritt Hawkins data. Their whole job is to help docs get jobs and they make money off of it. The authors may hope that publicity of high numbers may increase utilization of Merritt Hawkins, because lets face it, the best jobs are not advertised and are achieved through contacts and word of mouth.

4) The vignette included in the doximity article, which is supposed to increase the validity of their claims, is not representative. The doc who is looking for a job in the article is seeking family medicine jobs. There is a huge need for primary care currently. It does not accurately reflect the fact that certain job markets are increasingly tight (Pathology, Rad Onc, certain specialties in large metro or city areas).
 
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Psai

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The requested URL /physicians-money-digest/columns/the-doctor-report/06-2016/high-demand-and-rising-salaries-await-young-physicians was not found on this server.

Not surprised. Thanks for your perspective about being a doctor though premed, it was really useful.
 
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Birdnals

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The requested URL /physicians-money-digest/columns/the-doctor-report/06-2016/high-demand-and-rising-salaries-await-young-physicians was not found on this server.

Not surprised. Thanks for your perspective about being a doctor though premed, it was really useful.

Right, because the only people who have perspective about general career issues are doctors. And sorry the link didn't work for you as it apparently did for others. You can find it here for now.

Quick question: does the elitist attitude begin on the first day of classes or after the pre-clinical years? I'd imagine it's quite a useful attitude to have around patients, especially in a world that already lumps physicians with lawyers as the biggest a******* around.
 
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VA Hopeful Dr

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    Right, because the only people who have perspective about general career issues are doctors. And sorry the link didn't work for you as it apparently did for others. You can find it here for now.

    Quick question: does the elitist attitude begin on the first day of classes or after the pre-clinical years? I'd imagine it's quite a useful attitude to have around patients, especially in a world that already lumps physicians with lawyers as the biggest a******* around.
    Umm, you can give general career advice all you want but I'd suggest not giving specific advice about a career that you are not even started in to those of us who have been doing it for some time now.

    It would be like me lecturing an education major in college about his/her job prospects as a school teacher.
     
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    lymphocyte

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    Right, because the only people who have perspective about general career issues are doctors. And sorry the link didn't work for you as it apparently did for others. You can find it here for now.

    Quick question: does the elitist attitude begin on the first day of classes or after the pre-clinical years? I'd imagine it's quite a useful attitude to have around patients, especially in a world that already lumps physicians with lawyers as the biggest a******* around.

    There's definitely a lot of sarcasm in medicine. It comes across as harsh, but it's not the same as "elitism." It's the voice of lived experience, which counts for a lot. We're talking about people's livelihoods here. Livelihoods that took over a decade of toil, sweat, and tears just to train for. So the threshold for ire and eye-rolling is low. Rightfully so. It's a "jaded perspective" until it might become your perspective.

    I think @Tri723 hit the nail on the head. Primary care is up. But lots of specialities are down. Some are very down (even to the point of existential crisis). Rad Onc is a good example. http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/canaries-in-a-coal-mine.1193241/
     
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    Birdnals

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    Umm, you can give general career advice all you want but I'd suggest not giving specific advice about a career that you are not even started in to those of us who have been doing it for some time now.

    It would be like me lecturing an education major in college about his/her job prospects as a school teacher.

    Apologies for not being clear; please allow me to clarify my point then.

    When I hear a doc complaining about how their reimbursements were cut or that they have to work more hours, I can empathize with their anger because I've had to deal with similar crap throughout my own career. But the problem I see is that when a doc tells me not to go into medicine because of all this, to me this indicates they lack the perspective to understand that no field is immune to this stuff.

    Again, apologies for not making this clear on the first go around.
     

    Birdnals

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    There's definitely a lot of sarcasm in medicine. It comes across as harsh, but it's not the same as "elitism." /

    Can I make a diagnosis? Of course not, that's a medical issue that is learned in medical school. But the last I checked, there was no comprehensive literature review of the job market for physicians on my syllabus. Yeah, you might learn here and there from other students, residents, or attendings, but for the most part, that's going to provide little more than ancedotal experience. Thus to suggest that anyone who has not attended medical school is incapable of forming an informed opinion on a non-medical issue is most certainly elitism.

    It's the voice of lived experience, which counts for a lot. We're talking about people's livelihoods here. Livelihoods that took over a decade of toil, sweat, and tears just to train for. So the threshold for ire and eye-rolling is low. Rightfully so. It's a "jaded perspective" until it becomes your perspective. And it will become your perspective./


    I have no doubt training to become a physician is difficult as I'm sure to find out first hand over then next 10 years of my own life. But I also know that it's possible to become so entrenched and passionate about your job that every change is viewed as an attack on your livelihood. It becomes easy to start to think that just because you've done something a certain way for years then any other way is wrong. This happens in every job but it's not true. Yes, some changes are attacks, but not all of them.

    Edited to generalize
     
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    Psai

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    Thank god you read a doximity article, we're all saved and will make a million dollars a year now. Btw it's really funny to hear you talk about other people's lack of perspective. It's also not elitist to tell someone who has no idea what they're talking about that they don't know what they're talking about. Please develop some self-awareness, your current lack of it will hurt you greatly.
     
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    DOFOSHO

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    Birdnals

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    It's also not elitist to tell someone who has no idea what they're talking about that they don't know what they're talking about.

    But assuming everyone who lacks your experience is incapable of having a worthy opinion is.
     

    username456789

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    MACRA is about to put the hurt on solo/small group practices.

    Edit: well, continue to at least.
     

    lymphocyte

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    But assuming everyone who lacks your experience is incapable of having a worthy opinion is.

    Friend, I appreciate that. But if you argue with attendings who have decades of experience, you better have more than one lame article. It's simply not how argument in medicine is done. You need lots of data, evaluated from multiple perspectives. That's what @Tri723 was trying to rather gently point out.
     
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    Birdnals

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    he's not being elitist, he's just saying you have no idea what you're talking about.

    Again, so only those who are in or have gone through medical school are capable of analyzing the job market?
     

    lymphocyte

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    pretty much.

    Yeah, they've done such a great job that they're running multiple specialities right into the ground.

    Why did Path go Big Corp? Why did Radiology expand training spots? Why did Rad Onc expand training spots and tie itself to a treatment modality instead of a disease or anatomical region? So many examples that argue against this hubris.
     
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    mcloaf

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    Again, so only those who are in or have gone through medical school are capable of analyzing the job market?
    Reposting a one sided article with a salty ill informed rant is not analysis. And this is coming from someone who probably mostly agrees with you.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using SDN mobile
     
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    Psai

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    If you look at the infographics, they're talking mostly about employed positions, about 95%. A rise in the salary of employed positions is not much of a win when there is a large drop from being your own boss to having a bunch of middlemen reaching into your pocket to begin with. Just from that alone, your optimism is very silly.
     
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    Birdnals

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    Friend, I appreciate that. But if you argue with attendings who have decades of experience, you better have more than one lame article. It's simply not how argument in medicine is done. You need lots of data, evaluated from multiple perspectives. That's what @Tri723 was trying to rather gently point out./

    Yes, and I should have thanked @Tri723 for pointing out those short comings. He brought up some great points. But my point now is that it doesn't take a physician to make those points. The mentality that someone who hasn't gone to medical school can't make a legitimate claim about a subject like this is what frightens me most. I don't think it would've made a difference at all if I studied job markets for a living; I'm pretty sure I still would have been dismissed based solely on the fact that I haven't gone to medical school.
     
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    But assuming everyone who lacks your experience is incapable of having a worthy opinion is.

    Birdnals, I think most premeds felt like you - asking themselves if things could really be as gloomy as the older docs claim and brightly assuming that We Would Be Better. But as Isaac Asimov once said: "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"

    It's admirable for us all to try to better the field and keep a positive attitude, but foolish to ignore the experiences of those who've lived it and have gone before us.
     
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    Birdnals

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    If you look at the infographics, they're talking mostly about employed positions, about 95%. A rise in the salary of employed positions is not much of a win when there is a large drop from being your own boss to having a bunch of middlemen reaching into your pocket to begin with. Just from that alone, your optimism is very silly.

    Yes, the article repost was in haste. I chose a bad example and @Tri723 did a great job of shedding some light on its shortcomings. There are things I don't know, but I am capable of speaking from my own experiences that many of the bottom line concerns I hear about from physicians are concerns I have experienced myself and are felt by many more in every profession. For example, akin to decline in private practices, many small business owners feel similar pressures to incorporate and lose their small business mentality. I'm not saying this is good or that anyone in any field should sit idly while this happens, but just merely pointing out that there are many others with similar concerns.
     
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    lymphocyte

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    I'm pretty sure I still would have been dismissed based solely on the fact that I haven't gone to medical school.

    Maybe. But maybe something similar will happen when you're a resident familiar with the latest treatment strategies that your attending gives two ****s about. Or maybe the attending will know something that you don't and will (correctly) think you're an idiot. There's always room for more humility.

    In this case, people were being dismissive because your argument was bad, they provided reasonable push-back, and then you doubled-down without making a better argument. That attitude will get you burned alive in medicine...
     
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    Birdnals

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    Birdnals, I think most premeds felt like you - asking themselves if things could really be as gloomy as the older docs claim and brightly assuming that We Would Be Better.

    I'm not even necessarily saying that it's going to be better. I know from experience that if it's not one thing then it's the other. The physicians before us had their own crap to deal with as will the ones after us. I'm just saying that we'd have to deal with similar crap in any field.
     

    Psai

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    forget it.
     
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    ProfMD

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    are you sure its doctors' faults?

    Absolutely it is the doctors' faults. The Residency Review Committee for each speciality is made up of physicians from that speciality. These are the groups within the ACGME that are responsible for accrediting new residencies. Therefore, physicians decide how many residency spots there are in each speciality.

    Medicine is not all roses and sunshine. The practice is changing. There are more employed physicians now. Hours are long, reimbursement is going down. That being said, it is still a great profession. I personally would not want to do anything else and would not discourage others from pursuing it as a career. However, you do need to go into the profession with a realistic view of what things are like.

    Be warned, though, that there are a fair number of pessimists on SDN. Also, people tend to complain about stuff they do not like more than talk about stuff they do like, so the sample is skewed toward the negative.
     
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    Birdnals

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    Maybe. But maybe something similar will happen when you're a resident familiar with the latest treatment strategies that your attending gives two ****s about. Or maybe the attending will something that you don't and will (correctly) think you're an idiot. There's always room for more humility.

    I agree, my choice in article wasn't great. And I understand I will run into situations like those you mentioned. Heck, I run into them now at my own job. But the difference is that on SDN, no one is anyone's boss. I don't have to protect my job by being submissive here. I might face ridicule but I won't get fired, and I won't lose sleep over the former. The hierachy that is so pervasive in medicine doesn't exist here like it does in the hospital walls.

    That attitude will get your burned alive in medicine...

    I appreciate the advice.
     
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    DOFOSHO

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    echidna001

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    I'm not even necessarily saying that it's going to be better. I know from experience that if it's not one thing then it's the other. The physicians before us had their own crap to deal with as will the ones after us. I'm just saying that we'd have to deal with similar crap in any field.

    Having worked multiple other jobs (both career oriented and not), I really feel the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. My job after graduation was a 40 hour a week 8-5 career building beauty. I was thrilled. But it was so boring I wanted to claw my eyes out. Then there was my first job ever, bussing tables, running dishes through the dishwasher and sweeping cigarettes off the parking lot pavement. That was absolutely awful. Working as a bartender during college had high and low points. Then, there was working two jobs 60-80 hours a week for nearly minimum wage with zero benefits and zero health insurance. I liked those jobs and had no time, which was okay, but I could hardly pay the bills.

    I mean, medicine has its issues. Big issues. The future is less than perfect. The system is broken. But to me, it's a glass half full/half empty situation: I think as long as you go into it for the right reasons and know what you're getting yourself into, there is light at the end of the tunnel. There are some pretty good perks compared to other careers. I've talked to some physicians who love their career/life, others who absolutely hate it. But life is what you make of it. After working with < 30K for years, I think I'll be completely fine with the pay grade.
     
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    prettylittlebird

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    Having worked multiple other jobs (both career oriented and not), I really feel the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. My job after graduation was a 40 hour a week 8-5 career building beauty. I was thrilled. But it was so boring I wanted to claw my eyes out. Then there was my first job ever, bussing tables, running dishes through the dishwasher and sweeping cigarettes off the parking lot pavement. That was absolutely awful. Working as a bartender during college had high and low points. Then, there was working two jobs 60-80 hours a week for nearly minimum wage with zero benefits and zero health insurance. I liked those jobs and had no time, which was okay, but I could hardly pay the bills.

    I mean, medicine has its issues. Big issues. The future is less than perfect. The system is broken. But to me, it's a glass half full/half empty situation: I think as long as you go into it for the right reasons and know what you're getting yourself into, there is light at the end of the tunnel. There are some pretty good perks compared to other careers. I've talked to some physicians who love their career/life, others who absolutely hate it. But life is what you make of it. After working with < 30K for years, I think I'll be completely fine with the pay grade.

    I'm with you. A lot of disappointment comes down to expectations not being met. After working so hard to get to the attending level, individuals expect to be rewarded. I know many of my classmates come from an upper middle-class background so to them making primary care wages wouldn't be enough but to me that would still be more than enough to live comfortably on. In the end, it should be about the patients and not the money anyway.
     
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    Psai

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    It's not a comparison to what you used to make. It's a comparison to what you should be making. No one that's hungry looks at starving kids in africa and says well I guess I'm full now. If you're supposed to be making 500k but HR offers you 200k then you're getting boned. There's no way you'd be happy earning 40k just because you'd be making more than you used to. If you don't believe me, come back in 8 years.
     
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    Birdnals

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    It's not a comparison to what you used to make. It's a comparison to what you should be making. No one that's hungry looks at starving kids in africa and says well I guess I'm full now. If you're supposed to be making 500k but HR offers you 200k then you're getting boned. There's no way you'd be happy earning 40k just because you'd be making more than you used to. If you don't believe me, come back in 8 years.

    This I agree 100% with you on. I'm grateful for the earning power I will someday have but understand that an attitude of complacency with career opportunities and job autonomy will lead nowhere good.
     
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    For example, akin to decline in private practices, many small business owners feel similar pressures to incorporate and lose their small business mentality.
    I think a better example is a small business being forced to sell or else risk getting squashed by a big corporation. Incorporating doesn't necessitate an attitude or mentality change in the business owner-- assuming by "small business" you meant a sole proprietorship, incorporating is just a different way to structure a business (different liability, separate legal entity for transactions, can continue much more easily if an owner dies or moves on, for example).

    that's true. but a ***** with an economics/finance degree doesn't necessarily make a better informed opinion. anyone with 2 eyes can see that.
    Good point, but remember, there are idiots in every direction you look (especially when you look for the *****)...
     
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    echidna001

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful for the earning power as well. I'm just saying, from my 10+ years working out of college, I'd personally be satisfied with 40-50k after these loans are taken care of. Throw me 500k and I won't complain, but I would probably donate most of it to the SPCA anyway. I don't even know what I'd begin to do with that kind of money. Buy a new car when I absolutely love my 11 year old honda? I felt very well off growing up and my parents made under 100K combined. I've been to several ER physician's houses and it's quite clear they're doing more than fine. Even with kids and a stay at home spouse. It's all a matter of perspective. I do agree with your point. Being a doctor is a high risk, high stress, time consuming job that requires 8 years total of education plus residency training. So you definitely deserve to get paid for all the effort you've put into this career. I just feel that for me, this is the wrong mental approach to be taking at this point in the game.
     
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    Crayola227

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    Interesting article from Doximity showed up in my mailbox (link here). Essentially, it shows that the job market and salaries for physicians are actually on the rise despite all the gloom and doom that seems to surround the field. What stuck out most to me, especially since they counter many of the common talking points, were that:

    - Starting salaries for primary care fields and specialists on the rise
    - Solo practices appear to be making a comeback

    --begin rant (read at your own peril)--

    Throughout the process of pursuing medical school, I feel like I'm told every other day how terrible medicine is and that it is only getting worse. I admit my naivety, and despite the risk of sounding ignorant, I've always felt like much of the qualms I hear are of the "back in my day..." variety and/or from people lacking enough experience outside of medicine to understand that every field has its pain in the a**es. Things change in every profession, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. At the end of the day we have to adapt and hope to have a hand in future changes if we think they're really so bad.

    I understand that there are serious issues that need to be addressed by our field. But I think some of these issues leave some of our more experienced colleagues with a jaded perspective causing them look at everything with a sour view. At the end of the day, we get to do what we love and get paid (increasingly) well for it.

    --end rant--

    I was like you, I didn't *really* get the doom and gloom, and it only dawned on me slowly as I went through the clinical years.

    Everything they ever said about why it sucks though, hit me like a gorram **** ton of bricks like from day 1 of internship. Really. I got slammed.

    It was like being picked up from a fluffy white cloud dream and plunged into the middle of Viet Nam with bullets flying. Really. Scary.

    You don't really understand how the sausage is made from watching, you have to be the one grinding the meat into paste, which is what we do to people.
     
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    Crayola227

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    The thing is, it's not really a dollar for hour question

    take the sausage example

    say they were gonna pay you a million dollars to take people's grandmothers and like we did in cadaver lab, pull them apart into limbs and start shoving them through the sausage grinder. you're like, OK, I know this is dirty hard work, but I'm making sausage for hungry people. Now, I want you to start putting them through the grinder soooooooooooooo ****ing fast that now you don't even bother to kill the grannies before you start parting them out and shoving them in the grinder still screaming. And by the way, now your pay is tied to that, and it will now be half a million dollars.

    Insult to injury. You can't raise the pace to inhuman levels and then *also* drop salary and expect happiness. On the other hand, like I described, is this really about dollar per hour or what the hour is being made into? What is the source of the gloom?

    Unlike some other jobs, like bartending or cooking where you could half ass things, just pick up the dropped steak off the floor and put it on the grill, in medicine the stress is enormous with cutting corners. The same thing that made the job seem so meaningful - its impact - then those stakes can become a curse.

    Basically doctors are reaching the point where they feel like doing their job well is not only impossible, but now the pay doesn't seem worth it. That's an issue I'm not sure dollar signs can fix, which is why we tell people don't do it for money.

    Not feeling like you are doing your extremely important and potentially life saving job well can be enormously demoralizing. A paycut on top? **** this I was gonna quit over time not money.

    It's gloomy to try to squeeze good outcomes out of docs with visits of 8 min average facetime while they work 60 hours a week for declining pay and increasing debt.

    Better do it for the love of grannies and sausage. That was a ****ed analogy.
     
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    lymphocyte

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    It's all a matter of perspective. I do agree with your point. Being a doctor is a high risk, high stress, time consuming job that requires 8 years total of education plus residency training. So you definitely deserve to get paid for all the effort you've put into this career. I just feel that for me, this is the wrong mental approach to be taking at this point in the game.

    I'm not sure why this post rubs me the wrong way. Maybe because I sense impending burnout on a massive scale.

    This isn't "all a matter of perspective." This is very much a matter of your naive perspective, a perspective that hasn't even endured a single overnight call yet. And while I'm strongly considering a career in caring for the underserved, I still believe everyone is owed fair remuneration. Fair remuneration for 12+ years of hard, miserable, stressful training is a whole damn lot. And I don't begrudge any doctor for wanting as much as possible. It's very easy to have the right "mental approach" when you're just starting medical school. And 40K may seem like a lot now ("after these loans are paid off"), but when you see how hard you'll be working for that 40K... (Spoiler Alert: Doctors work really damn hard.)

    If you feel charitable, great. But maybe skip the SPCA and consider taking only Medicaid patients or working for a CMHC. It'll break your soul (maybe). If it doesn't, they could really use your help.

    You don't really understand how the sausage is made from watching, you have to be the one grinding the meat into paste, which is what we do to people.

    QFT. This is a Season-3-Scrubs worthy line.
     
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    ProfMD

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful for the earning power as well. I'm just saying, from my 10+ years working out of college, I'd personally be satisfied with 40-50k after these loans are taken care of. Throw me 500k and I won't complain, but I would probably donate most of it to the SPCA anyway. I don't even know what I'd begin to do with that kind of money. Buy a new car when I absolutely love my 11 year old honda? I felt very well off growing up and my parents made under 100K combined. I've been to several ER physician's houses and it's quite clear they're doing more than fine. Even with kids and a stay at home spouse. It's all a matter of perspective. I do agree with your point. Being a doctor is a high risk, high stress, time consuming job that requires 8 years total of education plus residency training. So you definitely deserve to get paid for all the effort you've put into this career. I just feel that for me, this is the wrong mental approach to be taking at this point in the game.

    After you see he time and stress involved in caring for other people, you will no longer be happy with 40-50k a year. It is true that people going into medicine should do it to help people, not for the money. But that does not make it bad to want to be paid.

    It's like my dad told me years ago - when he goes to the cardiologist, he wants his doctor thinking about his heart, not how he is going to afford his kids' college.
     
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    Brahnold Bloodaxe

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful for the earning power as well. I'm just saying, from my 10+ years working out of college, I'd personally be satisfied with 40-50k after these loans are taken care of. Throw me 500k and I won't complain, but I would probably donate most of it to the SPCA anyway. I don't even know what I'd begin to do with that kind of money. Buy a new car when I absolutely love my 11 year old honda? I felt very well off growing up and my parents made under 100K combined. I've been to several ER physician's houses and it's quite clear they're doing more than fine. Even with kids and a stay at home spouse. It's all a matter of perspective. I do agree with your point. Being a doctor is a high risk, high stress, time consuming job that requires 8 years total of education plus residency training. So you definitely deserve to get paid for all the effort you've put into this career. I just feel that for me, this is the wrong mental approach to be taking at this point in the game.

    Pathological.

    The only donations you'll be making with that mindset is to your hospital CEO's annual bonus.
     
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    Psai

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful for the earning power as well. I'm just saying, from my 10+ years working out of college, I'd personally be satisfied with 40-50k after these loans are taken care of. Throw me 500k and I won't complain, but I would probably donate most of it to the SPCA anyway. I don't even know what I'd begin to do with that kind of money. Buy a new car when I absolutely love my 11 year old honda? I felt very well off growing up and my parents made under 100K combined. I've been to several ER physician's houses and it's quite clear they're doing more than fine. Even with kids and a stay at home spouse. It's all a matter of perspective. I do agree with your point. Being a doctor is a high risk, high stress, time consuming job that requires 8 years total of education plus residency training. So you definitely deserve to get paid for all the effort you've put into this career. I just feel that for me, this is the wrong mental approach to be taking at this point in the game.

    You're so full of crap I don't even know where to start. Do you know how many people start off medical school waxing on about caring for the poor and going into rural areas? You know how many people I've met who actually followed through? One. Many of them are in plastics, derm, etc. although I do see some going into primary care albeit at ivory towers. To you 8 years is 8 years. It's just a number. To me, it's countless days of busywork and study and nights of being woken up by nurses for bs and patients that need your help. I'm going to get paid what I'm worth, pay back these insane loans and not pretend to be some martyr just so that Stephen J. Hemsley, the CEO of United Healthcare, can make 100 million dollars off of my back.

    I'm glad you are so selfless though, I'll be more than happy to hire you at 40k-50k a year and relieve you of the burden of excess compensation. Please leave an updated curriculum vitae with my secretary on your way out.
     
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    echidna001

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    I never said that doctors do not fully deserve to get paid for the work they put in. The investment and time you put into yourself up front should afford you a large payoff. And I have at least worked 12 hour overnight shifts in the ED as well as switching back and forth from mornings to nights to mids and back. So I've seen the toll that takes on you mentally and physically. I have watched 3 years of residency training pretty much destroy someone, dealing with them slowly falling into depression and pretty much hating every aspect of their life. Do I have any first hand experience? Of course not. But I don't think that means my perspective is 100% naive. Maybe 80%. May I burn out? Sure, that's a real possibility. But at least I'll always know I've had it a lot worse.

    I was just giving you an opinion from a >30 year old soon to be M1. That is all, an opinion. And I love constructive discussions, but I feel some of these posts have been rather confrontational. I was never trying to say 40k was a fair number for a doctor. It isn't even close. I was just putting out my ballpark highest salary and making the point that you can actually live quite well on that salary. But then again, I'm comparing that to my time spent under the poverty line, so I felt like I was doing well on as little as 40k. Even declining physician salaries more than double this. And by the time I get out, I won't know any better and will probably just be happy to no longer be a resident. But I am probably full of crap and will probably get this attitude beat out of me in med school. I may very well come back in 4 years and laugh at this post. All I was trying to get across originally, in reference to the OP's original post, is in my opinion, there is still a bright side to medicine despite longer hours for less pay. Does this need to be addressed? Of course it does. As minimum wage and average salaries continue to rise, physicians should not be the sitting ducks, getting paid less for more work. It's certainly not permissible to let some of the most educated members in society hold the broken system on their shoulders and quite literally, pay for it.
     

    Stagg737

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    You're so full of crap I don't even know where to start. Do you know how many people start off medical school waxing on about caring for the poor and going into rural areas? You know how many people I've met who actually followed through? One. Many of them are in plastics, derm, etc. although I do see some going into primary care albeit at ivory towers. To you 8 years is 8 years. It's just a number. To me, it's countless days of busywork and study and nights of being woken up by nurses for bs and patients that need your help. I'm going to get paid what I'm worth, pay back these insane loans and not pretend to be some martyr just so that Stephen J. Hemsley, the CEO of United Healthcare, can make 100 million dollars off of my back.

    I'm glad you are so selfless though, I'll be more than happy to hire you at 40k-50k a year and relieve you of the burden of excess compensation. Please leave an updated curriculum vitae with my secretary on your way out.

    To the bolded, I think that's more of a reflection of your school than the general med student population. Sure, a lot of people change their minds when they see they're competitive for a high-paying lifestyle or competitive specialty. But I know more people than I can count who could have gone derm or ortho that opted into FM, Psych, or a rural location because it's what they wanted to do.

    Also, I think @lymphocyte 's point is more of that she'd rather make less and be happy with her career than make more and be miserable. I've got a similar mindset, though I'll need a lot more than 40k to be happy. I'd say if I can pull in 6 figures after taxes, enough to support my family, send my kids to college, save for retirement, and take a vacation once or twice a year, I don't really care all that much if I make 150k/yr vs. 400k since I'd probably just sock the extra away anyway.
     
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    Brahnold Bloodaxe

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    I'd say if I can pull in 6 figures after taxes, enough to support my family, send my kids to college, save for retirement, and take a vacation once or twice a year, I don't really care all that much if I make 150k/yr vs. 400k since I'd probably just sock the extra away anyway.

    So you're saying there is nothing in this huge world we live in that gets your engine running? You don't like nice cars, nor nice houses, nor do you prefer flying first class instead of slumming it in coach? I mean, I can't understand people who spend thousands on clothes or art, but on the other hand I like cars and boats and they probably don't. I'd imagine that everyone has at least one or two areas of interest for which they'd happily spend a crapload of money if they had the money to spend.

    This is sidetracking the thread but I had to comment because I find the idea of being completely neutral about making 400k vs 150k extremely bizarre.
     
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    Birdnals

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    Insight of the century. Does anyone know how to reach Nancy Gibbs?

    So you agree then that certain things, like medicine, are taught in medical school, and other subjects, like economics, are not? I thought that was pretty clear as, well but apparently it is not, hence my need to spell it out.

    Well, you know what they say about the similarities between opinions and anuses, right?

    Of course, but in the same breath I'd argue that there's a huge difference between a baseless opinion and a substantiated one, wouldn't you?
     
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