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state of medicine


Junior Member
5+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2004
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This is my first message so please be kind. I am currently working as a cardiovascular perfusionist and am interested in furthuring my career in medicine as a physician. Since I work in the health care field I am aware of the extreme problems facing medicine now with the malpractice insurance and the decrease in the amount of reimbursement from insurance agencies. My question is has anyone heard or is anyone worried about starting out with a 120-150k debt and not being able to repay it. I do not want to become a doctor for the money (perfusion pays pretty well), but I am concerned about the amount of debt that I will accumulate and the possibility of starting out at what I currently make now. If anyone has any thought or insight on their own or medicine in general financial state, please respond. Thank you and good luck to everyone in their personal career paths.



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Feb 1, 2004
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I have heard that many people in allied health fields have been seeing salary increases in recent years secondary to a shortage of practioners. The same basically holds true for physicians (the "experts" are predicting that there will be a shortage of physicians in most specialties due to the aging population), but I think that physicians are sometimes more susceptible to other market forces that go beyond supply and demand thanks to medicare, malpractice and large insurance companies. Anyways, my thought is that physicians will never be poor, but the days of needing a large garage to accomadate all of your luxury cars are probably over. It's tough to say, but you should realize that the ~150,000 that you will be spending for med school is around the same price that you would pay for a house; you should really just see your degree as another investment. For most people, the investment proves to be profitably financially (I think that the avg physician still makes ~1 million more in his or her avg lifespan then college graduates), but even if it doesn't prove to be as profitable, there are still a lot of intangible benefits to being a physician like the interaction you get from your patients and learning more about medicine. If it's what you really want to do, I'd say go for it. If you could see yourself as being happy as a perfusionist in 10 yrs rather then being a physician, then I'd say stay in your current career. Being a physician isn't the only career out there where you can help people or where you can find fulfillment in your job. Good luck!


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15+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2004
Cincinnati, OH
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  1. Attending Physician
Ditto to everything Kal-El said. Physicians operate in both the public and private sector (since the federal government funds so much of the medical enterprise) and thus are subject to the vicissitudes of politics.

The AAMC has a decent web-page with the nuts and bolts of financing a medical education. Here's the link:

On this page, click on the link "Financial Planning for Pre-Meds". This link has a process by which you can systematically analyze and calculate the financial resources needed to sustain you for a 7-11 year training period.
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