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What kind of physician makes the most money per hour?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by hemoglobincell, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. hemoglobincell

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    In comparing all of the different specialties and subspecialties, what kind of physician makes the most money per hour?

    Just so we're all on the same page, I would like the calculation to be as follows:

    Annual income after all taxes (federal and state income taxes), overhead, malpractice, SSI/disability, etc taken out (ie. the doctors actual TAKE HOME pay) divided by the total number of hours spent working (including time not in the office, basically any time spent having anything to do with being a physician).

    Also, if you could site your sources that would be great.

    To start, I'll give an example from my own parents who are teachers:

    Hours per year worked: 1480 (185 8-hour days)
    Take home salary (median, taken from salary.com): $36,298

    "Take-home" salary per hour: $36,298/1480 hours = $24.53/hour

    So, what specialty (on average, of course) is going to give the best take-home salary per hour?
     
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  3. Lukkie

    Lukkie Membership Revoked
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    the lifestyle ones
     
  4. Livingapparatus

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  5. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    why would a bunch of pre-meds have this information handy?
     
  6. UNMorBUST

    UNMorBUST Mystery Man
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    In before lock:lock:.
     
  7. strongboy2005

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    Huh? How is he trolling? I think it's a legitimate question...

    I would say Radiology probably takes the cake...

    From http://www.salary.com, their median yearly earnings (take home) = $199,027
    From http://www.medfriends.org/specialty_hours_worked.htm, their hours per year = 3016

    Therefore, Radiologists take home $65.99 per hour. Not too shabby.
     
  8. Dissected

    Dissected All bleeding stops eventually
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    google. divide the salaries by 3000 hours a year. magic.
     
  9. DrAnteater

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    I would recommend checking out the pre dental forums before this md bullshetakhen.
     
  10. Chemdude

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    Which isn't a lot of money either. I know people that work in the finance sector that make $200-300/hour(for just "organizing data"). Too bad the finance sector is in deep **** right now...
     
  11. DrAnteater

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    sign me up!!
     
  12. Chemdude

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    Become an Essbase Developer, and then start projects for the gov't and large corporations.
     
  13. DrAnteater

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    rofl i love how us bio majors only know how to study, and not much else... i dont even know what essbase is :(
     
  14. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    neither do i.. so chem majors are in the same boat apparently. lol
     
  15. mbe36

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    This specific questions erks me. I know you cannot enter the profession blindly, but this specific question always makes me wonder.

    I guess this frustration comes from when I was on the board of our pre-med committee and ran the orientation days for incoming undergrads. It was astonishing to hear every other newly-minted Freshman approach me with their convictions of, "Hi, I am pre-med. I am going to go into Pediatric Neurosurgery." or plastics or some other crazy sub-speciality that I am still unsure of its existance- without ever setting foot in an office!!! Not to mention the beeming parents just over their shoulder.

    I too was once glassy-eyed and naive, but this question just bothers me.


    /RANT
     
    #17 mbe36, Dec 20, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  16. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    There is a new thing out there called the Google. You have to have an internet connection though. Do you have an internet connection?

    edit: I realize that was a jerk way to respond... sorryyy!!!!
     
  17. DrAnteater

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    Same here. It actually makes me very angry. You'll ask a high school kid their intended major for undergrad, and they will tell you "Surgeon".
     
  18. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    I'm getting a B.S. In surgery and a Masters in Dermatology. I think I'll get a Ph.D. in comedy (not like I really need it, right? :D)
     
  19. DrAnteater

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  20. Dissected

    Dissected All bleeding stops eventually
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    :laugh:. that gave me a good laugh. Those were the days.
     
  21. hemoglobincell

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    What can I say? I want to be well-reimbursed for my time. It would be pretty stupid to say "Yeah, I take home ~$100,000 a year" but you work 65 hours a week for that money and never get to enjoy it. So why would I want to make $29.59/hour as a family doctor when there are specialties out there that reimburse much more kindly per unit time? And to top it off, the Radiologist making ~$70/hour has the same student loans as the family doc making ~$30/hour. You tell me who will be happier.

    And before you go off on me and say it's not all about the money - I will be the first to agree with you. But I just feel like it's important to understand the whole story - I can still enjoy what I do and help people in a specialty - with the added bonus of the extra money, right? Not only that, but from what I understand things are just getting worse for family practice physicians. When a FP doc is taking home at least $50/hour we'll talk. I feel like my time will be worth AT LEAST that much after 8 years of school and a minimum of 3 years indentured servitude (residency)...
     
  22. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    Whats wrong with it being about the money? A basic (though widely denied and ignored) tenant of human motivation is the self-benefit you gain as a result of your actions. If its all about the money, that's not good but if is the biggest motivator, then I don't see a problem.
     
  23. Bkv11

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    hmm not sure I agree with that rationale, if you flipped the compensation I'd still rather go Rad because I like the idea of constant and pertinent new challenges in a semi-sane setting with limited patient interaction, and I imagine it'd be rewarding to know that my counsel is used to help people receive the care they need. But, on the other hand there are a lot of people who enjoy direct patient interaction, or the intricasies of surgical procedures, and would be absolutely miserable in a room all day interpreting images and writing reports.
    Compensation is certainly a "part" of what makes a physician happy, but I think relying on salary info too much could lead to a career that you don't find rewarding, even with high compensation.
     
  24. DrYoda

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    Premeds have been conditioned to think that to live comfortably, or even thinking about living comfotably, is a crime.
     
  25. hemoglobincell

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    Maybe if we were talking a small difference in hourly compensation I would agree, but in this case the Radiologist makes more than 2x the FP doc makes.

    Hourly compensation speaks volumes about how rewarding a job is. Going into medicine, I believe that being a physician is about the most noble thing anyone can do and that there is virtually no other profession more important - we save lives. However, that sense of importance drops exponentially with decreasing salary. The realization becomes clear: your profession is worth what people are willing to pay for you. The day a physician makes what a plumber makes is the day you will see a lot of unhappy physicians. This is the equivalent, in my opinion, of society giving us the finger. They'll pay an auto mechanic $500 for a 3 hour fix but won't pay a $20 copay to their family physician. How does that make you feel?

    With that in mind, the compensation factor is HUGE. Part of the desire to "help people" is in the implicit understanding that your sacrifice will be recognized and, at the very least, appreciated. Sometimes you are serving a patient base that truly appreciates it when you do free checkups for the impoverished, but in the real world people believe that since some doctors can afford to drive luxury cars and live in "mansions" that doctors deserve none of their money or their sympathy.

    In short, the decreasing salary is a side-effect of a decreasing respect for the profession as a whole. If FP docs are placed on the same level as NPs and the "doctor nurses" - the wages will drop even more. Why? Because collectively, as a society, the lay public would rather pay less for their perception of the "same" care being delivered. I for one wouldn't want to be strapped with $175k-$300k of debt to make what an NP makes per hour. What this shows is that your degree means nothing because society would just replace you with NPs if you decided to do something else. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, right?

    Again, this is all illustrated by the declining hourly wages. I would argue that there would be a direct correlation between the declining hourly compensation and physician job satisfaction. For the most part, the issue would not be the loss of income per se, but instead the realization that your profession, as a whole, is not viewed by society the way it should be.
     
  26. Narmerguy

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    Good luck getting this information and all but just keep in mind that what these specialties are being paid today is not what they will be getting paid by the time you reach them. They'll probably all decrease some but some specialties are going to decrease more than others so....yeah.
     
  27. Dissected

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    [​IMG]


    As told best by Biggie


    In all seriousness:

    ***Money =/= Happiness!!***
    When you get to making 150k+ a year you are in the top 5% (roughly) of all income earners. More than enough to live comfortably and indulge. There are other things to worry about in life. That being said, I will never go into pediatrics :D.
     
    #29 Dissected, Dec 20, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  28. Fatima41200

    Fatima41200 fdsaf
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    whats an inner net connection?
     
  29. TooMuchResearch

    TooMuchResearch i'm goin' to Kathmandu...
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    We save lives? I certainly don't...I'm just a lowly premed.
     
  30. Dissected

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    Im not going to feel that my job is rewarding because I get paid well. That is a dangerous expectation to have.

    Police, firefighters, coast guard, national guard, paramedics...all of these people save lives every day. how much do they get paid? is their profession any less important or "rewarding" ???? your definition of rewarding and your source of self-worth baffles me.

    Is worth what? perception by the public? whoopie. nobody cares about that, or at least they shouldnt. it should be something that you feel compelled to do not what other people see you as.
     
  31. hemoglobincell

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    How do you know? I am relaying what I've read and heard from family docs. They are feeling that the job is increasingly less rewarding as their compensation drops far below that of their specialized colleagues.

    It's easy for a pre-med (which includes myself) to say, "The job will be rewarding in and of itself-I don't need the money." I have become increasingly more cynical of that point of view as time has gone on. For example, I have never personally worked a 60 hour work week. I feel like those kinds of hours would make me unhappy regardless of what I was doing. The caveat? If I was very well compensated, so that maybe I could retire earlier or enjoy some of the finer things in life, then I feel that I could swallow the long hours.

    It's the realization that family practice no longer offers this type of lifestyle that more and more med students are specializing. The longer hours are a DIRECT RESULT of the lowered compensation. This is quantified by means of the dollars per hour measure. For example, if FPs were making $50/hour, do you think they would opt to work 60 hours/week? The 60 hours/week is necessary when you're making $30/hour and you need to pay off your loans. To compensate for the lowering wages, FPs have to work many more hours to make the money that used to come with the job.

    I guess I should have been more clear: I am referring to differences WITHIN the medical profession. For example, judging by the pay Radiologists are more than 2X as important as Family Practitioners. This is a demeaning feeling for family practice doctors, who essentially have the same education.

    My sense of self-worth will come from having a skill that 1) is needed by society, 2) that not everyone has the capacity to provide, 3) is appreciated by society (through wages and/or respect). There are obviously others I cannot think of right now, but these basic criteria need to be met for me to be glad of my choice of profession. For example, a teacher would fit all three of these criteria, as would physicians.

    However, what I see happening in family practice is that all three of these criteria are under attack. First of all, I believe we will see massive, sweeping encroachment of private practice NPs running primary care docs out of business. They will be seen as the cheap solution to the health care crisis. The result? The job loses its respect from society (exemplified by declining reimbursements), it becomes clear that others can provide that service, and primary care physicians are seen as unnecessary and possibly even wasteful.

    Perception by the public means everything. We can sit around and believe with our unshaking conviction that an MD or DO would be leagues ahead of any midlevel provider in quality of care, and thus more deserving of the higher compensation. Society does not and will not acknowledge this. Family practice docs will eventually drop to near-par with the midlevels, and then they will go extinct. I don't know about you, but this seems pretty important to me.

    And I do care what the public thinks about me. I feel that I will have worked hard to become a physician, much harder than I would've had to work if I just wanted to be rich, to have a profession that people should care to keep around and be willing to pay for. To many patients, you providing health care to them is not worth them paying money for. Again, they will pay $500 to an auto mechanic but feel robbed having to pay a $20 copay. It really makes no sense, and it does matter because I know it will piss me off one day, especially if I have to provide "free" health care as a gov't employee one day. But I digress.

    I read many people claiming that this country "needs" medical students to go into family practice. I think the opposite. I think less medical students should go into family practice so we can put pressure on the establishment to reimburse FPs more fairly. Compensation is a direct testament to the value of a product/service in any situation. Most medical students realize quickly that they have worked too hard to make 2-3 times less than their fellow classmates.
     
  32. Neoformans

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  33. guestdoc

    guestdoc School Again X 2
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    I've been reading the back and forth for a bit.. I think this topic is important for all of us pre-meds. I come from a family made of mostly of Patent Lawyers and Dentists; me and one of my older brothers have chosen to take the Medical Doctor path. I'm applying this year, and my brother is in his second year of residency. We have long talks about how compensation in medicine is comparatively "weak" compared to some in law and dentistry--and that compensation doesn't really come until after 4 years of UG, 4 years of medical school and some sort of residency (my bro's path requires a six year residency).

    Compare that to four years of dental school, or to 3 years of law school and a clerkship?? Six years extra is a long time. My brother feels like he is sacrificing the prime years of his life (and of his young family's) to study long hours to be a doctor and I don't think it would be unfair for him to be compensated well for it.

    Could I have been a dentist? Sure, why not? My grades are good enough and if I did as well on the DAT as the MCAT, I think I'd make it in. Would I be happy as a Dentist? I don't know... but I might could make up for that in the three days off I have each week and the healthy wage I'd make, which would start up to six years earlier in life by the way (using my brother's residency as an example).

    I think what is frustrating to many doctors is comparing themselves to some of their equally smart friends who are dentists or lawyers or business-guys or something like that... and then wondering why they didn't choose that road to be better able to enjoy some of the fruits of their labors. I'm not saying money will make me happy, but being able to have the financial freedom to make some lifestyle choices could help quite a bit.

    A quick side note: I get slightly annoyed when people say "cry me a river! doctors shouldn't make so much! y'all make at least six figures! I only make 50k a year!" They (usually) don't know what it's like to work and train for years and years, trying to be the best of the best. I may be frustrated when I look at my intelligent friends from school who are able to make life-choices (requiring financial stability) years before I ever do just because they chose a different path. Maybe I'm a bad person for saying this, but doctors salaries shouldn't be compared to a large group of people that barely made it through college. C's may make degrees, but they won't get you into med school.

    All that being said, for some reason, Medicine intrigues and interests me to the highest degree... so here's to hopin' everything turns out alright!
     
    #35 guestdoc, Dec 21, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  34. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    lol... well not this 1 <---------
     
  35. guestdoc

    guestdoc School Again X 2
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    or this one.
    <-----------

    (unfortunately, while your arrow points toward what I assume is a picture of you, my arrow points to a fake name that I just made up to join this sdn-time-sink... the idea is there, though) :D
     
  36. rama kandra

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    being a doctor is way badass. hows that for ending the argument completely?

    I am not going into family practice b/c of the mentioned items above from the OP. He is right, and I also got out of architecture b/c they simply are treated like GAP employees at big **** firms with no money and no way to get out until you are 50+ and can establish yourself. I want to get paid and do a job that is rewarding. Whether my moral compass is pointing the right way is no matter - my job in whatever specialty I end up in will be done well and people will recognize me for it.

    All my friends chose to go into Investment Banking and are now crying themselves to sleep. Lawyers are generally not respected as professionals. I tell people I am going into medicine and I get 'the look,' and believe it, it gets you more attention than an idiot driving a Escalade at 30 who cannot even hold his own in a serious conversation at a bar.

    You are comparing apples and oranges. You want money? GOod luck, there are no quick shortcuts to that, and there are no comparisons between mechanics and doctors and you'll waste a few years of your 'prime' now in school and residency but you'll be glad b/c youll be doing amazing things. No lawyer is doing anything amazing in my eyes.
     
  37. Livingapparatus

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    nothing better than getting the look for being premed
     
  38. Law2Doc

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    EM probably allows for the fewest hours/week for a full salary, so this would be high on the list. The hours won't necessarily be during the daylight, but shift work allows you to work less of them. Derm probably offers the next least hours for the highest salary because their call schedule is so limited. The average radiologist earns a lot, but works over 60 hours/week and takes call, so this probably isn't the right answer.
     
  39. DrYoda

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    I'm gonna lock my problems in my trunk:D.
    [​IMG]
     
  40. Chemdude

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    ^^^

    Wanna race me, 15 years from now?


    [​IMG]
     
  41. teddybear

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    Someday you'll thank God for a good mechanic.
     
  42. DrYoda

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    :laugh: You're on!
     
  43. strongboy2005

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    I was actually pretty interested in this, so I decided to make a spreadsheet of the major specialties to see which ones topped the list for hourly compensation. I was surprised to see that actually EM is about the middle of the road.

    Feel free to comment. Enjoy!
     

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  44. circulus vitios

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    I can understand wanting to earn good money, but I hate the sense of entitlement some people have. MY TIME IS WORTH AT LEAST $50/HOUR! Sorry, bud, it's not. It's whatever the hospital CEO decides it's worth. And you'd better have the scores to get into the residency you want so you can earn the money you think you "deserve."
     
  45. Quadratic

    Quadratic Currently not in function
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    Retired physicians. They typically use their MDs to leverage their pimp game.
     
  46. Lacheln

    Lacheln Cavorting in the Hills
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    This brings up a question I've had for a while - can someone tell me why radiologists and anesthesiologists get paid so much more? I get derm being high despite the low work load since so much is not insurance based, but it seems like (from my admittedly scant exposure through shadowing) that the main reason these are competitive is the fact that students want the $$ and lifestyle, not that they are intrinsically more challenging than many other specialties? I wouldn't guess it would be the freelance factor like in derm, so what is it? I assume there's something obvious I'm overlooking.
     
  47. Dissected

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    If the teacher calculation (hours/week) takes into account summer and winter break (basically vacation time), it would be about 37 weeks instead of 52. Thats 40 hours per week (makes sense at 8 hours per day) and 17.45 per hour. This means that pediatric doctors make about 92% more than teachers hour-for-hour.
     
  48. nydds25

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    An Oral Surgeon (OMFS) with a successful practice is probably up there. Pulling 3rds and placing implants 4 days a week will lead to a few hundred K a year.
     

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