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What would you do if physicians' income dropped to 70K

MonkeyNuts!

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Hrmmm maybe I'd be like "I Quit" dude and go into CS or dental.

Or maybe I'd be like Genetics and be a genetics counselor.

But practically, I'd probably take it like a man and not like a whiny little girl and work to make the system better, but that's just me.
 
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NervousNed

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id propose to oprah, yeah, sometimes you gotta take one for the team, the team being my bank account, i dont see enough guys chasing rich girls enough like girls do guys, well im gonna change that starting with me
 

Doctor~Detroit

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You should pose this question to some of the German physicians that make 50,000 a year.

but their education is paid for by the government. that's what makes me think this question may be too hypothetical. if doctor salaries decreased that much and the training remained as demanding as it is, i would expect to see med school tuition also decrease via government and university subsidies.
 

spicedmanna

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I was just wondering if you guys will still try to go to medschool, quit medicine if you are already doctors, or work while whinning?

In the highly unlikely event that this occurs, I would hope it occurs after I have completed paying off my student loans. Other than that, I don't see myself changing anything, other than perhaps the financially-related aspects of my lifestyle. It certainly wouldn't change my desire to attend medical school or to work as a physician, and I don't think it would impact my attitude in a signifcant way. I've done more for much less.

Anyway, with proper financial management and investment, $70K can go a long way, especially when both heads of household work. If income were to drop precipitously, so would operating costs, I would imagine and hope. Also, if I were to desire to maintain the same financial lifestyle as before the imagined drop in income, I would apply my other skills and do consulting work as needed to provide supplemental income, if needed.
 

GIGATT

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I was just wondering if you guys will still try to go to medschool, quit medicine if you are already doctors, or work while whinning?

still 3x more than we get now :)
I'd still encourage my husband to stick with it becuase it's certainly not about the "wow" factor- it's about a social obligation that he feels driven to fulfill.
 

Doc Henry

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I would keep going but I would be very worried about paying off my student loans. If the income were to drop under the condition that schooling was less expensive I wouldn't mind.

I really don't consider income a reason for becoming a doctor. I've just always counted on having that high income to pay off the debt when I'm done with school.

Anyone who would give up on it just because of lower sallary didn't care enough to begin with.
 
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NickRiviera

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Not really a good answer for a hypothetical. Anyway, I'd say if that happened loans would become a significant part of your paycheck. I think it would deter some of the more intelligent money-seekers as they would pursue another field. # of applicants wouldn't change but I'm guessing GPA/MCAT averages would drop.
 

KaraKiz

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If most physicians still had to go to school for at least 7-8 years, pay high malpractice insurance, and make only $70,000, I would be a nurse, go to school for less than half the time, and make almost as much money in a specialized field. Or pharmacist. They make good money too. Maybe dentist.. or podiatry... the options are endless...

You would never even pay off your med school debt making $70,000 a year.. it wouldnt be worth it.
 

sirus_virus

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If most physicians still had to go to school for at least 7-8 years, pay high malpractice insurance, and make only $70,000, I would be a nurse, go to school for less than half the time, and make almost as much money in a specialized field. Or pharmacist. They make good money too. Maybe dentist.. or podiatry... the options are endless...

You would never even pay off your med school debt making $70,000 a year.. it wouldnt be worth it.

Good point, but some responses above have shown questionable math skills.
 

spicedmanna

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Good point, but some responses above have shown questionable math skills.

In my case, just a strong desire be a physician even in the face of possible substantial financial pain. I like what I like, even if I need to be in debt for a long time to accomplish it. Contrary to suggestion, however, I think you can do quite a bit with $70K on a two-person income household, depending on the size of your family and the profession of your spouse. It's unreasonable, however, for the current cost of education to be the same while cutting the average income of physicians. I doubt this could be successfully maintained. Besides, you have a very powerful lobby group called the AMA that will possibly stop at nothing to keep things the way they are in terms of available income.
 

Frank Hardy

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After not posting in a while this feels wierd.

I love the job and want the training. I'd still go for it. There are different reasons people go into medicine. Some people get a high from fixing cars and others get high giving people drugs or going in the OR and getting them up and running. Isn't the starting salary for a doc in the UK 48000 pounds or something?
 
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NickRiviera

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you can live on those wages...and going into medicine for $$ shouldn't be the foremost reason for applying

No, it probably shouldn't. However, there are still lots of people gunning for Dermatology and Radiology because the hours are good and the pay is great. If everyone cared about compassion and not money the top students would end up in Internal Medicine.
 

ssquared

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http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1584803,00.html

How appropriate..."doctors without dollars" just showed up in my mailbox today.

Personally, I would continue with medicine if I could pay for my loans and such. But if making ends meet became a stretch (um, malpractice insurance, anybody?) I'd go be a consultant for the 100 million doctor based TV shows and movies. :p

Well, that, or I'd join the CIA. I've always wanted to work for a covert government agency.
 

dutchman

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Anyone that is willing to take 70K to go through 13 years of tough education, deal with a hostile legal atmosphere, live a lifetime of debt, work long hours, increased risk of divorce and die early, while congress HMOs and insurance companies are increasing their pay is one of these three things:

1)Very dedicated doctor with no knowledge of real life.
2)A confused individual that cannot differentiate between abuse and love.
3)A good old fashioned FOOL.
 

Law2Doc

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But if making ends meet became a stretch (um, malpractice insurance, anybody?) I'd go be a consultant for the 100 million doctor based TV shows and movies.

Unfortunately there tend to only be 4 or 5 such shows on at a time, and those jobs can be pretty tough to get unless you happen to also be the writer of the series.
 

KELA

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I don't think there are many people here going into medicine for the money since there are a lot easier ways to make money but if things stayed the way they are as someone pointed out before you can't live off 70k and pay loans/malpractice insurance. I think a lot of people really underestimate how important money is in the US. I used to work at a bank and dealt a lot with collections and you'd be surprised what kind of power money has on people. The stress of not being able to pay your bills can rip marriages apart.

That being said I would still go into medicine provided I would get to take home 35-40k after loans/taxes/insurance because that is what is needed to be able to afford to live without worry of an emergency or living paycheck to paycheck, at least where I live.
 

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spicedmanna

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Anyone that is willing to take 70K to go through 13 years of tough education, deal with a hostile legal atmosphere, live a lifetime of debt, work long hours, increased risk of divorce and die early, while congress HMOs and insurance companies are increasing their pay is one of these three things:

1)Very dedicated doctor with no knowledge of real life.
2)A confused individual that cannot differentiate between abuse and love.
3)A good old fashioned FOOL.

Nah. There are much harder schools in life than medical school. When you've lived for a while, as I have, you realize how fast time passes anyway, and how 13 years is gone in a simple heartbeat. I'd certainly rather invest that time moving toward what I want in life, even if it were wrought with substantial difficulty, financial, or otherwise. That's because I have the heart for this particular path. The thought of difficulty and pain doesn't frighten me. That said, there are ways to redress the situation. One isn't completely at the mercy of one's income.

As I mentioned before, I've done more for much less, and I'm completely willing to go that route if it gives me the pleasure of waking up to what I like doing. Being a physician is job--a job that I would like to do everyday. But who says you have to make all of your money through your job? Now, that's naive. There's no reason to do that. There are many more ways to make money than through work income.
 
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hb2998

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If I was in it for the money I wouldn't have given up my lucrative computer business to go into medicine. Money is important for the basics of life (housing, food, clothing, and health insurance), after that its just a number.

If you're making $100,000 a year your mortgage payment is $30,000 a year.
If you're making $1,000,000 a year, your mortgage payment is $300,000 a year.
Its just a significant figure, but its really not that significant if you'll be happy.

Do you think $600 pair of shoes will make you any happier than $60 shoes? Probably not. Unfortunately, there will always be another with $700 shoes, and it just becomes a rat race then.

I would like to be successful, but don't care much for being rich.

$70,000 is pushing it. Its really not enough to support a family (in LA at least). My parent's mortgage payment is close to that (unfortunately).
 

Genetics

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http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1584803,00.html

How appropriate..."doctors without dollars" just showed up in my mailbox today.

Personally, I would continue with medicine if I could pay for my loans and such. But if making ends meet became a stretch (um, malpractice insurance, anybody?) I'd go be a consultant for the 100 million doctor based TV shows and movies. :p

Well, that, or I'd join the CIA. I've always wanted to work for a covert government agency.


That was a boring article. Nothing new in that article.
 

chad5871

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If this happened, all of the doctors would go on strike and then patients would start dying left and right until they decided to increase salaries again. :D

Seriously, I don't think that this would happen. And even if it does drop, you're still making a whole lot more than the vast majority of the population. What's the average household income? Isn't it somewhere between $30,000-$40,000?
 

coffeebythelake

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I guess if nobody cared about their health, maybe physicians will get paid $70,000 a year. This will never happen.

I think a more provoking question would be: what would you do if physicians became like lawyers or dentists (read: little respect in society)??
 

ssquared

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Unfortunately there tend to only be 4 or 5 such shows on at a time, and those jobs can be pretty tough to get unless you happen to also be the writer of the series.

I was just kidding. If I actually did have to use my MD to find another job, the federal government employs tons of MDs who do policy planning and the like. Or I could do research. Or I could teach. Or...well, you get the idea. There are things a person can do with an MD that are perfectly realistic that don't involve patient treatment.
 

BNSN

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Oh boo hoo to the Cardiologist in that article. He couldn't handle his likely 200k/year income so he's supplementing it. Being trained to save lives doesn't make you compassionate. This guy's just a money-grubber.

Seriously. These whiners who are mad about their measly 150K salary need to grow the hell up. With 150 K, you can easily support a family and live comfortably while sending your kids to a private school.

Note, I didn't say you could buy 3 Benz's and go to Paris every winter, but you will live better than 99% of people.
 

Law2Doc

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I was just kidding. If I actually did have to use my MD to find another job, the federal government employs tons of MDs who do policy planning and the like. Or I could do research. Or I could teach. Or...well, you get the idea. There are things a person can do with an MD that are perfectly realistic that don't involve patient treatment.

Sure, but most of the jobs you listed won't pay much better than the $70k.
 

USArmyDoc

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No way would I go to school. Once you guys get to medical school, you'll realize just how difficult it is. It will give an idea of why physicians get paid as much as they do. The training is long and grueling.
 

BNSN

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No way would I go to school. Once you guys get to medical school, you'll realize just how difficult it is. It will give an idea of why physicians get paid as much as they do. The training is long and grueling.

I disagree. The training of a physician is less cerebral than the training of a Ph.D in electrical engineering or physics. If we're paying people by how hard the content they learn is, doctors should make less than engineers or physics majors.

Doctors are not -- I repeat, ARE NOT -- the smartest group of professionals.
 

USArmyDoc

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I disagree. The training of a physician is less cerebral than the training of a Ph.D in electrical engineering or physics. If we're paying people by how hard the content they learn is, doctors should make less than engineers or physics majors.

Doctors are not -- I repeat, ARE NOT -- the smartest group of professionals.

I don't see where I put that doctors are the smartest group of professionals. What I did say is that the amount of time, energy, and money that medical students invest into attending medical school just does not make it worth it for $70,000.

Everyones allowed to have opinions. Thats mine. :D
 

USArmyDoc

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to every single person that says... i'm not in it for the money, is a LIAR.

sure, saving lives, working /helping people is great, but the money just tops it. icing on the cake.

About time someone came out and said it. SDN is unrealistic where all these people claim to just "love medicine." Yea, I bet you would really love medicine if you had to struggle to pay your bills and feed your family of 5 every night. Seriously guys, I realize everyone wants to become a doctor and I think thats awesome, but lets be realistic. If it wasn't for the money, the time, money, and energy invested is just NOT worth it.

Good luck everyone and I hope you guys become docs. :)
 

dutchman

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You guys just talk all this nonsense without thinking. First you have 200K debt, your overhead(malpractice insurance etc) is still rising, you dont have as many years to make a living as other people since you spent a big chunk of your life in training, and you only have 70K to work with. Good luck.
 

QuantumMechanic

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its a dumb question, so dumb it doesn't even deserve a dumb answer


considering that median registered nurse salary is 58k/yr, you are essentially suggesting that physician salary could potentially be equitable with RN salary. An utterly ridiculous and pointless discussion.
 
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