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Author: CultClassic One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 41614  
Subject: Re: Poll: Who needs to be cut out of the Loop? Date: 11/29/2005 8:55 PM
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The Doctors, they make too much already

.02 about this since I am a doctor.

First, I'll say that I don't think that we deserve sympathy. There aren't many doctors that I know who are shopping at Goodwill but here are a couple of things to consider:

Doctor salary is highly variable.

Graduates of American medical schools are opting out of primary care because it doesn't pay so much as you imagine. The average pediatrician makes about $120,000. That's average, so roughly half below, half above. For this you go through 4 years of medical school, accumulate $100,000 in debt, work 70-80 hours per week at $40,000 during your residency. Then you spend the rest of your working life taking calls and rushing to the hospital in the middle of the night. A lot of doctors in primary care start to question if it is all worth it after awhile.

In contrast, dermatologists accumulate the same amount of debt, but in their professional life make $300-500,000 per year, work 35 hours per week and take no after hours call.

Why the disparity? Because the medical system pays a whole lot for that little biopsy that the dermatologist snips off your rash and very little for the office visit to the pediatrician for your child's abdominal pain.

Unfortunately, our profession is not filled with so many Mother Teresa's as you might guess. (simply shocking, you say. :-)). Guess where the best and brightest are flocking to...the specialities that do procedures. So if you go to a plastic surgeon for liposuction, you probably get the best of the best, but on the other hand, if you are getting treated for your diabetes, you may not.

All I'm saying is that if America wants its best students in the medical profession, they should consider this before cutting too much. This is not a woe is us, but economic reality. Otherwise they will go on to be investment bankers, or trial lawyers, or reality TV stars or whatever!!

sv
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