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Is a career in medicine really worth it?

benzfome2200+benzfome2200+ Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
edited June 2013 in Careers in Medicine
Most of my relatives and immediate family are all physicians. My dad is an OB/GYN. And as some of you may know, the malpractice crisis in NJ and in other states such as Pennsylvania is wiping out all the doctors. Many are leaving their practices and moving on to other states. My dad has a colleague who pays $250,000 malpractice, that amount from his income has to go to insurance. And in our ****ed up world, lawyers are highly accessible and even if there is one bad outcome, doctors are sued.

Nowadays most OB/GYNs and other physicians who practice high-risk medicine have to be extra careful, because if they make one small mistake, even if its not life-threatening, their asses can be on the line and in a courtroom in no time.

My dad has to pay $120,000 malpractice and there is always an uncertainty. He's not sure if he will even get insurance next year. He may be forced to move his practice to another state and to start from scratch. My dad is highly respected in his field of medicine and has a a very successful practice.

I'm definitely considering joining the medical profession, however, I sometimes wonder, is it really worth it? There is always a so called "Big brother" watching over your back, and one slight slip can land you with a lawsuit. After going to medical school and completing your residency, which is like about 10 years of school and training, is it worth it if you have to deal with this kind of ******** and have to be forced to pay such a huge chunk of your income to malpractice?

Now I'm not saying that all fields of medicine are like this, but its the high-risk fields which are really hurting. If you become a plastic surgeon or something like that, you don't have to worry about these insane malpractice insurance amounts. And I'm considering becoming a plastic surgeon.

My dad always tells me, do anything you want in life, but do it right. I'm considering getting an MBA and my dad agrees with me. In the business world, you don't have to worry about **** like this. Now medicine is certainly not out of the question for me, however, I would really look into it and think, is it really worth the time and effort?
Post edited by benzfome2200+ on

Replies to: Is a career in medicine really worth it?

  • bigndudebigndude Registered User Posts: 1,054 Senior Member
    Nowadays the long hours and malpractice insurance really minimize the pay per hour. It really is more and more of a calling type thing, not something to make money. Sure you will make enough to live comfortably but nothing like the docs of the 80s and 90s.
  • ForeverZeroForeverZero Registered User Posts: 804 Member
    I agree with bigndude. Many people have an overinflated view of doctors in terms of wealth and lifestyle. First of all, the lifestyle is certainly not friendly (except for certain fields such as dermatology) and the training period is extremely long as well as intense. I do agree that the pay is very good (unbelievably good in some specialties), but doctors don't start making the big bucks until they are in their 30's, and by then many of them are in several hundred thousand dollars of debt. Also, malpractice insurance and other costs are very high right now (unforunately, nowadays people are more willing to sue their physicians), so the overall pay for medicine is not nearly as good as it was in the 70's and 80's.

    Medicine is a calling. If you're not sure whether or not you want to pursue this career, do some research: shadow some doctors, talk to your relatives who are in the field, etc. Don't feel pressured to do it because your entire family consists of doctors.

    I, like you, am contemplating the medical profession, but like you, I'm somewhat hesitant about it. You stated that you're considering business. If you can get on the fast track for a business career (getting recruited by a top firm after undergrad, working for a few years, then getting an MBA from a top b-school), you can end up making a lot more money than you would as a doctor. But who knows? If medicine is right for you, that's where you'll end up.
  • benzfome2200+benzfome2200+ Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    Bigndude, i definitely agree with you, my dad's friends who are doctors made most of their money in the late 80s , early 90s, that is very true. And its true, if you're in it to become filthy rich, medicine is not for you.

    ForeverZero, i also agree with you. People do have an overinflated view of doctors. I mean you can live quite comfortably and you always have that guaranteed salary. And yea, thanks a lot for that advice. I completely agree with you that medicine is a calling. And like you said, if you do really well in business, that is where the money is.

    Thanks a lot guys for your input and valuable advice.
  • benzfome2200+benzfome2200+ Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    and you're not going to be filthy rich unless you do become a plastic surgeon or dermatologist or something like that.
  • eternity_hope2005eternity_hope2005 Registered User Posts: 524 Member
    What in one gets an MBA from Harvard or MIT? Is their life made?
    I mean can they executive positions at top companies?
  • eternity_hope2005eternity_hope2005 Registered User Posts: 524 Member
    As far as money is concerned, do MBA grads from top business schools average around what surgeons make. This is when comparing both professions about 8-10 years after they graduate from either business school or med. school.

    Make sure to subtract the exceedingly high insurance obligations from a surgeon's paycheck before comparing the two careers' salaries.

  • bigndudebigndude Registered User Posts: 1,054 Senior Member
    A surgeon will probably take home in the mid 100,000 range after everything is taken away. An MBA will probably make a lot more depending on what they do and how sucessful they are. So its basically fair to say the an MBA has more potential to make more.
  • PSedrishMDPSedrishMD Registered User Posts: 712 Member
    If money is what you see when you close your eyes at night, please don't select medicine as a career. If trying to improve others' quality of life is important to you, by all means consider medicine.
    BTW, there are no hungry physicians.
  • DiGamma23DiGamma23 Registered User Posts: 624 Member
    OK. Let's end this debate. Someone please post and provide us with this information:

    Aside from malpractice issue, just give us the hard facts and figures and tell us what exactly is taken out of a doctor's salary other than the insurance, federal/state taxes, medicare, social security, etc!!!! Then we can decide for ourselves.
  • bigndudebigndude Registered User Posts: 1,054 Senior Member
    Well what you said is most of whats takenout of the salary and the mal. insur. is the most depending on your specialty you may pay more in mal. insur. then some docs make a year. Like neurosurgeons for example. In addition to the things you listed. You need to have an office, whether it be by yourself (more expensive) or with someone (less expensive). Then supplies for your office like paper, and other medical supplies. Then your "salary" from your practice also pays your workers salaries so it pays for nurses and people who do your clerical work. You wouldn't pay that if you could do all of it yourself, but you really can't. Thats basically it.
  • mommamiamommamia Registered User Posts: 321 Member
    This is a really sad thread. Please, please do not go into medicine if your motivation is money or status. Medicine is supposed to be a healing, helping others profession. Did it ever occur to you that this attitude of greed is part of the reason some doctors get sued so much? I have some wonderful doctors who do not run their practices based on making the most money but rather on providing the best care. ( I have also met too many who deserve to be sued on a daily basis.) BTW, I have chosen a life of public service over financial gain and have never regretted it.
  • PSedrishMDPSedrishMD Registered User Posts: 712 Member
    Anyway, medmal is something a lot of us whine about, but the truth is in many cases it's not so bad. I just got my quotes for next year (Sept-Aug) and I'll be paying about $12,000 total. It is one of the costs of doing business, just like the health, disability and liability/casualty insurances I buy.
    The average physician's salary is about $155,000 now. The current salary for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $158,100 per year.
  • DETSAznDETSAzn Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    Hello everyone,

    I'm a rising senior, and I'm trying to decide on a career path. My choices are down to engineering (chem or biomed), pharmacy, and medical. To help me make a more informed decision, I have listed a few pros and cons about the medical field. Can you please help me by adding more info?

    good pay (altho malpractice rates are soaring)
    my passion for anatomy, physiology, and health
    good job outlook (America will always need doctors)
    respectable occupation

    a LOT of schooling (if I started getting sick of school this year...what about the next 11 years?)
    expensive education
    very competitive and stressful
    should open own business/partnership (risky if fresh out of med school)
    have to get into med school
  • funkyfunnybunnyfunkyfunnybunny Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    I'm a rising senior, and I'm trying to decide on a career path.

    I find this a little... I don't know what the word is. Disturbing, maybe? Why do you feel that you need to have decided on a career path already? Props on having a generalized area of study (science/medicine), which can help you decide on the college that would be best for you. But at the same time, keep in mind that you're only 17/18, and your plans can and probably will change. The most important part is to find something that YOU like. Get an internship, go to a camp, etc. and try to get a hands on experience of what the career choice will be. I don't think you can make a pros/cons list of what is right for you.
  • DETSAznDETSAzn Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    Thanks for your concern funkyfunnybunny (cool name!). I'd just like to add that I've been to multiple engineering programs at Dupont, Hercules, and Gore, and I'm currently volunteering at a children's hospital for the summer. I feel like I know about these careers, but I would like additional perspectives and opinions. I know that the decision is ultimately my own, and I'm just trying to apply to a college that I won't have to transfer out of b/c my interests change.
This discussion has been closed.