home
RSS
Seriously? Doctors say they're underpaid
May 1st, 2012
10:55 AM ET

Seriously? Doctors say they're underpaid

Anthony Youn, M.D., is a plastic surgeon in metro Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian American and becoming a doctor.

Full disclosure: I have no complaints about how much I make.

But many other physicians are not as satisfied - a recent study by Medscape revealed that 49% of doctors believe they're not fairly compensated. Of primary care physicians, this percentage increases to 54%.

It’s no myth that doctors are some of the highest paid professionals in the country. So why are they complaining?

It’s likely because of situations like Dr. Peterson’s.

Dr. Peterson is a plastic surgeon whom I worked with during my residency. A kind, competent physician, his new, fledgling practice consisted of reconstructive surgery. He treated women with breast cancer, paraplegics with pressure sores, and burn patients.

I was the on-call plastic surgery resident one night when a 42-year-old man - let’s call him Dave - was brought into the hospital at 3 a.m. He had fallen off a roof while intoxicated. Dave broke several bones in his face and shattered his lower leg.

I stumbled out of bed and met Dr. Peterson in the ER, where we spent the next three hours assessing Dave’s injuries and repairing his lacerations. Five days later Dr. Peterson and I performed an eight-hour operation, reconstructing his broken facial bones and performing a muscle transfer to help heal his fractured legs. For the next two months, we visited Dave in the hospital each and every day, changing his bandages and making sure he healed properly.

Not once did Dave thank Dr. Peterson for his care.

Instead, Dave took more than $3,000 from him.

Close scrutiny

Quite possibly no other occupation in the country receives such attention regarding the income its members receive. And that’s not a new trend - more than 70% of respondents of a survey published in the 1985 American Journal of Public Health believed doctors were overpaid.

The Medscape survey found the average physician compensation now ranges from a high of $315,000 for orthopedic surgeons to a low of $156,000 for pediatricians. Sounds pretty good right?

Consider that physicians must complete at least four years of college, four years of medical school, and between three to eight years of residency training prior to becoming a real, practicing doctor. Many physicians don’t start earning “doctor-level” salaries until they are well into their 30s.

A 2009 survey by U.S. News found the typical medical student graduated with $141,132 in debt. The graduates of some schools averaged more than $200,000 in loans.
So how do doctors’ salaries compare with other well-paying professions?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average computer and information system manager earns $125,660 per year. The average lawyer makes $130,490 per year. Orthodontists take home $204,670. The New York Times recently reported the average base pay for managing directors at Morgan Stanley is $400,000. At Goldman Sachs, it’s $600,000. The average salary of an NFL player is $1.9 million. NBA players average $5.15 million per year.

Just for putting a ball in a hoop.

When you consider these numbers, the thought of pediatricians making $156,000 a year doesn’t seem unreasonable. They often see 50 patients per day, answer our calls at all hours, and keep our kids healthy.

What about critical care physicians? They average $240,000 a year, but are responsible for keeping the sickest of us alive. One-quarter of critical care physicians spend more than 65 hours per week with their patients, not including time doing paperwork.

Unlike most other professions, there is a ceiling to what most doctors can earn. Physician compensation is tightly controlled by the government and insurance companies. Medicine is also the only profession where its members are required to sometimes work for free.

No return on investment

Which brings us back to Dave.

Three months later, I accompanied Dr. Peterson in his clinic to see Dave for a follow-up appointment. Dr. Peterson seemed a bit distracted. At the end of the visit I found out why.

“I’m glad you’re doing so well, Dave,” said Dr. Peterson.

“Yeah, I’m really happy with how things have turned out,” he replied.

“So Dave, this is a little awkward for me, but I need to ask you something. Two weeks ago your insurance company sent you a check for $3,200 to forward to me for all my surgical and office fees.”

“Yeah, so?”

“Well, um,” Dr. Peterson stuttered. “We never received it from you.”

“No, you didn’t. I cashed it and spent it.”

“Dave, why would you do that?”

“I figured you’re a rich doctor. I need the money more than you.”

What do you think? Are doctors being underpaid? Tell us in the comments below.


soundoff (2,191 Responses)
  1. Silvia

    Please read this book people... How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America. Underpaid? No! I do not think so!

    May 1, 2012 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MAcanondho

      Yep read parts of it - amazing and scary. I know a lot of people will say all that education please not all docs go to Ivy League schools and a lot of them were rich or got funding. Many public med schools are reasonable there are about a dozen under 25K a year. University of Texas is or was just under 20 a year x 4 years. Thats what many others who need to go an additional 4 years pay also. Occupational Therapists, Pharmacists, Physical therapists, physician assistants, CRNAs optometrists pay but they dont make an avearge of 170K like a family physician averages and thy are on the low end most hospitalists make between 200-2775 K per year . And many MBAs and Engineers, IT , Scientists have gone to even more years of schooling for PhDs and some scientists will get grants but many others had to pay for their PhDs. And many docs and residents/fellows get paid more than 28K, many get closer to 45 -50K. By the time they are 35 to 40 years old they are doing better than 98% of us.

      October 13, 2016 at 18:13 | Report abuse |
  2. Huge Mustache

    no synmpathy for whining docs. Go flip burgers if that makes you happy. Society treats docs like gods and I'm sick of it. MOst of them are just average people and most of them are lazy scientist. It takes a long time to learn to play a cello but we pay muscisians squat. Docs as a class of people are useless. The new ones are self centered brats.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • James

      This is so impressive; it easily has to be one of the most ignorant things I've ever read. Congrats idiot!

      May 1, 2012 at 13:45 | Report abuse |
    • andy

      when you have a heart attack at 52, please dont visit us.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
    • cspari

      Right. Until you are ill or injured. What a hypocrite you are. I can imagine your profession contributions buckets to society (laugh!). You sound self centered, overly opinionated, and not the least charitable. In other words, "its all about me....".

      May 1, 2012 at 13:49 | Report abuse |
    • TJ

      no one gives a crap if you can play the cello, dude. That's why you get paid squat.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:50 | Report abuse |
    • matt

      Yikes. How uninformed are you?

      My brother-in-law is a very good man and a super cancer doctor. He works crazy hours (and is paid for it). Lazy? No. Do I wish I made as much as him? Yes. But, I didn't go to med school or spend years studying like he did.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      What society do you live in? Doctors used to be respected. Nowadays everyone sees doctors as a way to file a malpractice lawsuit. They think since they have access to WebMD they know more than doctors. The culture of people having great respect for doctors is gone.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
    • XD

      Hi Dave, you are am ungrateful snot.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Remember that time a cellist saved thousands of lives? Me neither. Y'idiot.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      I have an idea....Next time you get sick, or need surgery, do it yourself.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • Dibo

      Yo Yo Ma makes Well over 6 figures and he plays the cello.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • Medical Student, Musician and Business man.

      Ok, So whenever you get hurt and need medical care, find a violinist to play you a sad song while you cry. Dont call a doctor. Its amazing how people can be so stupid to spend thousands of dollars on worthless material things rather than in their own health. If you think being a Doctor is so easy and average, you go ahead and try it, and then we you have a degree come back and talk bad about this profession, a profession that is the most beautiful, humane, and rewarding (emotionally) that has ever existed.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • chris

      And if a doctor is to get MORE money..... where does he think it is going to come from?? Not everyone is making a "doctor-level" salary to pay the doctors with. We are struggling out here in America doc's. We don't make 200K-300K a year. Try living on 30K in this economy with kids depending on you to keep fed and healthy, including expensive medical insurance and trips to the doctor. I work just as many hours as you do and also have student loan debts, too. Sure, I'd like to make more money too - then maybe I could afford to pay my doctor what he is asking for already!!

      May 1, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • Mike Jackson

      Doctors deserve every penny they make unlike basketball, baseball or stupid golf players that get paid millions for throwing a ball in a hole. Next time you get sick and dying visit Tiger Woods to save you from death. Listen to George Carlin and what he thinks of golf players.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:12 | Report abuse |
    • John Charles Aruzian

      Doctors are like cops and other self styled "heroes & gods" whon whione about what they do. If they don;'t like it, and they don't like the pay, do something else and shut up, already. We re all tired of the complaining while the "common people" try to "get by" on one hell of a lot less $$$ than the average M.D. or cop (cops make a lot more $$$* than you would believe...get your hands on their W-2;s if possible!

      * And don't buy into their "base pay" crud. They receive "no-show" OT, show OT, double OT, triple OT, and perks you can't imagine, small and large, especially in the larger metropolitan areas.

      End

      May 1, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • kim

      As someone who went to a conservatory I can promise you that being a doctor is much harder than being a musician and I think every musician I know would agree with me.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      I agree with Huge Mustache when you say that I am sick of doctors being paid more than people in other jobs. PhDs in engineering make my life much batter than most doctors and they don't make as much. Doctors underpaid? No way! If people see them as potential lawsuits they see patients as money makers. Am I wrong docs? How many procedures have you billed insurance and madicare and madicaid for rates higher than what you were supposed to? I know many doctors, enough to have learned the answer to this question.
      Most of the time I don't need a doctor, a nurse would do. The number of doctors that are paid for checking sore throats is just too high and there are too many. A doctor that is not highly specialized is a well trained nurse, I don't want to pay for your studies or your bills, or your status, get me a nurse and I will pay her.
      If you became a doctor to earn money or status then don't complain and go get what you make. You make more than most of us, you have a captured market and a systems that works for you. Shut up and smile because you played the system well.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
    • billgme

      Doctors spend several hundred thousand on education and training. They are worth far more than they receive in compensation. It is a service profession. This Dave guy in the article is a jerk!

      May 1, 2012 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
  3. fearisenemy

    So comparing a doctor's salary to that of an NFL or NBA player is how you illustrate this point? I'm sorry, but that would mean that you are trying to say a doctor should be making 5 million a year. The problem is that (as stated in this article) the insurance companies are taking way more than they should be taking. Insurance takes too much... or the doctor needs more... so the insurance takes more... so the doctor wants more... etc... etc... in the end, my insurance pays for less of my ever growing medical expense. And I'm still young and healthy so I don't need it as much... can't wait till I'm older and things start falling part!

    May 1, 2012 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chris

      Then keep voting Republican,,, you'll get exactly what you're describing

      May 1, 2012 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
  4. alex

    At these income levels they are in the top 5% of ALL income earners, in a career that will pay them for 40+ years, where they never have to woory about "not having a job". They have nothing to complain about. They are supposed to be in that carrer to help people, not get rich. Being very well off should be enough!

    May 1, 2012 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Megan

      I don't think it has anything to do with wanting to be rich. It's about getting fairly paid for the hours, skill, and care you put in.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • Russ

      In 2002, I had a tumor removed from my abdomen. It was a 45 minute procedure and I was under anesthetic for it. Later, the bill said the doctor billed for $1500, but Blue Cross paid about $500. That was all he got for his morning of work. For this, he had to pay malpractice insurance, which no doubt was ten of thousands of dollars a year. Then, if something had gone wrong ,and I had sued his ass off and won, he might have lost his license. I believe he earned that minimal fee.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:03 | Report abuse |
    • Miserable

      40+ years? What doctor do you know is still going strong at 75? Let alone a surgeon or other specialist, many of whom can't keep going due to chronic pain and health problems incurred during their years of service. Do you realize how long it takes to pay of hundreds of thousands in debt? Consider spending 3-8 years of residency, getting paid less than 40k per year, God forbid you have a family, and the amount of interest your loans earn. I know doctors in their 50's and 60's still paying off school debts. Others are trying to help their own kids go to college while still paying off their own loans. Now I want you to do the math, because if you do, you'll find that most primary care doctors make just a few dollars more PER HOUR than a school teacher. After all, you cannot really talk about doctor salaries without taking into account the hours they work. When was the last time you worked 14+ days in a row including 5 nights of 24 hour call? Next find a dictionary, because if you feel the need to ridicule someone you should at least do it correctly. Otherwise, how can we have an educated discussion about it?

      May 1, 2012 at 14:11 | Report abuse |
    • hmmm

      Right, right! Just like how teachers get paid almost as much for all their... oh wait. Never mind.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:11 | Report abuse |
  5. devotedeconomist

    I have seen doctor's salary advertized as 0.5 million for surgeons (in monster.com). That is pretty damn good. This never happens in other profession except bankers.

    Another grossly high earner is the Bank guys, who play with your money and if the gamble is win they collect million dollar salary and if they loose all they may loose is bonus and you loose yur all savings. That should be regulated too. If bankers gamble is "loose", you as banker will have to pay from your past earnings. This may give other's a little solace.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • matt

      If you like the salary (and can do the job) go into banking or medicine. Nobody is stopping you.

      These last couple years of the Obama administration has preached "fairness" and now has the "99%" becoming unsatisfied with the income disparity and coveting that of the 'rich'. Sounds a little like 1900s Russia....

      May 1, 2012 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      I sure as heck want the guy CUTTING me open and operating on me to be a highly trained and highly compensated person. The pay reflects the extreme responsibility, which is much greater than a general practicioner (not to belay their importance)

      May 1, 2012 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • brilliantcomment

      Couple of things:
      1) By “loose” I think you meant “lose”
      2)“if they loose all they may loose is bonus and you loose yur all savings. That should be regulated too.” News Flash: There has been a new development in the industry called FDIC Insurance that protects deposit holders from “loosing” money if a bank fails. Also, every “mouth breather” reading this post knows that the banking industry is the one of the most regulated industries in the country.
      3) By “devotedeconomist” I think you mean “scan articles during my smoke break”

      May 1, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
  6. Oodoodanoo

    With regard to the end of the article: Since the patient didn't pay for services rendered, the doctor should have the right to return the patient's face to its original state. Preferably with a baseball bat.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michael

      Hmmmm? Excellent point.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
  7. CaptianObvious

    Meh, I can think of many professions that require just as much "education" and "investment" as doctors. Take a high-powered tax attorney for example: 4 years of college, top grades, LSAT preparation, top LSAT scores, 3 years of law school for J.D., generally at least another year or two of post-graduate study for LL.M. degree (entirely necessary nowadays), bar exam, MPRE exam, bar character and fitness tests, potential other certifications (CPA), 6-10 YEARS OF100 hour+ work weeks as an associate making peanuts before becoming eligible for partner with little to no vacation. Sorry, but I would take 4 short years of residency ANY DAY over a large law firm associate mentorship program again.

    After all that, I wonder what my clients would say if I tried to bill them for $700 for 15 minutes of my paralegal's work.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chris

      You forgot that attorneys also work pro bono and are forced to do so when court appointed without compensation.... something the writer of the articled also forgot.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
    • Wen

      You say, "Sorry, but I would take 4 short years of residency ANY DAY over a large law firm associate mentorship program again". Then why don't/didn't you?

      May 1, 2012 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • SerSen D.O

      Law school is a joke and so is your LSAT. And your bar exams consistent about 1/10th of the information mass that the USMLE-1 has. Do not begin to compare doggy turds to whole fruit. Medical school trains people who intend on helping others and leaving society a warmer place. Lawyers become lawyers to leave it colder.
      Just wait when tort reforms come in. You'll be out of a job and the EMTs will be happy to know there are no more lawyers chasing after their ambulances.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
    • Doc

      As an M.D., I also had to do 4 years of college with top grades, MCAT preparation, top MCAT scores, 4 years of medical school, 5 years of residency, 2 years of fellowship (entirely necessary nowadays if you want to subspecialize), boards preparation, written boards, oral boards (for double board certification), 7 years of 100+ hr workweeks (even though not supposed to be more than 80), with little vacation.

      Medicine doesn't sound so easy and appealing now, does it?

      May 1, 2012 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
    • KD

      I took your LSAT, with no preparation, no study – and outscored my friends who went on to law school. It's a logic exam. No more, no less.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
    • medical specialist

      Stop whining. You knew what you were getting into, or did you? Residents make peanuts but also have the responsibilities of saving lives. Stop whining please.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:11 | Report abuse |
    • sbp

      All nonsense. Yes, the specialized training for tax attorneys is about on a par with a specialist physician. But tax attorneys, once they reach partner level, make a fortune. I AM an attorney, so don't try to tell me otherwise. And it's not nearly as complicated.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
    • LetsCompare

      Hi CaptainObvious. I definitely see your point. No one is saying that law isn't a difficult, stressful profession. But you've taken the liberty to compare a high status law speciality with a basic medical speciality. I'd say that's a faux pas for a lawyer..). Anyway, if you want to make comparisons, then compare appropriately. Compare your tax attorney to a neonatal oncologist or an autoimmune disease specialist, or even a neurosurgeon. They all have to go to undergrad, take MCATS, got to medical school for 4 years, take USMLE 1 – 3 in between those four years just to keep moving forward in medical school. Obtain a residency and complete an internship, complete minimum 4 years of PGY for the aforementioned socialites, obtain a fellowship, and because medicine is ever growing and ever changing, doctors continue to take tests multiple times a year (CMEs) just so they know how best to treat their patients. It's not appropriate nor fair to compare one against the other, but one must be factual.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
  8. sancho

    I am a teacher. I spend my days thinking "why didn't I go to med school?" $150,000 a year makes you rich, no matter how to want to spin it or who you want to compare it to. Quit whining about debt – $140,000 in debt is almost nothing when your salary is so high. I know many doctors, and all of them can afford whatever they want whenever they want it.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SerSen D.O

      150k – 33% tax, – payments for office, etc. – Potential income from 8-10 years of work. Generally that 150k isn't all that much. Furthermore that 150k debt is a lie now adays, unless mommy and daddy pay the entire way debts are nearly half a million by the time you finish residency.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      And let's not forget, or date mention, the fact that MOST doctors who b**ch so much about being underpaid are the ones who are driving EXPENSIVE cars and living in EXPENSIVE houses. I have no pity for someone who makes enough money to buy a car straight out with tons of money and then throw a hissy fit, yeah you heard me you b*stards, a hissy fit because you are underpaid. The same people who prescribe medicines and can't even get that right and make the patient go back and forth, back and forth, paying out the a** for different meds. What a crock of s**t. Go get a life and stop the whining.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:17 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @SerSen D.O
      And don’t forget sky high malpractice insurance, courtesy of your local ambulance chaser. You’ll have to forgive (s)ancho..she/he is after all just a teacher. She/he likely has the most basic of collage education (often drop outs from other professions) and little experience with someone in the medical field.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
  9. Tom Allen

    The average lawyer make $130,000 a year? Really? Where? I know what the BLS statistics say, but I can tell you from personal experience that most lawyers are not making that kind of money. Try around $60 to $80K

    May 1, 2012 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SerSen D.O

      Mean v.s Median.
      Mean = 80k
      Median = 130k

      May 1, 2012 at 14:02 | Report abuse |
  10. Eric

    My sister is one of the smartest, hardest working, and kindest people I have ever known. She went to an ivy league for undergrad, finished some post-bacc studies at Harvard while working, was accepted at several medical schools, and is now undecided in terms of whether she will go to medical school or not.

    She really wants to become a doctor, but she is not sure if it makes sense financially. Why? Let's see – if she goes to a private medical school, she will have $320K of student loans after 4 years. That's the price of a very nice house in most places. Furthermore, she will have several more years at residencies AFTER medical school, so she won't be making a respectable amount until about 7-10 years from now.

    So in addition to 4 years of college and 2 years of post bacc classes while working, in order for my sister to become a doctor, she has to put in another 7-10 years dedicated to medical school and residencies. And she has to pay several hundred thousand in order to go to Medical School.

    So do I think doctors are overpaid? absolutely not. They deserve every penny they get. When your loved ones have a medical emergency or scare, you want to brightest and hardest working people to get them better. And these are people who have been through 8+ years of higher education, plus several more years of residencies (getting paid peanuts) to become medical experts.

    I havent had the best experiences with doctors. Just like in any profession, there are plenty of questionable individuals in all walks of life, be it doctors, lawyers, bankers, priests, politicians, etc. But I am glad that in order to become a doctor, you have to prove your dedication through expensive schooling (couple of hundred thousands), plus 8+ years of studying like crazy, plus additional years at residencies.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cspari

      Kudos to you! I agree, thank god for these people who innately want to help, and swear to "do no harm". For many, it isn't even a financial decision, just something they have do. And like every other profession, for every bad doctor, there are hundreds of compassionate, capable ones.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I hope your sister decides to go to med school.. She sounds like the kind of person we need in the medical profession! It would be selfless and possibly economically ungratifying, but she will lead a fulfilled existence doing what she loves. And, she shouldn't worry, the money will come too.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Thanks for the replies. I really hope she becomes a doctor.

      I believe that doctors get a bad rep some times because they make "a lot" of money. When I started looking at the math behind my sister's medical school, I can't imagine them getting paid any less, otherwise you'd likely have a shortage of doctors.

      Upon graduating medical school, she would have $320K of student loans, plus accrued interest, $0 savings, and several years of residency ahead of her while making just enough to get by. If she ever bought a house (say for $300K), she would have essentially 2 house payments (medical school and an actual house payment).

      It can actually be scary for some doctors financially. I know it has been for my sister as she considers going to medical school – she may actually defer her admission for a year to decide whether or not that amount of debt will push her towards another career. She has spoken with several doctors in their 40s who still feel burdened by their student loans.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:12 | Report abuse |
    • Miserable

      I think the best group to have the discussion about doctor salaries is not doctors, insurance companies, lawyers, politicians, or patients. Rather, the significant others of medical students/doctors are probably the best to have the discussion. They know the amount of struggle and frustration and poverty that goes into becoming a doctor. If we take away the drive to be a doctor, I can't imagine many kids out of high school agreeing to putting their life on hold for the next 11-16 years, having limited time to enjoy being a kid (including as a college student), and working harder than almost any other profession just to end up with $200,000+ in debt and only earning $150,000 per year to still work harder than almost any other profession.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
  11. Jon

    Honestly, look at all the people who create music, all they do is travel, write songs, do interviews, and then get paid millions of dollars. Are you serious? Doctors save lives and spend long hours doing paper work, and they only get paid 100k-500k, A YEAR. I think the people who are saving the lives of people should have be getting paid more then the people who go to interviews, travel the world, and write songs. Looks like music's were the money is.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Anonymous Coward

    "Many physicians don’t start earning “doctor-level” salaries until they are well into their 30s."

    And most other hard-working people don't start earning "doctor-level" salaries EVER.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cspari

      Could that be because of the education investment, and the lack of risk in your profession? Don't forget that malpractice drives up all medical costs. Instead of throttling doctors, we should be examining our courts and insurance companies.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
    • XD

      ...that is because they are not doctors. I have no sympathy for a hard-working burger-flipper whining because he/she isn't making as much as a hard-working doctor.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • Scarface86

      Most other hard working people did not have the dedication or intelligence to become a doctor.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
  13. Rich

    Study in canada – it's a hell of a lot cheaper

    May 1, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ziggychk

      Umm...no. Studying in Canada is NOT cheaper.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      lol – I am proof, based on the figures quoted in the article for US fees that you can do it alot cheaper. Unless you are taking into account currency exchange now the Canadian dollar is much stronger than ever against the US dollar 😉

      Or try what my wife did. Moved from the UK with no canadian qualifications. Get a job at a bank at the bottom as a teller, take exams paid for by the bank, work her ass off and 5 years later be a financial advisor on $150k per year. In essence it cost nothing. Now thats clever.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
    • medical specialist

      Seriously, where do you think the 52% tax goes to? The biggest myth is that the schooling and healthcare in Canada and Europe is cheap or free. Don't forget that you guys have some of the highest tax rates in the world. Cheap education doesn't exist my friend. It's a myth.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      In relation to medical education you are right; cheap education doesn't exist. The issue is that cheaper education can exist in certain areas of Canada than certain areas of the US.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:20 | Report abuse |
    • Supra

      Only if you're a Canadian Citizen.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
    • James

      17K per year medical tuition in most English Speaking schools, with tuition increases happening every year. Certainly not that much cheaper.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:35 | Report abuse |
  14. George Aranda

    Get government away from the healthcare industry and let the private sector work in FREEDOM

    May 1, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Ted

    Dave's an idiot.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. chrisy

    Rarely is the overall picture looked at when considering physcian salaries. Consider up to 16 YEARS of post secondary training with high educational costs and minimal income. If the physicain had not done this they could be earning an income for all these years.
    The physicians typically work LONG hours to generate these salaries. In few other professions are people working 36 hours straight which is not uncommon for many physicians. Nights and weekends are consistently at the mercy of call schedules on top of busy regular 60 plus hour work weeks.

    Many other societies do not compensate physician to this level, however in these societies the physcians are not expected to pay for the education, nor are they expected to do the long hours of call our system demands. Airline pilots and truck dirvers are legislated to maximum number of work hours. We would have a medical crisis if that was done with physicians. Becareful what you wish for.

    Try calculating what a MDs hourly wage has been since graduating from high school with the grueling hours of training and all the call hours while working. Based on less calculations, MDs make less than many of the other professions that complain about MD income.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • boysmatter

      Compare the pay of Drs here to other nations. We are way over the norm.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
  17. Qurious

    By the time overhead, malpractice insurance, salaries and HIGH TAX bracket fees are met, the doctor's take home is less than people think. And, overhead is not just the electric bill.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Thecentrist11

    the number of doctors in this country is artificially low. More people would be doctors if medical schools opened their doors to more people, even while maintaining the same standards.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • medschoolkid

      The bottleneck is at residency openings. Only the federal government can open more positions because they pay the salary.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
  19. matt

    Wow, all these posts about people that covet doctors' money. Come on "99%", grow up and be satisfied with what you earn. If you don't feel that you earn enough, do something about it.

    Sad that liberals have made 'successful' a bad word.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      The problem is that conservatives have used the word "successful" to replace the word "wealthy." There are plenty of successful educators, police, military leaders, doctors and lawyers who never get rich.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
  20. anonymous

    Here's my issue with doctors–I'd respect you more, if you didn't try to push name brand pharmaceuticals on me, especially when I don't need them, or try to prescribe antibiotics when I know darn well that I don't them for a cold. Don't treat me like an idiot, and maybe I'll have more sympathy for you. Otherwise, don't practice medicine, when it's in your code to treat those who are sick.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      They treat people like idiots because people ARE idiots. Take for example..your run of the mill nub who thinks he knows more than his doctor.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:34 | Report abuse |
  21. Heru

    Are you kidding me? Seriously?? You have the nerve to whine and complain about being stiffed 3 grand when YOU MAKE MORE THEN 90% of the rest of the people in America?!?! Get over yourself. If your in medicine only to make money, then your in it for the wrong reasons and i would suggest to all of your patients to find a doctor that cares more about them then buying they're 16 year old a new Bentley.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kyle

      Trollololol

      May 1, 2012 at 14:11 | Report abuse |
    • sbp

      You ever tried buying a $200,000 Bentley on a $150,000 salary? Dope.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:17 | Report abuse |
  22. Anonymous010

    Eh, I don't really see doctors as being underpaid; specifically not if they're making over $100 k per year. You want to see a real underpaid job, look at teaching, especially primary/secondary levels. Those people make peanuts and sometimes even hold graduate degrees – my high school French teacher had a PhD in linguistics, but she taught at the high school level because she enjoyed it. That's why anybody goes into teaching – they're sure not there for the money.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. badley

    God Bless the Doctors who truly care for there patients and not about profits, Yes you need to make a living, but trying to make more than Joneses (other doctors) just perpetually increases costs. I have had experience with doctors that have a kind and gentle caring nature and donate there time when they have it, but this generation of Doctors are greedy plain and simple..... I guess it s way of life for every profession that will be the decline of oour great society.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Steve_A

    I'm sure I can look into any profession and find people who think they are under paid for the work they do. But I bet if you polled all doctors in the country, the amount of doctors who feel they are under paid are much less than other industries in this country. Sorry doctors, you will get no simpathy from me, when there are well educated, hard working Americans losing thier homes because they cannot work or find a job in the field of their expertise. For those doctors looking for simpathy, stand in line there are millions ahead of you!

    May 1, 2012 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Tara

    Everyone needs to stop complaining, if you don't like your current job situation do something about it. No one made you become a dr, nurse, teacher or whatever. You can always go back to school, just do something about your situation if you are unhappy!

    May 1, 2012 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SerSen D.O

      After 12 years of education, having 2 kids I need to pay for, and a staff of midlevels who also have families to support? I don't think so...
      Some doctors are quitting primarily obsteticians who can no longer deal with inhuman malpractice insurance. But generally after spending more than a decade in school and working it ain't gana happen.
      So yah... it's not as easy as you think.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:55 | Report abuse |
  26. just saying

    duh, if anyone asked me if i was underpaid, i would say yes too, even if i didn't think so. it's like asking a kid of they want more candy on halloween. you'll know the answer before you even ask it.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. SerSen D.O

    Honestly the numbers are smaller than what you think. Most hospitals are underwater, we can not afford to keep buying new machines for a broad spectrum of diseases. How much does an MRI machine cost? A lot. How much does a disalysis machine cost? Alot. How much does it cost to keep all of those hot nurses that kiss your ass? A LOT ( But totally worth it).
    Point being is that physicians don't make a lot. Given 12 years of post-high school training minimum you'll be better off going into Ibanking or something like Law if you just want money.
    I work about 50 hours a week, saturdays everyother week and make a decent amount ( ~200k). I take home about a 130k after taxes and I'm content with that. However if I were a surgeon I'd expect a lot more. Surgery warrents a lot more of a pay as they will work at the min 70 hours a week and they sacrifice their lives. But myself as a general FM doctor i'm content.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • medical specialist

      Now, a sensible physician. We physicians shouldn't complain about our salaries. We all knew what we were getting into when we embarked on this journey. However, non-MD's shouldn't complain about our salaries either since you have no idea what we've through to get here or what we do every day. Unless you've been in our shoes, you know nothing.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
  28. Donna

    I agree with LisaF..as it was my thought too...was the check made out to Dave..or to the doctor? Either way Dave sounds like a slime ball who should have to walk through life with a face as ugly as the rest of him...it would serve him right. And no, I'm not a doctor nor do I feel they have that much to belly-ache about considering the way our economy is going. No one forced them to go to 8 years of medical school. My kids are still paying off their student loans too and they make a he** of a lot less. Suck it up and stop complaining, life is hard all over....geezzz.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Hannah K.

    Insurance companies rip off a lot of Doctors all the time. For the amount of school and work they have to go through, they deserve to get paid well. When they go through residency, they work at least 80 hours a week. I have 2 cousins who are Doctors, and are broke trying to pay off loans. I have had several great Doctors save my life. It is ludicrous to compare them or say they should try working in fast food and see if they complain (cannot compare the two). People who say such inept comments , probably did not get further than high school (if that).

    May 1, 2012 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. idiocracy

    My wife is an optometrist and her practice is getting killed by the "big box" stores – Wal Mart, Costco, and 1800-contacts, for example. Those places don't care about your overall health, they only care about your money – just ask the docs who work there. These patients will take their prescription – which my wife is legally obligated to give them – and go to Costco to get their glasses made for 50 bucks. Then, when the glasses don't work right, they take them to my wife and complain, not realizing that it wasn't the prescription that was wrong – it was the manufacturer. All that for a $10 or $20 copay?

    May 1, 2012 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. TWilliams

    Regarding "Dave" in the article. Why would the insurance company send Dave a check instead of just paying the doctor directly? I have had stints to the hospital where I got a bill that showed payments from my insurance comapny.

    Seems the Insurance company was very lax

    May 1, 2012 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. butseriouslyfolks

    I won't presume what others want, but when I go to the Dr., I want the Doctor who graduated top of his/her class, completes the required CME, and is proud of what they do. If you are good at your job, you should be compensated for it. If you do the math, a Doctor who makes $200K a year and sees 50 patients a day averages $15 for each patient....I value my health more than that. Now, figure out where the other $75-100 goes for that 10 minute appointment.

    Most hospital administrators make more than the Dr.'s do.....

    May 1, 2012 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Reasonable Reader

    Is there really such a thing as over- vs. under-paid? In a free market society, you are paid as per the societal worth of what you do. If you are paid less, people generally care less about what you do and you are more easily replaced. Saying one is over-paid is more an exercise in envy, and saying one is under-paid is more an exercise in self-pity. Get the training and education you need to get the job that pays what you want. Simple as that.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anon

      this is not a free market

      the AMA controls the amount of doctors in the country. they create artificial scarcity.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • Reasonable Reader

      otherwise known as "quality control". even my gpa was higher than that and i wouldn't consider applying...

      May 1, 2012 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • sbp

      Physician salaries are really controlled by the insurance companies.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
  34. Bobby

    Only thing I can add is, never saw a doctor on an unemployment line.
    Also, what this fails to mention is that most doctors belong to a practice.
    Does the salary include what they take in from the practice? I doubt it.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • medschoolkid

      That's because there has and always will be a need for doctors. And yes that salary includes what they make in their practice. What it doesn't include is malpractice insurance or student loans.

      May 1, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
    • Reasonable Reader

      It may also NOT include the cut the practice takes from them (not everyone owns a clinic, most work within one).

      May 1, 2012 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      I have several friends that are Doctors, and I can assure when they joined a practice
      they became partners in that practice. None of them work for the practice.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:04 | Report abuse |
    • Codpiece Jim

      Nobody cares if you are in an unemployment line Bobby. You made bad choices. You watched too many sporting events and drank too much beer rather than hit the books or do the work necessary for success. It's the land of opportunity! Get a job! Or even better yet, study hard and go into medicine. Oh wait, you probably don't want to do that because it takes too much work.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
  35. smith

    im in the military and i hate to see someone that makes 6 figures say their under paid im over here in f-ing Afghanistan get shot at for under 40000 a year and im not complaining

    May 1, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Melanie

      Well put Smith!

      May 1, 2012 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
  36. ks

    Have completed a masters in biochem and am currently in medical school. Comparing the rigors of a university Ph.D. to medical school isn't true. Way different intensities. Dental school is comparable, not sure about law school. What determines how much someone makes is the demand. Can you entertain millions by playing basketball with Kobe, Dirk, Lebron... No. I played college football and could other people who complained about the perks you get in football for performing that job block a Division one DE. No. This is what determines which jobs get paid more than others. Medical school is a b...... to get into and hard as hell to complete. This is the bottleneck to the profession. Look at the bottleneck of entering any filed and almost always this will determine how much the field gets paid. Easier to enter a masters/Ph.D, hard to enter medical school, extremely extremely hard to enter the NBA and the NBA is an entertainment industry it is so stupid to complain about athlete salaries. Brad Pitt gets 20mil a movie to play pretend because everybody enjoys it. If you don't like it invent a new industry where people pay to watch people screw around and whine about other people working their way into difficult industries. If you want complete socialism, then you can argue that the guy completing a liberal arts degree should be paid the same as someone who trains their ass off into their 30's in the most difficult educational track today which ends up killing/saving people and takes on crippling debt. Or you can say that people should be paid different, but there is a cost to this. You have to work very hard and sacrifice certain things that others might not have to. Trade offs to everything in life. Go Socialism... its worked for everyone else 🙂

    May 1, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. D

    As you stated, you "have no complaints" about how much you make. However to suggest that Doctors are underpaid is a JOKE!!! I have a few degrees and STILL DO not make near as much as I should. To compare salaries of Athletes to what a Dr. makes or to just a regular hard working person is kind of an insult. I hear where you are coming from Doc but come on, REALLY??? Even you cannot believe the crap you are writing!

    Sure there is all the schooling and insurance that one must pay for to achieve your level of success but hey that is what the job entails. Cry me a river but if any Dr. says they are not making enough that is just BS. I have had plenty of health issues this year and I can tell you that there are Doctors that are billing me and my insurance that I have NEVER seen. Not even a hand shake or a look into my eyes to say hello I am doctor so and so! Yet somehow they are billing me AND getting paid for doing next to nothing. Hell I had a cardiologist in February sit 10 feet from me to tell me I may need a stent and he BILLED my insurance $576 for the 15 minutes that he spent with me (this is NO exaggeration). WTH??? I can see maybe $200 max but $576 and you are trying to convince ME that doctors are not paid enough. GTFOH!!!! As far as I am concerned you all should be paid for work done that a patient can actually see and nothing more. This will force some of you to as least spent time with a person who from my position is just a paycheck waiting to happen and NOT a person who need your care.

    As for saying, "Medicine is also the only profession where its members are required to sometimes work for free." You are completely WRONG. Lawyers work for free, it's called Pro Bono! And yes we (like me) who are on Salary work from FREE!!! Of course you are a doctor and would not know the struggles of the regular people because as you put it you have no complaints about your salary.

    That being said I could not disagree with you more on this. Doc, I have Master Degrees in Polymer Chemistry and Management and still make $74000/year. I am in NO way overpaid! Hell I took a pay cut just to have a job because the market is so tight and business KNOW they can low ball the hell out of you. I am not too upset about the whole things because I am grateful to be working but your argument is far from sound.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • politico123

      Of the $576 dollars your insurance paid, how much of it went to the doctor. Probably not as much as you think. The hospital adds their overhead and other fees into the mix. I bill my clients at a rate of $100 per hour, trust me I do not see anywhere near that amount on a per hour basis.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • D

      One more thing. Dave stole from the Doctor! There is no justification for more pay because some LOSER stole from the man treating him! File suit like anyone else in business would do to recover the money. I find it hard to understand why an insurance company would pay the patient directly instead of forwarding the money to the doctor. Something does not sound right there!

      May 1, 2012 at 14:02 | Report abuse |
    • D

      politico123
      He got $375 (rounded) for his 15 minutes. Sounds pretty good to me. 65% of what he billed me.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
  38. politico123

    Yeah a doctor makes a lot of money, but did any of you think about malpractice insurance? Who pays that, the hospital or his/her employer? I don't think so. I once read an article written by a neurosurgeon who makes $750k per year. While that seems like a lot, break it down. He practiced in Florida, his malpractice insurance was upwards of $300k per year. He was one of 2 neurosurgeons in the hospital he worked for. He worked 100+ hours per week. When you break it all down he made about $20/hour. About 5000 hours of work per year vs. the standard 2080 hours per year the rest of us work. So no I do not think doctors are overpaid.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      Actually!!! Blame the Doctors before you that helped drive up that insurance. The patient did not make the mistake in treating himself/herself! There is where your money is going.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
  39. Society

    What happened to the society when people do not respect doctors anymore? What the author is trying to point out is that the doctor misses out on years that could have been earning money but instead had to take out loans. So an average person making any money is better off than a doctor who is actually loosing money after all those years of med school and residency. Then when they come out of med school, they make a salary that is only comparable to people working the same number of years in their respective fields. That other person may own a car and maybe almost half way to paying off their mortgage while the doctor cannot afford to buy a house because of the student loans are costing more than an average house. Even at 300k/yr, it will take the doctor a while to catch up to someone who has been working the entire time without any med school loans. Why are Americans these days all short sighted?

    May 1, 2012 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. anon

    The real tragedy is the artificial inflation of doctors wages by the AMA. They strictly control the amount of medical schools and medical school students to create a paucity of doctors. I graduated USC with a 3.7, did a year of labwork that got me published alongside my professor and scored in the top 85% on the MCAT. I was only invited to 2 interviews out of my 40+ med school applications. Turns out I wasn't good enough for med school but I am good enough for the infectious disease and immunity phd program at Berkeley.

    Let more intelligent and hardworking students become doctors.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reasonable Reader

      do patients really want the bar lowered to allow less qualified people to practice, or would patients prefer simply that students take their training more seriously and work harder to become more qualified physicians.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
  41. Melanie

    if doctor's expect the patient to do the right thing and turn over a check that the insurance has sent to them, well then that's where the flaw in the system is. Insurance companies need to pay the medical bills by sending the money directly to the doctor/hospital. By sending it to the patient, you are basically rewarding them for their injuries, which in this case, "Dave" caused because of his drunken stupidity.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Doctor Doom

    All of the issues that Dr. Youn raised to justify his salary are not unique to his profession. Plumbers get stiffed by clients. Fire fighters have to roll out of bed in the middle of the night to do their job. Teachers graduate with large student loans. Let's not even go into what sacrifices military folks make for all of us. I'd tell you to cry me a river Doc but chances are you're already out on your yacht enjoying the water.

    May 1, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. James C.

    LeBron Caused this Problem to Happen... Haha lol

    May 1, 2012 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Doc

    I am a Doctor, I love my job, its exciting and rewarding. I think I am underpaid, probably like everyone else in the world. I do have to worry about business, paying bills, getting sued. I really dont think that its about compensation. I laugh when I here about other professions like captianobvious try to claim they work long hours and have a rough rode to a job. How may people honestly work 80-90 hours a week with stress like this and life changing decisions being made all the time. I love what I do, but anyone else get up out of bed, leave there family to go see someone in an ER at 1 am, knowing you wont make a dime for it. You cant call in sick, you cant so no. But I went into this profession to help people and not get rich right? I cant bill someone for every 15 minutes I spend on the phone. Like I said, I make good money, but also work harder than most people can even fathom. My only gripe is that no one says anything about the banker, insurance guy, you name it, makeing every bit as much as me. He or she is home at 3pm with family, never worked a weekend in there life. There is my rant with poor spelling and grammer included.

    May 1, 2012 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      I have a problem with ANYONE who is overpaid and does not work for it. If you are not like that then I applaud you sir!!! I use to be on call at a plant I worked and not one cent more did I make from being called out of my bed at 1 in the morning by some moron who ultimately did not DO what I told them to do before I came in to work the next morning. Thank God for no more of those days!

      May 1, 2012 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
  45. IK

    I have 4 very close friends that are finishing their residency and let me tell you something I think they are underpaid. Throughout ages doctors were not only the most respected professionals they were also the highest earners. "The village doctor" was always either the most prosperous or close to that in the village. For some reason with modern medicine when people think they don't need doctors any more because they can pop an antibiotic or a tylenol they are no longer respected. One of my doctor friends told me something a while back that I thought was a very good revelation on how people think about doctors. He said to me "when you got to a car mechanic, and he tells you you need a new engine you pay him the 4-5 grand, and dont really haggle but people have no problem haggling with doctors even though what they are haggling about is their own life."
    Now for all those "brilliant" people that posted here that doctors make too much, think about it this way. I graduated over a dozen years ago, in the last dozen years I have made well over 1 million dollars combined in salary, I have traveled the world, and own my own business now. My friends who are doctors are in their early 30s, they have not made a dime yet they have 350K dollars in loans. And when they do start working their malpractice insurance is going to be well over 100K per year. So I am sorry for putting up with pretty much 15 years of schooling, wasting your 20s on learning and not partying and hanging out, and then having to deal with "Daves" I think doctors should make well over 1 mil a year. Because dont forget most of those people that got accepted to med school, passed the boards and lived through residency, could have easily been working on wall street making millions, because they are smart enough to do that. But then you would either not have any doctors, or would have total idiots going into that filed, and that is something we can not afford as a society.

    May 1, 2012 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. George

    I am a teacher, I have no sympathy.

    May 1, 2012 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • medschoolkid

      I have all the respect in the world for teachers (my mother is one), but you are not required to have the education or skill level of a doctor.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • BrainJohnson

      I agree. Teachers are some of the worste offenders. They're public servants that want more benefits and salary than the people who actually pay taxes. Id!ots!

      May 1, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • Teachers

      Teachers are saints. It's true. I wish we spent more time commending the good ones and working on better reimbursement. Maybe then more people would know the difference between there, their, and they're. Or your and you're. Or could do the math behind the complaints being generated here. Obviously cutting resources from our schools is not helping anyone...

      May 1, 2012 at 14:35 | Report abuse |
  47. Mike

    It's a tired argument, that doctors are saddled with education debt, justifying very high salaries. It's true that the debt is higher than other professions, but once they are out of residency, getting a full doctor's salary, it takes only a 2-3 years of modest living (don't buy that BMW yet) to knock off the debt – overall in about the same time that the rest of us pay off student loans. Now you are, say, 35 year old (conservatively), debt's gone, and you have another 30 year or more of really sweet compensation. STOP complaining! I've never seen a doctor in a tiny house. I've never seen a doctor in a beat up car. Yes, saving lives should be a well paid occupation, but ask for too much and you become a part of the problem of health care becoming inaccessible to so many – you may be killing more people you save by helping to make healthcare too expensive.

    May 1, 2012 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BrainJohnson

      Mike- you are blatantly incorrect. These docs will pay 6x-7x their debt balance when you factor in interest charges. Get a clue.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • medschoolkid

      Try adding up the 12-15 years of schooling and training. Then divide that by the salaries paid. You get at best $25. That's 4 years of med school (-$200,000), 4 years of residency ($250,000), and 3-8 years of fellowship ($130,000/yr). Those are 80 hour weeks BTW.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • JBOO

      Dude, you have NO IDEA what you are talking about. My wife is a doctor, and we are paying $906.00 every month for the next 30 years for her student loans, (that does not include mine). That is more than the mortgage on our home. I don't know what world you live in where someone with close to $200,000 in debt can pay that off in 2 years, but please invite me to join it.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:12 | Report abuse |
    • JBOO

      On a side not, I was with my wife all the way through Med. School and I saw what she was required to go through. I do not envy her in the least, nor any Dr. that puts up with all that crap. Pretty sure she didn't sleep for 6 years... Yea, they have it made all right.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
    • JBOO

      On a side note, I was with my wife all the way through Med. School and I saw what she was required to go through. I do not envy her in the least, nor any Dr. that puts up with all that crap. Pretty sure she didn't sleep for 6 years... Yea, they have it made all right.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
    • BrainJohnson

      JBOO- with $200k in debt isn't your minimum payment higher than $906/month? seriously.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
  48. Jim Hahn

    Don't know about underpaid, but they are certainly overworked. We, as a country, also should bring down the price of health care by making sure that doctors don't have to leave medical school $150,000 in debt. There should be come way to society to put a "down payment" on future medical services.

    Also remember that these figures are averages. There are country doctors who make a pittance after they pay for staff, supplies and space out of what the insurance companies cough up.

    May 1, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. BrainJohnson

    You people are all socialists! Who cares what doctors make. Free markets are ALWAYS smarter than any idividual. Everyone needs to shut the he!! up!

    May 1, 2012 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. SmarterPeopleMakeMoreMoney

    Sounds like a lot of doctor wanna bes out there. Let me see, I went to college for 4 years, got my masters, my doctorate and finally got into med school which cost me an arm and a leg. Most of you people have never had the life of someone in your hands and have no point of comparison, I must hear a 1000 times a day "I could have been a doctor" and my answer is always the same, then why didn't you???? Yeah I make a lot of money, more then you, get over it, I also work probably three times as many hours a a week as you and pay a pile of medical malpractice insurance to cover my ass just for the privilege of caring for someone like you. I worked damn hard to get where I am and I still work damn hard, but it is easier to complain and point fingers then to a get your ass of your seat and do something about it.

    May 1, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reasonable Reader

      exactly. put up or shut up.

      May 1, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.