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 (15,183 Responses)
  1. Gertie

    Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I'm trying
    to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I'm not seeing
    very good gains. If you know of any please share. Appreciate it!

    Feel free to surf to my web page; Flats in Nigeria

    November 27, 2020 at 05:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. pop over here 24 hr electrician

    Thanks for another wonderful article. Where else could anybody get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing? I've a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such info.


    November 27, 2020 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. find out here now electrical repair san diego

    I'm really enjoying the design and layout of your website. It's a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Superb work!


    November 27, 2020 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Vincent

    Hi ... thought you would like this article.


    My blog post :: humor

    November 28, 2020 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. FqfEncox

    online term paper essay reddit my math online homework

    November 28, 2020 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. FgsZisse

    free college education essays psychology homework help act writing essay

    November 28, 2020 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. FtghEncox

    term paper lab doctorate dissertation geography assignment

    November 28, 2020 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. FsfEncox

    cover letter cv books on essay writing essay for college scholarship

    November 28, 2020 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. blog here electrician

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually recognise what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally talk over with my site =). We will have a hyperlink change contract between us!


    November 28, 2020 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. plumbers near me More Info

    This is really interesting, You're a very skilled blogger. I've joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I've shared your site in my social networks!


    November 28, 2020 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Donnell

    bookmarked!!, I love your site!

    Here is my web blog; Properties and Flats in Nigeria

    November 29, 2020 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. local plumbers go to the website

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!


    November 29, 2020 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Joyce

    I'm really loving the theme/design of your website.

    Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems?
    A couple of my blog audience have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera.
    Do you have any suggestions to help fix this issue?

    Review my site – in carding

    November 29, 2020 at 05:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. helpful hints electrical repair

    It's the best time to make some plans for the future and it's time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read even more things about it!


    November 29, 2020 at 06:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. web link 24 hr electrician

    Terrific work! This is the kind of information that are meant to be shared around the internet. Shame on Google for not positioning this publish higher! Come on over and discuss with my site . Thank you =)


    November 30, 2020 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. description electrical repair san diego

    Hi, i feel that i saw you visited my website so i came to “return the choose”.I'm trying to find issues to improve my web site!I guess its ok to make use of some of your concepts!!


    November 30, 2020 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. KwgdMile

    mla term paper paying someone to do your homework essays about women

    November 30, 2020 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. FnrdEncox

    viagra canada by paypal pharmacy viagra viagra with dapoxetine

    December 1, 2020 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. FnsbEncox

    do your homework app writing of research proposal type writer paper

    December 1, 2020 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Lara

    Do you need a fast and legit loan ? If yes kindly contact Lara.clrence@gmail.com for more information today;

    Email: Lara.clrence@gmail.com
    WhatsApp: +393512067612

    December 1, 2020 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Clarice

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this
    onto a co-worker who has been doing a little homework on this.
    And he actually bought me lunch simply because I stumbled
    upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this issue
    here on your site.

    Also visit my web page: 토토사이트

    December 1, 2020 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. JgscCrulk

    help writing essay for college methods of a research paper trigonometry assignment

    December 2, 2020 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. DvscZisse

    thesis statement for analytical essay precalculus homework help buy essays paper

    December 2, 2020 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Brantxdd

    blog posts January 20

    Details In Choosing For An conventional Supply Co

    Sales , 2011

    Are you having problems with the maintenance of your buildings? Are they costly to stay in? which is why, You need an industrial suppy co to aid that. By failing to sustain a buildings, th.

    Read the overall ArticleSamsung Nexus S : A straight talk Google Delight

    Based upon the exercises of Samsung Galaxy, This phone is an outstanding performer with its most advanced technology and features.

    Kaede shawn

    How to convert PDF to Epub to read on iPad, IPhone and ipod itouch?

    laptops or computers Articles January 20, 2011

    After the production of Apple iPad, many tend to read eBooks on iPad with free iBooks. Reading on iPad with iBooks turning out to be funny, when "Text looks crisp and alongside. Pages turn by using flick,

    Kaede shawn

    How to data transfer PDF to iPhone, ipod touch to read with hot Chinese Women iBooks?

    portable computers Articles January 20, 2011

    How to reassign PDF to iPhone, ipod itouch to read with iBooks?if you are a eBook lover and recently got an iPhone or iPod Touch, You want to transfer PDF eBooks from your PC or Mac to yo.

    December 4, 2020 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Tanzsk

    Alan johnson Expert Author Profile Articles

    Recently in print Posts By Alan Robinson

    how to create Your Girl Crush Love YouHere the way to entice a girl easily. Ensure that you are able to utilize your skills on seduction and show some sense of humor and wit.

    5 Steps on The Way to grab Gorgeous GirlsBeautiful girls can get you anxious easily. Take a look at these five simple techniques to pick them up and keep your confidence around them.

    developed in Advice for Men on November 15, 2011

    online dating Tips For Guys Ways to Guide You With Seeing Women OnlineThe internet is a great place to get women for dating. Here is 5 online dating guidelines for guys who are just starting out.

    Published in Cyber romances on July 09, 2011

    the best way to Date Women 6 Guidelines to Make A Night to RememberSo you have asked her out. make a night to remember for her by following these six tips on dating a lady.

    developed in Advice for Men on May 26, 2011

    How to Date a Girl 6 most effective ways to Make An Unforgettable DateA lot of guys are having a hard time asking their girl crushes for a date. If you such an example guys, Here the best methods to date a girl; Look it over so you won be declined from the moment you ask your crush for a date.

    written and published in Advice for Men on May 24, 2011

    How to Pick up a Girl The best ways to Ask a Girl For a DateIt never easy to ask a girl you like for a date. If you the type of guys who are struggling on how to pick up a girl for a date, Then it time that you discover the 4 simple steps to create a woman to say yes to your invitation.

    submitted in Advice for Men on May 20, 2011

    4 Primary Things to understand When You Trying To Talk With A GirlIf you a guy, the good thing date a girl, The primary thing you need to understand is how to start a conversation with a girl. Take a look at these four tips on how to strike up a conversation with a girl and you will be ready to have her.

    revealed in Advice for Men on May 19, 2011

    find out how to chinese women western men Tell Her You Like Her In 3 Simple StepsHave you been confused on how you can let a girl realize you like her? thoroughly, it would be tough given that rejection isn easy to handle. Never let it hold you back though; Use these three simple tricks to show your feeling to her without humiliating yourself.

    available in Advice for Men on May 19, 2011

    in the market for Your Friend to Become Your Girlfriend? Here HowCan you turn a friend into a boyfriend / girlfriend? A lot of guys believe that it not possible, but it not! for years you do these eight guidelines and it won be long before she falls for you.

    produced in Advice for Men on May 12, 2011

    5 Simple Ways on Winning a Girl HeartBeing trapped as a single for years while you're watching your pals holding hands with their girlfriends isn fun. See these five tips on purchasing a girlfriend, employ them, And never go to the party solely again.

    composed in Advice for Men on May 10, 2011

    Ten Traits of A Real Alpha Male How to Attract Women NaturallyBecoming an alpha male is not brain surgery. See these ten alpha male traits you need to include them in your daily lifestyle and behaviors to attract women naturally.

    penned in Advice for Men on May 07, 2011

    The 5 Huge Blunders When Dating Through FacebookDating on Facebook or MySpace is feasible if you realize how to avoid doing stuff that can wreck your own reputation and kills attraction. See these five major blunders might even do it by accident! And keep in mind to steer clear from all of them.

    penned in Dating Flirting on May 06, 2011

    What To Do And What Not To Do To Charm Asian GirlsThere is only a few western guys that actually learn how to attract Asian girls. you might be part of them too by implementing these 6 hints.

    revealed in Advice for Men on May 05, 2011

    Five Tips on Dating Chinese WomenDating Chinese women isn an easy right decision, particularly if completely blind about their customs and way of thinking. go through and utilize these 5 guidelines; You get her heart before you know it.

    December 4, 2020 at 07:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. go now electrician free estimate

    Wonderful work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on Google for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)


    December 5, 2020 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Josef

    I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over
    that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same
    nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

    Check out my site – payday loans

    December 5, 2020 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Download Slot Joker123

    Alec Baldin is really excellent in this also. However why acts come out 8 times prior to all numbers have come out as soon as? Plus you can even play craps with privacy. With roulette you can place all sort of bets.


    December 6, 2020 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. boss trader hotmart

    otimo blog irei acompanhar. 500635257


    December 7, 2020 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. FgnsZisse

    prolonged effects of cialis 365 cialis cialis soft

    December 8, 2020 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. FqbfEncox

    cialissite:au cialis super active cialis prices nz

    December 8, 2020 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. FgrsEncox

    reliable online buy viagra viagra and celexa cheapest viagra in the world

    December 9, 2020 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. FsfgEncox

    works as well as viagra discount viagra india viagra gel sachets in australia

    December 9, 2020 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. detectives en sagunto

    detectives privados en pozuelo


    December 10, 2020 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. detectives privados en cornella de llobregat

    detectives privados castilla de la mancha


    December 10, 2020 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. detectives privados fuente alama

    detectives privados alcalá de guadeira


    December 10, 2020 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. FbsbEncox

    canada cialis generic where to buy generic cialis ? cialis costco

    December 11, 2020 at 03:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Ashly

    I every time spent my half an hour to read this website's articles
    or reviews every day along with a mug of coffee.

    Also visit my blog post; car insurance ajax ontario

    December 11, 2020 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. detectives privados orihuela

    detectives privados san Sebastián de los reyes


    December 11, 2020 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. KhedMile

    how long does viagra 100mg last? viagra 30 day free trial purchase viagra pay with paypal

    December 12, 2020 at 02:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. DvncZisse

    pharmacy online cialis cheapest cialis on the web cialis singapore buy

    December 12, 2020 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Jude

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back yet again since i have book marked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich
    and continue to guide other people.

    my web-site: painters london

    December 12, 2020 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Tomdcn

    a few services online dating services

    It is extraordinary the right distinct person, other than online dating sites can certainly create options a lttle bit less complicated. paid dating sites allow you to get to have an acquaintance higher quality how to tell if a vietnamese girl likes you prior to actually getting in connection with them. the vast majority website will let you view differing customer's motivations and consequently hobbies before you even begins talking to them. these five features on the way to online dating sites.

    1. charge

    Although it isn't really a massive subject to finally any one, online dating sites are normally actually cut price. as much as in the mean time, It permits you to get to know someone and never have to spend an upper arm,give rrncluding a leg dining out in an evening meal and your favorite shows. a certain amount of site should be totally free and others require a bit of a fee to become a member.

    2. stock portfolio

    a variety of dating site will need styles of all the subscibers in the exact location. so if you are a member by yourself, one could browse around and even consider unusual human beings styles to locate people you want. lots of some people that have exact hobbies, likes and dislikes, And the ideal seeks your tasting. much more it faster and easier to strike up a while conversing when you know fascinates that person.

    3. contemporary collection facets

    to help individuals learn you better, several types of qualities that you can include within your profile. unquestionably the right off the bat you should published is a reputable field of all on your too anyone really you seem as if. a couple websites online assist you to put as countless picture as you want and create a scrapbook. also you can have enough knowledge to include a video recording with various shows you've. You should include your passion, music, precious movies, likes and dislikes along with.

    4. you can eliminate anxious first appointments

    wear them more intense as compared with an discomforting first woo due to silences. online dating sites help you view your description and possess a casual chatter with each other. You do not need to hard silences since it is really not nose to nose and generally is instantaneous messenger. You can say whatsoever comes to mind and have fun knowing human beings.

    5. information the actual time at the time

    online dating sites give you incredible date somebody else actually throughout the day. for anyone who is particular times you must meet another person at an expensive restaurant and you need not pick up the time frame or wait to formulate your to pick you up. In luxury of your home you can possibly log on to your account you need to babbling proper away to anyone who you may.

    online dating sites are ideal for getting to know someone. Eventually it is best to ask the average person on a huge encounter that will live up to all involved one on one. only internet dating sites permit you to everything needed get to know someone devoid of having anxiety.

    December 13, 2020 at 07:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. FhsnZisse

    viagra and sports performance viagra coupons and discounts viagra online australia

    December 13, 2020 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. JgsvCrulk

    viagra sof tabs overnight delivery buy viagra in atlanta in a store viagra over the counter canada

    December 14, 2020 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Hairstyles

    I've been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.


    December 14, 2020 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Robert

    Undeniably consider that that you said. Your favorite justification seemed how to hack into someone's snapchat account be at the internet the simplest thing
    to remember of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed
    at the same time as people consider worries that they plainly don't
    know about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and also defined out
    the whole thing without having side effect , other people could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks!

    December 15, 2020 at 01:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. zortilo nrel

    The very heart of your writing whilst appearing reasonable originally, did not really sit properly with me after some time. Somewhere throughout the sentences you actually managed to make me a believer but just for a very short while. I nevertheless have a problem with your jumps in logic and you might do nicely to help fill in those gaps. In the event you actually can accomplish that, I could certainly be amazed.


    December 15, 2020 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. zortilo nrel

    Good – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs as well as related information ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, web site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task.


    December 15, 2020 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. zortilo nrel

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there.


    December 15, 2020 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281

Leave a Reply to site. Cheers for showing us.


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.

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.