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Desired salary vs work hours

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Hi everyone 

 

Medicine is a very unique profession in that essentially you can make as much money as you want if you’re willing to work hard for it. For instance, there are some docs who work Monday to Thursdays and take home a nominal amount, and others that will kill themselves doing 20 double ER shifts a month or repeated medicine night calls and make over $1 million.

 

Where do you fall in this category? Is there a salary point that you have in your head at which point you would decide not to work any harder and pick up additional work?

 

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Depends how important money is to you

I think everyone has a point where earning $1 more doesn't make a difference to their happiness, but having a day off per week can make a huge difference to your happiness 

For example (just arbitrary numbers), but I could make $150k as an FM doc working full-time, but I'd be happier working 4 days per week and making 80% of that (125k), and as I get older, I may even be happier working 3 days per week and making 60% of that (~100k)

Leisure time is so important to me 

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I have certain numbers in mind for myself, yes, and plan to balance a certain desired income level against my desired family time. I don’t see myself working part time, but I also don’t see myself working consistent 60+ hour weeks like some do.

I’m a family medicine resident and the potential for higher income with other fields was not a factor that swayed my decision away from FM. The flexibility with FM was my main draw. When my kids are older and out of the house I might want to work more for a few years then scale it back when I approach retirement, but for now I want the ability to have a reasonable schedule and decent enough income to pay off my debt and have a steady lifestyle. 

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you know we have at ton of discussions on the forum about various fields making XYZ doing some particular combination of work etc, etc, but not really enough discussion about this sort of stuff. 

Money after all is almost completely useless by itself - the very purpose of money is to merely act as an intermediate for something else. The question then is what exactly is that something else? It is almost pathological for people loving staring at a pile of money. It is like staring at the ingredients required to make a cake, and then NEVER actually making the cake so you can enjoy it. Mmmmm cake.  

In a very real sense in medicine you "buy" vacation and time off just like you buy anything else. You can work almost all the time, and of course the more you make the more you earn. Then you need to spend that money or save it to spend it later but in the end the point is to spend it on something (I am more of the saving camp so at some point I can "buy" the freedom to do whatever I want with my time. My long term freedom is actually what I value the most). What can you buy that gives you the most happiness/well being? That is a personal choice of course and everyone has a different answer.

So I feel when people just throw around the income numbers and nothing else, I feel there is just 1/2 the picture being used.  Great you have a high income, and it if fair to talk about how to have an high income  - particularly if it is maximizing the income per hour spent getting it, but what is the next step. Without that you miss out of a ton of really good things in life. 

 

Edited by rmorelan

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