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Would You Pursue Your Med Dream If The Salary..

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I think there was a point in my life where I would have said yes: I would be a doctor no matter how much they pay me. But that's not where I am currently. I personally don't think it's worth being in training for more than a decade, working tiring call shifts, and being in 6-figure debt by the time I graduate. I would spend the majority of life paying off my education debt - it would be extremely difficult to move on with other parts of my life (if I want to buy a house, have children, save for retirement etc.)

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was the average Canadian salary of $49,000?

 

Nop. I believe very few people world, certainly with the backgrounds most medical students come from almost 0 would entertain the thought of making 49k at the age of 50 when many of their friends would be making 200k or more.

 

They've done this in some countries and the result was that medical schools were unable to recruit enough applicants for seats as a result. Of course, they weren't able to cut the training shorter but the working hours were somewhat more reasonable. 

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Yeah, hell nah. It's too much of a sacrifice. If I were rich and money wasn't an issue, than hells yah. I would definitely become a doctor. Both other than that I could just work as an artisit and open my own studio. 

 

Becoming a doctor, and the money it brings, achieves several goals that I want for myself:

  1. It moves my family up in social class.
  2. It provides the income necessary to give my children the things I wanted but had to work hard for/never got to do such as:  studying classical art under a contemporary master, learning an instrument, having tutors, being able to go out with friends for something as small as pizza without worrying about money, and have legitimate vacations, not to feel guilty about getting more expensive presents. Go on field trips.
  3. I will have excess income to ensure the future of my grand-kids provided that I invest wisely.
  4. I can use skills that I've learned to help others.

So yeah, the money is important. Not just because of the greed, but because of the freedom and security that the extra money brings.

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it wouldnt be realistic. i dont think people would trust doctors if the pay was low because the best would not be attracted to the career anymore. remuneration matters.

 

to a point - I mean the issue now is some people in the public are not happy about doctors going into the field for money either. cannot make everyone happy :)

 

The average candian salary probably isn't a good place to peg it ha.

 

Let's say that the education was provided for free (or no more than say any other degree), and it was direct entry from high school (like many places in Europe), and only 5 years in that direct entry system. Then again like Europe let's say the residency is more "reasonable" work loadwise.

 

Basically remove all the financial barriers you have to overcome (like that 180K LOC most people have ha).

 

You can argue the "best and the brightest" but then we have many very bright people go into academia for relatively long times of trainig, with long hours, and low pay. Only to maybe get a job that pays well but makes no sense in terms of the finances (what 12 years of traing with UG+masters+phd+post doc followed by a mad tenure push). There clearly are other factors at play.  

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No, absolutely not. For all the years of training and studying, and the debt I'm accumulating, it's a simple no, even less so if I was in another province, where my debt would be way higher.

A large proportion of premeds would probably say yes in a heart beat, but IMO, very few people after only a few months of clerkship would say yes.

I am simply being realistic here.

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I wouldn't mind being paid less, but for many of the reasons mentioned above... I want my education, experience, and level of responsibility to my practice, future students, and my peers to be reflected in my earnings. I'm not so much concerned for things like vacation or possessions/investments because I don't see them as a priority. Accepting average wage for the work physicians are responsible for is undesirable for many reasons other posters have mentioned (That and I could be making more as a biostatistician without going through medical school.) I want to contribute as much as I can into research, medicine, and education ...why shouldn't my salary reflect that?

 

That said, I wouldn't mind using some of my future salary to donate to charity, build/invest in research + health infrastructure, and teach future allied health professionals on top of practicing as a physician. I feel that it's important we give back in some way (on top of actually practicing medicine) and that's how I will be doing so (at least for now... my ideas for how to give back may change in the future). 

 

- G

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It won't be worth it, especially given the risk of accumulating debt and lost time, it's simply not worth it. If that happens, everyone would be flocking to business or engineering where most people make $100k+ by the time you can even practice. I'd say a reasonable study would be having salaries of doctors start at about the $100k range, obviously more ($150k) depending on salary, it would actually be a cool litmus test to see how many premeds try to jump ship from medicine, as the salaries are equal to other competitive fields for that age. 

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It won't be worth it, especially given the risk of accumulating debt and lost time, it's simply not worth it. If that happens, everyone would be flocking to business or engineering where most people make $100k+ by the time you can even practice. I'd say a reasonable study would be having salaries of doctors start at about the $100k range, obviously more ($150k) depending on salary, it would actually be a cool litmus test to see how many premeds try to jump ship from medicine, as the salaries are equal to other competitive fields for that age. 

 

a very small number of people in business and engineering make over 100K don't know where you got that from...its hard enough to even find a entry level business or engineering job now than to get (100K) even after 10 years of working....

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Personally - no. The salary is not that high considering the level of debt (~150-200 K average in Canada) and training time. In the US, a master's of financial engineering grad for example can earn about 150K after a one year post-bac program. A US family physician earns more ~200K but after 7 years of post-bac training and a huge level of debt. Clearly some specialties will have higher pay though. Higher education (of the MSc/PhD type) is more valued in US rather than Canada, due to a more innovative economy.

 

I agree with the notion that the there is a academic/scientific component to medicine, which is emphasized in some countries (like Germany - where MD and PhD are more similar). In France too, there are a greater number of MDs but less individual workload expectation from what I understand.

 

In Canada, given the high level of service expected (like the US), the salary is commensurate with training and work. The relative financial (or lack of) clout is much more evident in a larger city, and I believe that it wouldn't be unreasonable to look at cost-of-living when considering compensation.

 

As a latecomer to medicine, I have fewer years ahead of me, and while the numbers work out positively, I wouldn't recommend doing what I did to others (mainly studying in new language). Work is fine with me - but overcoming a language deficit is something I'd never recommend.

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site note - wow these on going tuition increases are really starting to pile up. Almost 27K in tuition at Ottawa it seems(!). 

 

This is supposed to be one of statements that makes you sound like you are 100 years old but "back in the day" my tuition was only 17k to start with. That was only 7 years ago. It now costs 40K if that is true. Something like a 50-60% increase, and people were really mad back then about it being 17K. 

 

No wonder that top level of the LOC is starting to get bumped again. 

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The salary doesn't matter to me so much. I've made 6 digits. It didn't make me happy. I quit so I could go back to being a student. 

 

Oh, and I love working long hours. I've done 15/16 hour days regularly in the past, it doesn't bother me. 

 

I've always only ever wanted to be a doctor. It's all I can see myself doing with my life. 

 

But I think I might feel differently if my circumstances were different (If I had a family to take care of, security to worry about). 

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The salary doesn't matter to me so much. I've made 6 digits. It didn't make me happy. I quit so I could go back to being a student. 

 

Oh, and I love working long hours. I've done 15/16 hour days regularly in the past, it doesn't bother me. 

 

I've always only ever wanted to be a doctor. It's all I can see myself doing with my life. 

 

But I think I might feel differently if my circumstances were different (If I had a family to take care of, security to worry about). 

 

Have you ever been in 6-figure debt? As for the long hours: I think the type of work you do matters. It's hard not to take your work home with you in medicine. And I don't mean that like taking home actual work (even though you'll probably do that too). You will lose patients you care deeply about, you will feel useless when all of the management techniques fail, and you will be devastated when that patient's cancer comes back. In medicine, it's hard to just go home at the end of the day and not have it affect you...

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Have you ever been in 6-figure debt? As for the long hours: I think the type of work you do matters. It's hard not to take your work home with you in medicine. And I don't mean that like taking home actual work (even though you'll probably do that too). You will lose patients you care deeply about, you will feel useless when all of the management techniques fail, and you will be devastated when that patient's cancer comes back. In medicine, it's hard to just go home at the end of the day and not have it affect you...

Yes, unfortunately, I have been in 6 figure debt. I've paid it all back, then accumulated some more debt...then paid that back too. 

 

I don't doubt that it will affect me. But I really can't see myself doing anything else. 

 

I don't mean that as a slight to anyone who wouldn't do the job for the average Canadian wage. I just feel that I would. 

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I think a better question is what if medical school was free, expenses were paid, maybe you were even paid a small stipend during your schooling, for the benefit of becoming a valuable member of society. But when you get out, you earn 50k a year versus many other high paying professional fields.

 

I think more people would do it, but it would still be a fraction of the number of people willing to do it now.

 

Chop it any way, money matters. The degree bears responsibility, power, stress, hardship, liability. Virtue is not always its own reward.

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was the average Canadian salary of $49,000?

I would

 

I'd also be a miserable prune by the time my career is over but I'd enjoy my entire trip.

 

Regardless of the pay you'd already be drowning in debt by the time you graduate, then the thought of your entire 20s gone plus the demanding beginnings of your career in your 30s, then once you're 40 you've made a formula of how to manage vacations and paying off your last bit of debt then closing in on your last decade or so and timely your career is over.

 

This is not recognizing the need for family and interpersonal relationships one naturally develops so try figuring your life personally into the above (makeshift) timeline... much like bad friends and drugs in high school, its definitely not worth debating over; either you're fully in or dont do it to yourself!

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