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9 minutes ago, YesIcan55 said:

to teach high school in AB you need 2 degrees....no one was comparing the how hard they were to each other... just the comparable university years....a resident makes the same that a teacher makes after the teacher did 6+ years of university....and once the 2 year FM residency is done, the income differnces are on different planets...

Why would you not though? Do you think Steve Jobs should have been content with earning 100k a year because he didn't graduate college considering the average college drop out likely made close to minimum wage?

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I'm not sure if you are speaking from experience, but it doesnt sound like you are.   I'm not sure if you are suggesting that overhead will be 75K /yr split between 3 docs i.e. $25K/yr overhead per do

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People need to stop bringing up anecdotes of family physicians gross billing 1 million into this discussion. That is so far out of the norm and likely involves questionable practices in order to do so

On 4/1/2019 at 12:38 AM, YesIcan55 said:

Those in medicine who did not have a career in another field before entering medicine (and/or got in on their first or second try straight from UG) are the most ignorant and aren't grateful for their position. That is all I will say. The responses in this thread truly show this and it is quite disheartening. Luckily, there have been comments by others who understand their enormous privilege being in medicine compared to virtually every other career in Canada.  

While I agree mostly with your point, i also feel somewhat offended by this statement as well. It is normal response anyone would have (the idea that someone who has only done one career would make a "grass is greener on the other side argument") and no one should be blamed for that. I think it is absolutely appropriate for people to be able to vent their frustrations and their "grass is greener on the other side" arguments without being judged. 

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6 hours ago, Edict said:

While I agree mostly with your point, i also feel somewhat offended by this statement as well. It is normal response anyone would have (the idea that someone who has only done one career would make a "grass is greener on the other side argument") and no one should be blamed for that. I think it is absolutely appropriate for people to be able to vent their frustrations and their "grass is greener on the other side" arguments without being judged. 

I agree. There are a lot of downsides in medicine. I worked as another professional before medicine I can say while medicine is a good career it also has many flaws. I truly believe the grass is greener for many students as medicine isn't the right fit. However it is often too late to switch out for many students because of debt and lack of other skills.

I am happy with what I do now but I'm not sure I would do residency again if I got sent back in time haha. I probably would've been similarly content with my other career path.

In the end I think we need to stop putting medicine on a pedestal because it isn't a perfect career and I honestly think there are many jobs out there that can bring people professional satisfaction, income, and societal impact.

Medicine isn't the only path to a fulfilling life and if you honestly put forth the hard work and dedication needed to survive many residency programs you can probably do well for yourself in many other careers. 

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  • 1 year later...

Thank you everyone for sharing their insight here. I really love family medicine but I also applied for another specialty and I am trying to make some decisions.... I have talked to some family doctors who discouraged me from FM mainly because of feeling that they are not well compensated and if they could go back, they would not do FM. Although they still find it rewarding, they don't feel like they are well compensated for the work they do and often have to work really hard to be able to cover the cost of their overhead and at the end, their take home is not much. I am wondering if others have different opinion?

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On 3/23/2021 at 10:51 AM, MedZZZ said:

Thank you everyone for sharing their insight here. I really love family medicine but I also applied for another specialty and I am trying to make some decisions.... I have talked to some family doctors who discouraged me from FM mainly because of feeling that they are not well compensated and if they could go back, they would not do FM. Although they still find it rewarding, they don't feel like they are well compensated for the work they do and often have to work really hard to be able to cover the cost of their overhead and at the end, their take home is not much. I am wondering if others have different opinion?

Just curious, but when they say that "their take home is not much", is that just meaning "not much" relative to some specialties? I mean some may consider a take home of say 175k as "not much", while others would say 220k, others 120k, is not much. I am not trying to disagree with these sentiments, as it does seem like family physicians need to work a lot of hours, just wondering if you know approximate ball-park numbers? 

 

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5 hours ago, Deferred said:

Just curious, but when they say that "their take home is not much", is that just meaning "not much" relative to some specialties? I mean some may consider a take home of say 175k as "not much", while others would say 220k, others 120k, is not much. I am not trying to disagree with these sentiments, as it does seem like family physicians need to work a lot of hours, just wondering if you know approximate ball-park numbers? 

 

I am not sure how much they make but I feel like in a FFS model when you charge $28 per patient and seeing maybe 5-6 patients/hr if you are very efficient, it doesn't add up to be much after overhead and taxes so you have to actually work VERY HARD! This is solely based on my own calculation and i was hoping that somebody could provide some insight.

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Recent grad here (now family doc), it's the flexibility and work-life balance that is attractive. Also, you need to consider the bigger picture here, some of the specialties you cannot find a job (you will either have to move far away or do multiple fellowships) right after completing residency. I can tell you that people will beg you to work for them as a family medicine graduate (any location). You do have to see 30-40 patients to make like $250-300 K (depending which provinces you work). There are also other payment models. You can get paid hourly (~$150-160/hour). 

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On 3/25/2021 at 1:05 AM, JTFW said:

Recent grad here (now family doc), it's the flexibility and work-life balance that is attractive. Also, you need to consider the bigger picture here, some of the specialties you cannot find a job (you will either have to move far away or do multiple fellowships) right after completing residency. I can tell you that people will beg you to work for them as a family medicine graduate (any location). You do have to see 30-40 patients to make like $250-300 K (depending which provinces you work). There are also other payment models. You can get paid hourly (~$150-160/hour). 

Thanks for this!! when you say "$250-300K", is that gross, before overhead? And I assume that is 5d/wk with little vacation? 

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15 hours ago, MedZZZ said:

I am not sure how much they make but I feel like in a FFS model when you charge $28 per patient and seeing maybe 5-6 patients/hr if you are very efficient, it doesn't add up to be much after overhead and taxes so you have to actually work VERY HARD! This is solely based on my own calculation and i was hoping that somebody could provide some insight.

Ah ok, thanks for clarifying. I thought it was something they had said about not being well compensated (which is obv relative and subjective). Family medicine is actually the only option I'm considering and have similar questions to what you have posted here.

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18 hours ago, JTFW said:

Recent grad here (now family doc), it's the flexibility and work-life balance that is attractive. Also, you need to consider the bigger picture here, some of the specialties you cannot find a job (you will either have to move far away or do multiple fellowships) right after completing residency. I can tell you that people will beg you to work for them as a family medicine graduate (any location). You do have to see 30-40 patients to make like $250-300 K (depending which provinces you work). There are also other payment models. You can get paid hourly (~$150-160/hour). 

What province?

I know someone who does 2 half-day clinics, 1 day of planning clinic, and some teaching days and makes 220k.

New grad.

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16 hours ago, MDinCanada said:

What province?

I know someone who does 2 half-day clinics, 1 day of planning clinic, and some teaching days and makes 220k.

New grad.

How and which province? That’s amazing pay (assuming 220k after overhead) for what seems to be an easy schedule of 3-4 working days. And what’s “planning clinic”?

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36 minutes ago, gogogo said:

How and which province? That’s amazing pay (assuming 220k after overhead) for what seems to be an easy schedule of 3-4 working days. And what’s “planning clinic”?

Quebec! Yes no overhead, he works in a "GMF", so the overhead is payed by the government and they have great supporting staff (social worker, nurses, psychotherapists, etc.). Planning clinic is like sexual health (IUDs, abortions, etc.)

 

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On 3/25/2021 at 6:31 PM, MDinCanada said:

What province?

I know someone who does 2 half-day clinics, 1 day of planning clinic, and some teaching days and makes 220k.

New grad.

Assuming this is 220k after overhead for 2 full days of clinic, and an unclear # of teaching days sounds like a very big outlier - that is impressive income for what sounds like maybe 3 full days maybe 4 days of work.

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18 hours ago, medigeek said:

There absolutely are family docs making mid 6 figures without working brutally hard (but still working hard). There are a million ways to make money in family medicine in Canada. If you're just doing basic FFS, you're doing it wrong. 

FHO is where it's at :))

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On 3/27/2021 at 12:03 AM, medigeek said:

There absolutely are family docs making mid 6 figures without working brutally hard (but still working hard). There are a million ways to make money in family medicine in Canada. If you're just doing basic FFS, you're doing it wrong. 

Second this.

I think a lot of med students don't realize the full potential of family medicine because as students, we're only exposed to "academic family medicine" (the typical office, ER, hospitalist, obstetrics, etc.).

There's lots of potential to modulate family medicine practice based on your priorities, there's literally a billing code for almost anything. Ex: if you want to increase income, make sure your billing model advantages you for your type of practice, do more procedures (the high earning specialties: rads, ophtho, derm - have all realized that volume is how you increase your income and it's very possible to have high volume is more "specialized" family med practices because you have more control over what you see), take on more complex patients, etc.

If you want to modulate your practice around your interests, you could do GP psychotherapy, GP derm, GP pain medicine... Like any other business, you just have to go out and seek that clientele.

 

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On 3/26/2021 at 9:03 PM, medigeek said:

There absolutely are family docs making mid 6 figures without working brutally hard (but still working hard). There are a million ways to make money in family medicine in Canada. If you're just doing basic FFS, you're doing it wrong. 

It's definitely not any harder than say, rounding at 7AM and doing surgery until 6PM.

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On 3/30/2021 at 1:04 AM, JTFW said:

I am in Vancouver, BC, yes making 250-300 K before overhead, overhead is around 25-30%. I would say 4.5 day per week of work. Seeing roughly 30-35 patients per day. 

I was looking at the conservative side of this: 250K minus 30% overhead, provides 170k before taxes (about 115k after tax, no deductions).  for about 150 patients over 4.5 days/wk...that seems actually a lot of hard work - doesn't that volume of patients per week burn you out for around 115k after taxes? Especially if there are no weeks of vacation. Or is 35 patients per day very typical and not completely exhausting (from a non-physician, it sounds exhausting, like running from room to room!)? Or maybe it is not so bad because you love what you do?

The numbers I see on here are so variable. 

 :)

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4 minutes ago, Deferred said:

I was looking at the conservative side of this: 250K minus 30% overhead, provides 170k before taxes (about 115k after tax, no deductions).  for about 150 patients over 4.5 days/wk...that seems actually a lot of hard work - doesn't that volume of patients per week burn you out for around 115k after taxes? Especially if there are no weeks of vacation. Or is 35 patients per day very typical and not completely exhausting (from a non-physician, it sounds exhausting, like running from room to room!)? Or maybe it is not so bad if you love what you do?

The numbers I see on here are so variable. I tried to do some financial planning, but it was impossible to know how to project potential income! :)

Huge variability.

35 visits  well trained patients is doable - especially if you train them to not "collect" issues and come in regularly.

Some colleagues can't imagine seeing more than 20 patients a day, while others can do 40 patients. It also depends on complexity and mix of patient population. 

Also, private billing like forms etc can add up - as well as premiums for chronic care and older patients. 

The trick is to live and practice in a medium cost of living city, where your money goes much further, yet you still have amenities/diversity of an urban centre, and the anonymity/lack of call requirements that you would otherwise be exposed to working rurally.

 

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On 3/30/2021 at 4:52 PM, JohnGrisham said:

Huge variability.

35 visits  well trained patients is doable - especially if you train them to not "collect" issues and come in regularly.

Some colleagues can't imagine seeing more than 20 patients a day, while others can do 40 patients. It also depends on complexity and mix of patient population. 

Also, private billing like forms etc can add up - as well as premiums for chronic care and older patients. 

The trick is to live and practice in a medium cost of living city, where your money goes much further, yet you still have amenities/diversity of an urban centre, and the anonymity/lack of call requirements that you would otherwise be exposed to working rurally.

 

Ok, thanks very much for your input! I've talked to some family physicians that said 20 is about their max per day so that's what is guiding my thinking. I can imagine 40 patients at a walk-in clinic once per week, but can't imagine that 4d/wk. My post may sound like I don't want to work hard, but it's just down to missing time with my children or being burnt out and not actually enjoying life. Plus financially, I don't want to be worse-off than in my current profession. I'm in a fortunate position to have this opportunity, but sometimes I wish someone could tell me what to do ha ha. If it wasn't a pandemic I would be shadowing to get a better feel for things. Anyway, I'm well aware that people have real problems and I just need to figure it out!! Thank you again for your comment

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On 3/31/2021 at 1:03 AM, JTFW said:

35 is more like 300,000. There is variability depending on how you bill (in BC). So maximize billing is important. I think it's not unreasonable to have a decent life and still bill around 300,000. 

Ok thank you, that's useful to know :) Maybe by the time I'm a physician all these FFS billing models will be changed anyway and I should stop trying to make projections!

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250K with 30% overhead in Vancouver seems pretty paltry. There are salaried positions at hospital paying 250K working 9-5 not to mention health insurance and other perks. 

Like if you are paying 75K/yr to clinic there's no way it cost them that much in overhead, they are just making a killing off you. In that case I'd consider getting together with a group of 2-3 people and rent your own space (2000-2500/month), hire your own receptionist (3000/month), maybe add miscellaneous costs like utility, EMR etc (2000/month), then your monthly cost is at most 75K, and that's shared between like 3 people. Of course there's some upfront work and gotta buy some equipment but once it's set up you don't have to worry about it for a while.

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Agree with above, if you are ok with managing people, easy to just rent your space, hire your MOA, and share EMR costs. You do need to pay upfront costs like equipment and stuff but you can also hire part-time physicians to cover those costs.

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