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I didn't say non-physicians need a PhD to earn a lot. I was talking specifically about tech and brought up the example of data science, which is one of the hottest jobs in tech right now. Many of the

I'm currently in my final year of medical school and there's hasn't been a single moment where I regretted quitting investment banking.  If I had stayed in IB, I would probably be making way more mo

I went to Uwaterloo. I also know people who did engineering / CS at Uwaterloo making barely 60-80k in boring jobs. Don't assume you'd be making tons of cash working 40 hours a week if you went to engi

12 minutes ago, Remyelination said:

Yeah I have a cousin who went to UWaterloo and is now in big tech... it does look like a great lifestyle. When I was in high school I always thought more education is the path to a good life and didn't know programs like those existed (and even if I did, I probably still would have done premed). I am applying to medicine for my first time this fall, and reading threads like this, combined with my enjoyment of the compsci classes I've taken, does leave me a little apprehensive.

Why don't you try out the tech sector before medicine? See if you like it. I personally know someone who studied computer science and later switched and is now in medicine. It can go both ways. There are many people who don't like tech after getting into it. And overall, life must be pretty good if you get to decide between one good job (tech) and another (medicine). Many people don't even have access to these kinds of choices.

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I went to Uwaterloo. I also know people who did engineering / CS at Uwaterloo making barely 60-80k in boring jobs. Don't assume you'd be making tons of cash working 40 hours a week if you went to engineering, that's not the average experience. Being an average physician is imo superior in everyway to being an average engineer / computer science grad etc. 

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Medicine is a safe way to make a lot of money. The cost however is years of school and working more hours than most people would want to. There are tons of ways to make money (and probably more money than doctors) outside of med. The problem is that in those fields you could easily end up making a low salary because you haven't advanced enough or networked enough. 

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15 hours ago, gogogo said:

Why don't you try out the tech sector before medicine? See if you like it. I personally know someone who studied computer science and later switched and is now in medicine. It can go both ways. There are many people who don't like tech after getting into it. And overall, life must be pretty good if you get to decide between one good job (tech) and another (medicine). Many people don't even have access to these kinds of choices.

Thanks for the suggestion! Unfortunately I didn't take enough compsci classes or have any related internships so if I tried to enter I suspect I would be denied or stuck with a boring job. But if I could do it again, I would definitely double major in compsci and do this!

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On 7/6/2020 at 11:41 AM, Remyelination said:

Thanks for the suggestion! Unfortunately I didn't take enough compsci classes or have any related internships so if I tried to enter I suspect I would be denied or stuck with a boring job. But if I could do it again, I would definitely double major in compsci and do this!

You can still get into tech. There are masters in data science, for example. A lot of people in tech are also self-taught (and started in the boring job and worked their way up). I know several people who went into tech after studying something unrelated. I am just noting that if you go into medicine, you should go into it without any regrets. But like someone above said, tech isn't this amazing land of big money and few hours.

Here's an example. Right now, data science is the "hot job" in tech. It usually requires a PhD (i.e., just as much training as undergrad + medical school). My friends who went into data science are working 40-50 hours a week making 120k after 3-4 years in the job (they started at 50-60k with a boring job in the company). Compare that to FM, as one example, where you will have 3-4 years in med school with no income. After that, you're making ~65k in residency for two years (which, with the tuition tax breaks, equates to an income of about 90k/year...i.e., close to someone doing data science). Do residency for 2 years, and then work 40 hours a week as a FM and make 200k-250k (with potential for much more if you're skilled/fast/business savvy/hardworking/etc.) To hit 200k+ in a company, you will most likely need to be a director or vice president (i.e., 5-10 years of experience). These positions require just as many hours as medicine and often also require travel. Before medicine, I was considering tech, and I spoke to a vice president at a bigger company in Toronto. He was making good money (I'm guessing 250k + bonuses), but said that every single person one level above him in the company had gone through a divorce because of the hours/travel involved in the job. Again, compare that to FM, where you don't have to travel, are helping people every day, will always be in high-demand, can alter your hours as you wish, and can make the same income or even more without sucking up to executives. I say all this so you don't have a "grass is greener" mentality and go into medicine thinking that if you'd only studied CS, your life would be so much better right now.

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22 hours ago, gogogo said:

You can still get into tech. There are masters in data science, for example. A lot of people in tech are also self-taught (and started in the boring job and worked their way up). I know several people who went into tech after studying something unrelated. I am just noting that if you go into medicine, you should go into it without any regrets. But like someone above said, tech isn't this amazing land of big money and few hours.

Here's an example. Right now, data science is the "hot job" in tech. It usually requires a PhD (i.e., just as much training as undergrad + medical school). My friends who went into data science are working 40-50 hours a week making 120k after 3-4 years in the job (they started at 50-60k with a boring job in the company). Compare that to FM, as one example, where you will have 3-4 years in med school with no income. After that, you're making ~65k in residency for two years (which, with the tuition tax breaks, equates to an income of about 90k/year...i.e., close to someone doing data science). Do residency for 2 years, and then work 40 hours a week as a FM and make 200k-250k (with potential for much more if you're skilled/fast/business savvy/hardworking/etc.) To hit 200k+ in a company, you will most likely need to be a director or vice president (i.e., 5-10 years of experience). These positions require just as many hours as medicine and often also require travel. Before medicine, I was considering tech, and I spoke to a vice president at a bigger company in Toronto. He was making good money (I'm guessing 250k + bonuses), but said that every single person one level above him in the company had gone through a divorce because of the hours/travel involved in the job. Again, compare that to FM, where you don't have to travel, are helping people every day, will always be in high-demand, can alter your hours as you wish, and can make the same income or even more without sucking up to executives. I say all this so you don't have a "grass is greener" mentality and go into medicine thinking that if you'd only studied CS, your life would be so much better right now.

Was about to say this. Anyone who thinks they'll make MD equivalent money in tech/finance/corporate without grinding is kidding themselves. These people work their assess of at the beginning of their careers just like residents/med students do.

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I disagree with the assertion above that these non-physician high-earners have got there by grinding their way through a PhD.

Physicians spend more time in school and graduate with a ton of debt. Tuition is now 25k at many schools. This is after-tax money that is difficult to pay off.

Residents and many staff physicians also work a lot of hours between 1am-5am, which is detrimental to both their health and quality of life. I think is overlooked as well.

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48 minutes ago, klamar said:

I disagree with the assertion above that these non-physician high-earners have got there by grinding their way through a PhD.

Physicians spend more time in school and graduate with a ton of debt. Tuition is now 25k at many schools. This is after-tax money that is difficult to pay off.

Residents and many staff physicians also work a lot of hours between 1am-5am, which is detrimental to both their health and quality of life. I think is overlooked as well.

I didn't say non-physicians need a PhD to earn a lot. I was talking specifically about tech and brought up the example of data science, which is one of the hottest jobs in tech right now. Many of the people in data science have a PhD, meaning they have almost just as much training as a family doctor, but are earning half of what the average family doctor does. And that's just family medicine, which is one of the lower paid specialties (on average). The cardiologists, ophthalmologists, etc. making 500k+ are making a salary that you won't touch in tech/corporate unless you're the very best of the best and have decades of experience (or are in Silicon Valley, which again, is rare, can come with long hours too, and is usually a short-term option for Canadian tech grads who eventually move back to Canada and take a huge paycut).

Here are the notable jobs in our society that make 250k+ (I'm not including insanely rare jobs, like professional athlete, artist, etc.):

1. Partner at a professional firm (e.g., law, accounting)

2. Corporate executive 

3. High up at a consulting firm/investment banking

4. Independent business owner/founder

All of the jobs above usually require just as many hours as medicine, if not more. Consultants, for example, are in a different city *every week* from Monday to Thursday. One consultant I spoke to was married and had to take a project in Sweden, meaning he wouldn't see his wife for 6 months. People in IB are basically working nonstop everyday (100 hours a week is typical). The same for law firm partners. And being an independent business founder/owner is so rare that it's probably not worth discussing. Also remember that these jobs are not guaranteed like in medicine. There's no guarantee you'll become partner at a law firm, for example. In medicine, once you're in, you have the job for life.

If you choose a lifestyle specialty (e.g., family medicine, endocrinology), you will make a salary that the people in the above jobs are working a minimum of 60 hours a week to achieve. Except they also have the risk of being fired any time, losing their job during a recession, have to travel for corporate events, etc. For instance, a friend who was making 150k in investment banking 2 years after undergrad seemed to have it all. The bank was even paying for her taxis to drive her home at night. But then I realized that she was working every day from 7am to 1am. And that's for 150k, a salary you could easily double as a family doctor working on your own terms. The level of autonomy, stability, and salary for the hours worked in medicine is not easily replicated in other industries.

If you are working resident hours as staff,  you are doing it because you chose a specialty with those hours, and you are being compensated nicely for it. For instance, the cardiologists working insane hours are making 500-600k. That would take beating a lot of competition in corporate after 1-2 decades just to get there. It's not any easier. 

As for debt, unless you're bad with money, you can pay off medical school debt within 5 years of practice. There are also scholarships during med school that can offset costs, as well as the tuition tax breaks I mentioned above. Finally, again, it's not like people in other industries don't have debt. MBA and law school costs ~100k.

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1 hour ago, klamar said:

I disagree with the assertion above that these non-physician high-earners have got there by grinding their way through a PhD.

Physicians spend more time in school and graduate with a ton of debt. Tuition is now 25k at many schools. This is after-tax money that is difficult to pay off.

Residents and many staff physicians also work a lot of hours between 1am-5am, which is detrimental to both their health and quality of life. I think is overlooked as well.

You can pay off 4 years worth of 25k/year tuition in one year as an attending and keep the change while you're at it. It ain't that easy as a BSc or BA grad. You'll be looking at about half a decade or longer depending on how you manage your finances in the latter case.

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54 minutes ago, Hanmari said:

@gogogo

Thank you for that post, my friend. Whether it is the whole picture or a rosy two-thirds is unimportant to me, you've just given me strength to work tomorrow. I'm not kidding or being sarcastic. Thanks.

Happy to help, man. I think we have it amazing in medicine. Of course it's hard, but why shouldn't it be? We are dealing with the most precious thing that people have. And we are rewarded amazingly for it.

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15 hours ago, gangliocytoma said:

Was about to say this. Anyone who thinks they'll make MD equivalent money in tech/finance/corporate without grinding is kidding themselves. These people work their assess of at the beginning of their careers just like residents/med students do.

Not to put down tech/finance/corporate careers, and I'm sure they work extremely hard, but unless they are working 24-26 hour shifts with literally someones life in their hands... I don't think that is an accurate comparison.

But I do think many of those outside medicine work very hard and long hours (and sometimes comparable or similar hours to those in medicine), with less compensation.

 

11 hours ago, gogogo said:

If you are working resident hours as staff,  you are doing it because you chose a specialty with those hours, and you are being compensated nicely for it. For instance, the cardiologists working insane hours are making 500-600k. That would take beating a lot of competition in corporate after 1-2 decades just to get there. It's not any easier.

I will just add this, that 500+k for sub-specialties (that take 5-8 years AFTER medical school to achieve, because lets face it in a big city you'll need additional fellowships), pay a exorbitant amount of overhead (30% at minimum, for the ophtho or others that require specialized equipment, it could be up to 50%). And any of the "kush" specialties (allergy, endo, rheum, even family or psych) have 30% overhead for their clinic as well... so that 250-300k is really 175-200k

I think this argument that you can make lots of money outside or within medicine is moot. Yes you can make a lot of money in medicine, but trust me (as a staff), there are huge trade-offs (just like any other field). With medicine I still believe we are underpaid and undervalued for the work we do, and the pandemic has really shown me this. At least we are in the publics good books for now.

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10 hours ago, gogogo said:

I didn't say non-physicians need a PhD to earn a lot. I was talking specifically about tech and brought up the example of data science, which is one of the hottest jobs in tech right now. Many of the people in data science have a PhD, meaning they have almost just as much training as a family doctor, but are earning half of what the average family doctor does. And that's just family medicine, which is one of the lower paid specialties (on average). The cardiologists, ophthalmologists, etc. making 500k+ are making a salary that you won't touch in tech/corporate unless you're the very best of the best and have decades of experience (or are in Silicon Valley, which again, is rare, can come with long hours too, and is usually a short-term option for Canadian tech grads who eventually move back to Canada and take a huge paycut).

Here are the notable jobs in our society that make 250k+ (I'm not including insanely rare jobs, like professional athlete, artist, etc.):

1. Partner at a professional firm (e.g., law, accounting)

2. Corporate executive 

3. High up at a consulting firm/investment banking

4. Independent business owner/founder

All of the jobs above usually require just as many hours as medicine, if not more. Consultants, for example, are in a different city *every week* from Monday to Thursday. One consultant I spoke to was married and had to take a project in Sweden, meaning he wouldn't see his wife for 6 months. People in IB are basically working nonstop everyday (100 hours a week is typical). The same for law firm partners. And being an independent business founder/owner is so rare that it's probably not worth discussing. Also remember that these jobs are not guaranteed like in medicine. There's no guarantee you'll become partner at a law firm, for example. In medicine, once you're in, you have the job for life.

If you choose a lifestyle specialty (e.g., family medicine, endocrinology), you will make a salary that the people in the above jobs are working a minimum of 60 hours a week to achieve. Except they also have the risk of being fired any time, losing their job during a recession, have to travel for corporate events, etc. For instance, a friend who was making 150k in investment banking 2 years after undergrad seemed to have it all. The bank was even paying for her taxis to drive her home at night. But then I realized that she was working every day from 7am to 1am. And that's for 150k, a salary you could easily double as a family doctor working on your own terms. The level of autonomy, stability, and salary for the hours worked in medicine is not easily replicated in other industries.

If you are working resident hours as staff,  you are doing it because you chose a specialty with those hours, and you are being compensated nicely for it. For instance, the cardiologists working insane hours are making 500-600k. That would take beating a lot of competition in corporate after 1-2 decades just to get there. It's not any easier. 

As for debt, unless you're bad with money, you can pay off medical school debt within 5 years of practice. There are also scholarships during med school that can offset costs, as well as the tuition tax breaks I mentioned above. Finally, again, it's not like people in other industries don't have debt. MBA and law school costs ~100k.

I agree the lawyers do not have it any better. And yes, opthalmologists and cardiologists definitely have it pretty sweet.

But consultants are not in a different city every week. Investment bankers make more than 150k. An MBA will not cost you 100k.

I am not saying medicine is not worth it but the day-to-day can be stressful because mistakes are costly. As well medicine has no pension, no benefits, no parental leave. For some people this presents pretty significant challenges.

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But consultants are not in a different city every week. Investment bankers make more than 150k. An MBA will not cost you 100k.

A MBA is pretty close to 100k in Canada and will typically easily exceed that in the US. IB pay at the junior rungs will hover around 150k, maybe a bit less than that now that bonuses are probably gone for the next year or two.

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14 hours ago, gogogo said:

All of the jobs above usually require just as many hours as medicine, if not more. Consultants, for example, are in a different city *every week* from Monday to Thursday. One consultant I spoke to was married and had to take a project in Sweden, meaning he wouldn't see his wife for 6 months. People in IB are basically working nonstop everyday (100 hours a week is typical). The same for law firm partners. And being an independent business founder/owner is so rare that it's probably not worth discussing. Also remember that these jobs are not guaranteed like in medicine. There's no guarantee you'll become partner at a law firm, for example. In medicine, once you're in, you have the job for life.

If you choose a lifestyle specialty (e.g., family medicine, endocrinology), you will make a salary that the people in the above jobs are working a minimum of 60 hours a week to achieve. Except they also have the risk of being fired any time, losing their job during a recession, have to travel for corporate events, etc. For instance, a friend who was making 150k in investment banking 2 years after undergrad seemed to have it all. The bank was even paying for her taxis to drive her home at night. But then I realized that she was working every day from 7am to 1am. And that's for 150k, a salary you could easily double as a family doctor working on your own terms. The level of autonomy, stability, and salary for the hours worked in medicine is not easily replicated in other industries.

If you are working resident hours as staff,  you are doing it because you chose a specialty with those hours, and you are being compensated nicely for it. For instance, the cardiologists working insane hours are making 500-600k. That would take beating a lot of competition in corporate after 1-2 decades just to get there. It's not any easier. 

As for debt, unless you're bad with money, you can pay off medical school debt within 5 years of practice. There are also scholarships during med school that can offset costs, as well as the tuition tax breaks I mentioned above. Finally, again, it's not like people in other industries don't have debt. MBA and law school costs ~100k.

1. The uncertainty in most careers is a tad bit overstated. If you work hard, fit in, and don't leave/get laid off, by default you will at least reach middle management in most fields (this is from my friends experiences in accounting & finance who have risen to those positions). The timing varies a bit, but typically by only a few years internally within each company/firm. Of course this is still way more uncertainty than medicine (where you don't usually get the threat of being laid off but still have to work hard and fit in), but it's not like you could stay an analyst indefinitely in IB or a junior programmer.

2. The hours in most careers outside of medicine is definitely overstated. By raw hours except for investment banking you won't find anything that matches a surgical or tough IM residency. The reality is that it's not even comparable to work 100 hours/week with days of 24-36 hr shifts in the hospital (where you often can't use the washroom or eat in a timely manner), vs 100 hours/week working mostly during the day in the office (or at home). You're also paid as a resident literally 40-50% what a junior would make in IB. The responsibilities of a junior resident in these specialties are also usually greater than a junior in IB. Your friend also had it extra rough even for IB, most people only need to start at 8am or 9am (since that's roughly when their bosses/seniors get in).

Outside of IB, most nonmedicine careers do not regularly work more than 80 hours a week. And again none work those hours and have the same kind of 24hr+ shifts. In tech you can make 120k+ starting off without putting in those sort of hours mentioned above.

3. You're still a medical student and presumably your friend is still an analyst/associate. When you're a resident talk to her again and compare numbers for how much money you've both accumulated over the years. Then do it again as an attending. If you are in FM you will realize that you will probably never catch up in wealth.

4. MBA is expensive but not everyone needs it. If you need a career switch or you want to leave your company/firm to seek a higher position? Sure. Otherwise you can often progress pretty far internally without a MBA. Some firms will also pay for your MBA; not all or even many of them, but I only bring that up because you brought up medical school scholarships (very few can offset tuition, which is more than 100k at many Ontario schools).

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3 hours ago, ACHQ said:

Not to put down tech/finance/corporate careers, and I'm sure they work extremely hard, but unless they are working 24-26 hour shifts with literally someones life in their hands... I don't think that is an accurate comparison.

But I do think many of those outside medicine work very hard and long hours (and sometimes comparable or similar hours to those in medicine), with less compensation.

 

I will just add this, that 500+k for sub-specialties (that take 5-8 years AFTER medical school to achieve, because lets face it in a big city you'll need additional fellowships), pay a exorbitant amount of overhead (30% at minimum, for the ophtho or others that require specialized equipment, it could be up to 50%). And any of the "kush" specialties (allergy, endo, rheum, even family or psych) have 30% overhead for their clinic as well... so that 250-300k is really 175-200k

I think this argument that you can make lots of money outside or within medicine is moot. Yes you can make a lot of money in medicine, but trust me (as a staff), there are huge trade-offs (just like any other field). With medicine I still believe we are underpaid and undervalued for the work we do, and the pandemic has really shown me this. At least we are in the publics good books for now.

I agree mostly. I do think doctors are underpaid and under-appreciated. But it's still a good career if you know yourself and what you want from life. Obviously there are anecdotes on both sides. You can find someone working in corporate working cush hours making a lot. But I'm talking about averages. The people are the top of IB or consulting companies, for instance, who are making 500k are extremely stressed. They may not have someone's physical life in their hands, but they have their clients' millions of dollars in their hands. If they make a mistake, they can lose a client or a sale. It's just a different kind of stress. And the 5-8 years of training after medical school is paid with pensions/benefits. You will still be done in your mid-30s and have a career that rewards you after. If you've chosen a specialty that requires terrible hours for the reward, that was your choice. You could've finished residency in 2 years and made 200k as a family doctor--again, the minimum salary in medicine, which is still a salary that is almost never achieved in non-physician careers unless you are very, very good at what you're doing with decades of experience.

3 hours ago, klamar said:

I agree the lawyers do not have it any better. And yes, opthalmologists and cardiologists definitely have it pretty sweet.

But consultants are not in a different city every week. Investment bankers make more than 150k. An MBA will not cost you 100k.

I am not saying medicine is not worth it but the day-to-day can be stressful because mistakes are costly. As well medicine has no pension, no benefits, no parental leave. For some people this presents pretty significant challenges.

I've spoken to consultants and managers at Deloitte and McKinsey (the biggest consulting firms). Most of them are travelling on a weekly basis and many are working 50-60 hours a week. Just go to any forum with consultants in it and you'll see how miserable their life is. I know a partner at McKinsey who, while making a ton of money (he's the breadwinner in his family), he absolutely never sees his kid. His wife is miserable. This is typical.

Moreover, in consulting, their salaries don't reach family doctor levels until 3-6 years of this lifestyle of long hours and travelling (it depends on the firm). Consulting is a very stressful career the higher you go. And finally, most people do not stay in consulting or IB. The average tenure at a consulting or IB company is 2-3 years, after which, again, you take an easier job for a paycut. So pointing out that IB can make more than 150k is pointing out the rare person who stays in the field. I can also point out people who do family medicine and the switch over to pain medicine and make 800k right out of residency.

An MBA does cost 100k, and like the person above said, way more in the US. You have been dismissing what I say without providing any evidence. Of course you can get your company to pay for your MBA, but this doesn't happen easily, and in return, they ask that you stay at the company for several years afterward. I can also point out the doctor who works rurally for loan forgiveness.

Medicine does have its negatives, and I completely agree. It's not a perfect career. But I am trying to show people that other careers are nowhere near perfect as well. We do not have a monopoly on working in a career where mistakes are costly, people are stressed, or hours are long. For example, in many of these white collar jobs (IB, consulting), taking mat leave or pat leave is heavily looked down upon and could set you back in your career ("mommy track" is pejorative term used).

26 minutes ago, 1D7 said:

1. The uncertainty in most careers is a tad bit overstated. If you work hard, fit in, and don't leave/get laid off, by default you will at least reach middle management in most fields (this is from my friends experiences in accounting & finance who have risen to those positions). The timing varies a bit, but typically by only a few years internally within each company/firm. Of course this is still way more uncertainty than medicine (where you don't usually get the threat of being laid off but still have to work hard and fit in), but it's not like you could stay an analyst indefinitely in IB or a junior programmer.

2. The hours in most careers outside of medicine is definitely overstated. By raw hours except for investment banking you won't find anything that matches a surgical or tough IM residency. The reality is that it's not even comparable to work 100 hours/week with days of 24-36 hr shifts in the hospital (where you often can't use the washroom or eat in a timely manner), vs 100 hours/week working mostly during the day in the office (or at home). You're also paid as a resident literally 40-50% what a junior would make in IB. The responsibilities of a junior resident in these specialties are also usually greater than a junior in IB. Your friend also had it extra rough even for IB, most people only need to start at 8am or 9am (since that's roughly when their bosses/seniors get in).

Outside of IB, most nonmedicine careers do not regularly work more than 80 hours a week. And again none work those hours and have the same kind of 24hr+ shifts. In tech you can make 120k+ starting off without putting in those sort of hours mentioned above.

3. You're still a medical student and presumably your friend is still an analyst/associate. When you're a resident talk to her again and compare numbers for how much money you've both accumulated over the years. Then do it again as an attending. If you are in FM you will realize that you will probably never catch up in wealth.

4. MBA is expensive but not everyone needs it. If you need a career switch or you want to leave your company/firm to seek a higher position? Sure. Otherwise you can often progress pretty far internally without a MBA. Some firms will also pay for your MBA; not all or even many of them, but I only bring that up because you brought up medical school scholarships (very few can offset tuition, which is more than 100k at many Ontario schools).

1. Interesting. How much are your friends making? Middle management still can take 5 years minimum, from what I've seen. And in my experience, middle managers are making 120k-150k maximum. I just compare that to a family doctor who, if working 40-50 hours a week, trumps that salary for only 3-4 years of negative income (i.e., med school). And exactly, if you're not rising in IB or consulting, you're getting kicked out; most leave on their own after 2-3 years because the job is too demanding and not worth it. The same doesn't happen in medicine.

2. But if you're in a surgical or tough IM residency, you have chosen that specialty, and will be rewarded at the end of it by making 400k+. That was a decision that you thought was worth it to you. You could have not done that. Consultants also work terrible hours, as do lawyers, accountants at the big firms, especially in the beginning of their careers, and especially if they want to rise in the company. Tech is one of the few fields where this doesn't always happen, but it still happens at many companies. Even if you're in a tough IM residency, you can choose one of the lifestyle subspecialties (after 3-4 years of IM, right?) and then come out okay. We're splitting hairs at 8/9am vs. 7am--IB life is hell.

3. My friend left IB after 2 years because it was too demanding and all of her colleagues were on cocaine (this is at a big bank in Toronto). This is typical in these kinds of careers. Comparing most nonphysician careers, if you do anything except for IB, most people never touch 200-250k+. With the right investments, a family doctor can expand their net worth nicely. And again, this is just family medicine. Once we talk about specialties that are 300-400k+, no other professional career will ever come close to that unless they have the right connections + work decades at their company + are the very best at what they do + do not piss any one off at upper management + are willing to work 50-60+ hours a week + usually travel to clients + go to corporate social events outside of work hours and network well. 

4. Yes, all true. There are ways to make it work in any career, including medicine. You just have to know where you want to be in the future and find the path to get there. Though I'm currently a med student, I'm non-trad and came from a different career before.

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On 7/6/2020 at 7:47 AM, anonymouspls said:

I went to Uwaterloo. I also know people who did engineering / CS at Uwaterloo making barely 60-80k in boring jobs. Don't assume you'd be making tons of cash working 40 hours a week if you went to engineering, that's not the average experience. Being an average physician is imo superior in everyway to being an average engineer / computer science grad etc. 

Speaking from personal experience as a soon-to-be ex-engineer, this is 100% true and you might even be downplaying it a bit. So many people I know thought I was making bank just because I had an engineering degree, when really I was in the upper portion of that $60-80k range you gave. I'm not saying that's terrible money or anything, just that it's not what most people would think when they hear "engineer". And I was extremely fortunate to be making that - I know many people who were much older than me who were making less. It isn't really until you hit that 40+ age range that you start making real money, so most engineers wait 15 years until they really get paid like the public's perception of them would suggest they should. Of course, some people are fortunate early on and get really high-paying roles, but that is maybe 1% of all engineering grads. 

To add to this too, you won't work 40 hour weeks at most engineering companies. I was ~50 hours a week at my first job (on a 40 work-week where I was thankfully getting OT), and am about the same now and don't get OT now that I'm graduated. I know many people in the oil industry who work much longer weeks. It's exceedingly rare that you will have a nice 40 hour work week at any actual engineering company, and my guess would be it is the same in other industries as well.

OP, all that being said though, don't go into any profession because of the money. Medicine is extremely difficult and time-intensive. If you aren't interested in the actual subject matter, and the day-to-day responsibilities the profession has down the road, don't do it. I made the switch because I couldn't see any career path other than medicine that was better for me personally, and it took me years to ruminate on that during my engineering undergrad and realize I truly felt that way. 

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15 minutes ago, burneraccount909 said:

Speaking from personal experience as a soon-to-be ex-engineer, this is 100% true and you might even be downplaying it a bit. So many people I know thought I was making bank just because I had an engineering degree, when really I was in the upper portion of that $60-80k range you gave. I'm not saying that's terrible money or anything, just that it's not what most people would think when they hear "engineer". And I was extremely fortunate to be making that - I know many people who were much older than me who were making less. It isn't really until you hit that 40+ age range that you start making real money, so most engineers wait 15 years until they really get paid like the public's perception of them would suggest they should. Of course, some people are fortunate early on and get really high-paying roles, but that is maybe 1% of all engineering grads. 

To add to this too, you won't work 40 hour weeks at most engineering companies. I was ~50 hours a week at my first job (on a 40 work-week where I was thankfully getting OT), and am about the same now and don't get OT now that I'm graduated. I know many people in the oil industry who work much longer weeks. It's exceedingly rare that you will have a nice 40 hour work week at any actual engineering company, and my guess would be it is the same in other industries as well.

Thank you!!! This is the reality of MOST engineering graduates, and no one seems to want to acknowledge it.

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48 minutes ago, gogogo said:

1. Interesting. How much are your friends making? Middle management still can take 5 years minimum, from what I've seen. And in my experience, middle managers are making 120k-150k maximum. I just compare that to a family doctor who, if working 40-50 hours a week, trumps that salary for only 3-4 years of negative income (i.e., med school). And exactly, if you're not rising in IB or consulting, you're getting kicked out; most leave on their own after 2-3 years because the job is too demanding and not worth it. The same doesn't happen in medicine.

3. My friend left IB after 2 years because it was too demanding and all of her colleagues were on cocaine (this is at a big bank in Toronto). This is typical in these kinds of careers. Comparing most nonphysician careers, if you do anything except for IB, most people never touch 200-250k+. With the right investments, a family doctor can expand their net worth nicely. And again, this is just family medicine. Once we talk about specialties that are 300-400k+, no other professional career will ever come close to that unless they have the right connections + work decades at their company + are the very best at what they do + do not piss any one off at upper management + are willing to work 50-60+ hours a week + usually travel to clients + go to corporate social events outside of work hours and network well. 

I also have friends in high-finance jobs (IB, equity research, etc) who make bank, but they are the top <1% of all finance grads. I think the guy/girl you're replying to is under-valuing the uncertainty in finance (and any business career) by a wide margin. There is a ton of uncertainty in that field, first with getting any of those highly coveted positions, and then in keeping them where you are constantly expected to be at your best. And you're right in that even if you manage to get the position and keep it, most people walk away from it in <4 years because of how bad their quality of life is. There are very few people (<<<1% of finance grads) who keep these high-paying finance roles as their career. Although you might make $200k in your new position after getting out of IB or a similar role due to your skill-set, you will never again touch numbers that specialists would. Whether that is enough to offset the lost income specialists have from their schooling, I'm not sure. Moral of the story, even though the top guys in any field will make a ton of money, the vast majority will make sub $80k/year whereas the minimum a physician will make is ~$150k.

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33 minutes ago, petitmonstre111 said:

Thank you!!! This is the reality of MOST engineering graduates, and no one seems to want to acknowledge it.

I wish that we did a better job of educating kids on the economic realities of most professions. I'll admit that when I entered engineering school, I thought I would be making $200-$300k by the middle of my career. This couldn't be further from the truth, but how was I supposed to know that when everyone's perception of the field is that you make a ton of money in it? And even if you read that engineers on average make about $70k per year, there's always that thing inside you that goes "oh yeah, but I won't be an average engineer." In reality, an average engineer is an extremely smart and competent person, so beating that person out for more high-paying roles is going to be incredibly difficult. And it's no guarantee that competency actually gets you a high-paying job. I knew many gifted engineers who worked in low-paying industries because they loved their work (or pigeon-holed themselves into the industry from an early age). 

Really, the only "safe" bets for making a lot of money out of school are medicine and law. But then again, they are also extremely competitive to get in to and time-intensive once you're in, so it's fair that they pay as well as they do.

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1 minute ago, offmychestplease said:

Law is not a safe bet for making money at all. Many law grads can't even find stable work as the field is saturated. The average lawyer does not even make 6 figures. Again, a very small % of a graduating law class will make it in "big law" and even then the hours are terrible, job security is low, and "partner salary" in a big law firm (something that 99% of law students will never reach) is less than a specialist doctor income. 

That's my bad for lumping it in with medicine which is the truly safe bet! I'm more looking at it statistically. Average law salaries are up around $100k/year ($96k in my province - Alberta) which is much better than fields that are thought of similarly like engineering. Definitely not a cushy job at all and I definitely wouldn't want to be a lawyer for all the reasons you listed, but on average is significantly better paying than it's counterparts.

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