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What would the salary/lifestyle of a cardiologist (or cardiothoracic surgeon) look like?


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Hey! I was just wondering what the salary/lifestyle, as in hours of work for compensation might be for a physician specializing in the heart (cardiologist vs cardiothoracic surgeon) what would the net pay be vs the million dollar figure that figures on news websites.

thank you in advance

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Those fields have the worst lifestyle in all of medicine and most gruelling, longest training time along with the worst job prospects in all of medicine. 

To give you more details:

To be a Cardiac surgeon you would complete a 4 year undergrad, then 4 years of medical school, then 6 years of very intense cardiac surgery residency then 2-3 years doing a fellowship / graduate degree = 17 years of training after HS. And this is assuming you get into medical school right away on first attempt, don't take gap years, match right away, don't take any time off in residency, etc. And even after this point, there is limited jobs in Canada.

Cardiology is 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of internal medicine residency, 3 years of cardiology fellowship, then 2-3 years needed to do a graduate degree / cardiac sub spec like echo, interventional to be able to compete for a limited number of jobs in Canada. = also 17 years after HS.

I won't discuss numbers but I will say they are fairly compensated for the very difficult years they put in to get to staff level and afterwards the lifestyle is extremely bad as well so major props to them. 

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Im in quebec, so wouldnt it be 2 years cegep, 5 years med (pre-med included) 6 years residency? Considering im in 2nd year of cegep, wouldnt it be 11 years? Also, how about radiology/ophto? I heard thats easier to match and easier to get a lot of money

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44 minutes ago, Shrek said:

Im in quebec, so wouldnt it be 2 years cegep, 5 years med (pre-med included) 6 years residency? Considering im in 2nd year of cegep, wouldnt it be 11 years? Also, how about radiology/ophto? I heard thats easier to match and easier to get a lot of money

Optho is in no way shape or form "easy" to match to. Optho and plastics are always competing for the number 1 hardest specialty to match into. As for Rads, its usually between the 3rd - 5th hardest residency to match.

Getting a Cardio fellowship after a GIM residency is also no easy feat as it's the most competitive fellowship of GIM. As for CT surgery, there are only around 10 or spots in all of Canada, but there are only like 2 people at each med school hoping for CT surgery. It's one of those specialties where they would rather a spot go unfilled than chose a sub-par candidate. Hence, it's all very subjective.

Also never say that you are choosing a field because of the money on this forum, you will get ripped to shreds.

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1 hour ago, Shrek said:

Im in quebec, so wouldnt it be 2 years cegep, 5 years med (pre-med included) 6 years residency? Considering im in 2nd year of cegep, wouldnt it be 11 years? Also, how about radiology/ophto? I heard thats easier to match and easier to get a lot of money

This person should be ignored. I knew you were about 17-18 years old by the questions you asked but decided to give you the benefit of the doubt. Go study your math homework buddy..

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3 hours ago, Shrek said:

Ignored because im 18, says a lot about you as a person! Anyways, take care.

Ignored because you're not even in medical school but asking about the quickest and fastest and easiest specialities to make the most money. That says a lot about your immaturity and you proved my point by not even realizing how wrong that is and how it makes you look...

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2 hours ago, Shrek said:

Ignored because im 18, says a lot about you as a person! Anyways, take care.

Ophtho and rads are no way easy to match into. I really liked ophtho (for the right reasons btw, i really like eye care but felt optometry was a bit limiting for me) but after doing almost a year of med school I just kinda gave up because I realized that I’m not really down to gun for it and think about “what can I do to increase my chances of matching” for every single second of my life. So yeah, if you’re just in it for the money, you’re not going to beat all of the people who are in it for the career itself, and also the people who are in it for BOTH (yeah these people exist).

Also, the 1st year of med school could be quite humbling (either your grades are going to drop significantly, or you’re going to have to put 5x more effort into studying, or both, and you’re going to constantly feel incompetent because of the sheer volume that you’re going to have to digest in a single year) so I suggest you go into med school with a more open mind, and consider other specialties (including fam med) too. If not, you might be miserable if finally things don’t work out for you.

(And also, while we’re at it, since you’re aiming for “”ultra rich”” specialties, why not plastics and derm? :lol:)

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9 hours ago, Shrek said:

Im in quebec, so wouldnt it be 2 years cegep, 5 years med (pre-med included) 6 years residency? Considering im in 2nd year of cegep, wouldnt it be 11 years? Also, how about radiology/ophto? I heard thats easier to match and easier to get a lot of money

And also, job market is very limited in said fields (aka the reason why income is so high is because supply is artificially limited), so you would need at least a fellowship or a graduate degree after residency to make yourself the slightest bit competitive for job hunting. So yeah, 5 years med (4 if Sherbrooke) + 6 years residency + 2 years of fellowship (1 if very lucky) = at least 12-13 years of training before joining the job market.

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2 hours ago, offmychestplease said:

Ignored because you're not even in medical school but asking about the quickest and fastest and easiest specialities to make the most money. That says a lot about your immaturity and you proved my point by not even realizing how wrong that is and how it makes you look...

That's crazy gate keeping my guy. Some people might be 17-18 asking the fastest way to make the most money and it's a valid question. It's your choice (and others) to answer it or not. No need to be condescending when people use this forum for information about the medical field.

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2 hours ago, hamsterman11 said:

That's crazy gate keeping my guy. Some people might be 17-18 asking the fastest way to make the most money and it's a valid question. It's your choice (and others) to answer it or not. No need to be condescending when people use this forum for information about the medical field.

there's nothing wrong about someone asking what are the fastest and easiest ways to make the most money in medicine? ok lol

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On 4/5/2021 at 9:51 PM, Shrek said:

Hey! I was just wondering what the salary/lifestyle, as in hours of work for compensation might be for a physician specializing in the heart (cardiologist vs cardiothoracic surgeon) what would the net pay be vs the million dollar figure that figures on news websites.

thank you in advance

If you want information about pay and lifestyle, the CMA has data about length of training, average billings before overhead, overhead percentage, average hours worked, call hours, the state of the job market, demographic trends and more, for every specialty in Canada. A simple google search should tell you all you need. I've linked the URLs at the bottom for the two specialties you asked about.

Somewhat unrelated, but if you want to maximize money and minimize your work, doing Ortho Spine or a Mohs Fellowship after Dermatology and moving to the US would be your best bet. Average take home for those two in the US is between 750K-900K USD. Both options would require 5 years of residency and a 1 year fellowship. I know two Canadians surgeons who moved to rural parts of the Upper Midwest with one taking home 875K USD and the other 850K USD. Those are USA numbers though, Canadian surgeons make a fraction (approximately one third) of that. However, training in Canada would enable you to work in the US.

If you want to stay in Canada, ophthalmology with a fellowship in retina or any specialty with a pain clinic are the highest paying options right now.

Having said that, concentrate first on getting into medical school and then worry about earnings. As you get older, you'll realize that the marginal utility of money is rapidly diminishing, especially here in Canada. It's more important to go home happy about what you do and where you live at the end of the day.

I would also caution against choosing a specialty based on current pay and assume that the pay will remain the same. The rise of ophthalmology's pay is directly tied to recent improvements in technology that allow for more efficient surgery.  Their pay has already fallen in the US and it will fall in Canada when the fees are re-negotiated. It's a matter of when, not if. The same is likely true for cardiology and radiology as well.

So once again, in the face of this uncertainty, it's best to choose something that will make you happy and leave the rest (income, prestige, etc.) to fate. As a physician, you will make more than enough to maintain an income in the top 5 percent of Canadians regardless of specialty choice.

And I just wanted you to see the US numbers for a reason. There are many Canadian surgeons who can take those sort of jobs but choose not to. They'd much rather make a third, but treat the countrymen(and countrywomen) with whom they grew up, who subsidized their education, and who are their family and friends.

Good luck.

 

Cardiology:

https://www.cma.ca/sites/default/files/2019-01/cardiology-e_0.pdf

Cardiac Surgery:

https://www.cma.ca/sites/default/files/2020-10/cardiothoracic-surgery-e.pdf

 

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13 hours ago, keipop said:

Ophtho and rads are no way easy to match into. I really liked ophtho (for the right reasons btw, i really like eye care but felt optometry was a bit limiting for me) but after doing almost a year of med school I just kinda gave up because I realized that I’m not really down to gun for it and think about “what can I do to increase my chances of matching” for every single second of my life. So yeah, if you’re just in it for the money, you’re not going to beat all of the people who are in it for the career itself, and also the people who are in it for BOTH (yeah these people exist).

Also, the 1st year of med school could be quite humbling (either your grades are going to drop significantly, or you’re going to have to put 5x more effort into studying, or both, and you’re going to constantly feel incompetent because of the sheer volume that you’re going to have to digest in a single year) so I suggest you go into med school with a more open mind, and consider other specialties (including fam med) too. If not, you might be miserable if finally things don’t work out for you.

(And also, while we’re at it, since you’re aiming for “”ultra rich”” specialties, why not plastics and derm? :lol:)

Love the subtle(or not so subtle) prodding to consider the "ultra rich" specialties.

"The layperson might think that Cardiac pays well, but wait till you hear about the private cosmetic guys printing 100 dollar bills. Forget about CABG and TAVI, wait till you hear about skin biopsies, butt lifts, and FUE hair transplants."

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16 hours ago, zoxy said:

Somewhat unrelated, but if you want to maximize money and minimize your work, doing Ortho Spine or a Mohs Fellowship after Dermatology and moving to the US would be your best bet. Average take home for those two in the US is between 750K-900K USD. Both options would require 5 years of residency and a 1 year fellowship. I know two Canadians surgeons who moved to rural parts of the Upper Midwest with one taking home 875K USD and the other 850K USD. Those are USA numbers though, Canadian surgeons make a fraction (approximately one third) of that. However, training in Canada would enable you to work in the US.

IS it really that easy for Canadians to work in the US after Canadian training? Jnuts on here who is an orthopod on here says that it's difficult unless you have a US greencard.

 

16 hours ago, zoxy said:

. As you get older, you'll realize that the marginal utility of money is rapidly diminishing, especially here in Canada.

Can you explain this a bit furthut? Is it because of the higher taxes in Canada?

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5 minutes ago, MasterDoc said:

IS it really that easy for Canadians to work in the US after Canadian training? Jnuts on here who is an orthopod on here says that it's difficult unless you have a US greencard.

 

Can you explain this a bit furthut? Is it because of the higher taxes in Canada?

To answer your second question I would guess the fact that the average detached house in TO/VA is 1.1 million and climbing has something to do with it..

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5 hours ago, MasterDoc said:

IS it really that easy for Canadians to work in the US after Canadian training? Jnuts on here who is an orthopod on here says that it's difficult unless you have a US greencard.

 

Can you explain this a bit furthut? Is it because of the higher taxes in Canada?

You won't get a cushy private practice job in a nice metro area in the US. Those will be filled by American grads.

But getting an academic job(less desirable than private practice in the US due to less pay, more work, and having to do research on the side), or a hospital employed job in the boonies is possible. The salary from those two guys I mentioned are in the boonies of the Upper Midwest. Think the US equivalent of Moose Jaw SK and Flin Flon MB. You can't pay an American enough to take that sort of job and rightly so. I'd rather make 450K and live in Chicago or MSP than 800K and live in Bumfuck North Dakota.

As for the academics, asking around Ortho departments in Canada or poking through the US ortho department websites should give you a decent perspective on how many Canadians there are down there.

Also, once you have a green card and a few years of American work experience, it shouldn't be too difficult to move somewhere better. Forget about getting a greencard if you're born in India or China, even if you're a Canadian citizen now. The country cap is based off of your place of birth and the current waitlist is 40 years or something for Indians on an H1B.

 

Marginal Utility of Income:

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/072815/what-marginal-utility-income.asp

 

 

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4 hours ago, offmychestplease said:

To answer your second question I would guess the fact that the average detached house in TO/VA is 1.1 million and climbing has something to do with it..

Or that it’s actually more like 1.7/1.8 million for a detached house in these cities based on recent data :wacko:

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On 4/5/2021 at 11:25 PM, offmychestplease said:

Those fields have the worst lifestyle in all of medicine and most gruelling, longest training time along with the worst job prospects in all of medicine. 

To give you more details:

To be a Cardiac surgeon you would complete a 4 year undergrad, then 4 years of medical school, then 6 years of very intense cardiac surgery residency then 2-3 years doing a fellowship / graduate degree = 17 years of training after HS. And this is assuming you get into medical school right away on first attempt, don't take gap years, match right away, don't take any time off in residency, etc. And even after this point, there is limited jobs in Canada.

Cardiology is 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical school, 3 years of internal medicine residency, 3 years of cardiology fellowship, then 2-3 years needed to do a graduate degree / cardiac sub spec like echo, interventional to be able to compete for a limited number of jobs in Canada. = also 17 years after HS.

I won't discuss numbers but I will say they are fairly compensated for the very difficult years they put in to get to staff level and afterwards the lifestyle is extremely bad as well so major props to them. 

Cardiology does not necessarily have the worst job prospects in all of medicine. Cardiology practice is very diverse and can look different depending on practice goals and location. Cardiologists can open a practice anywhere after their cardiology fellowship training and begin clinical cardiology practice. Most choose to join an established practice with echocardiography/stress test capital. Most of these are now requiring an additional echocardiography fellowship, but a job in this type of practice is very attainable. There is big demand for work in heart failure as well. Graduates from the fellowship program at my centre have all gone on to immediately have jobs. 

The subspecialties in cardiology that have very poor job prospects currently are interventional cardiology, and in many centres, invasive EP. 

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