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Would You Pursue Your Med Dream If The Salary..


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I think making a comparison of 49k is a bit too low and makes it an irrelevant comparison because no such job exists that only gets paid 49k with that much responsibility. I think a much more relevant question would be if a doctor was paid as much as an early career professor/scientist whose only paycheque comes from the school. I know it varies but some of the figures I've seen to be a professor are around 70-80k right? That is a much better comparison and question to ask instead of 49k.

 

It becomes interesting because they say making any more than 75k a year does not increase happiness at all. This assertion makes it a very interesting question, if doctors should get paid the same amount as a Canadian public university scientist. I know it varies but I think the floor for a researcher is much lower than a physician, generally.

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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

No. There needs to  be an income to reflect the education, responsibility, to be able to comfortably afford to educate my future children and to afford, vacations, continuous education, retirement.  

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 ope

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.

 

I would agree with this, but astronauts don't get paid very much, Haha all of those astronauts are making physicians (or premeds) look quite greedy right about now....

 

Like does anyone really need to make 300k? I get the debt argument but it seems to be more about people's expectations of what they want to be able to buy/how they want to be able to live, after doing a certain amount of work, more than anything else.

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So when you are a resident, you marry, buy a home, start a family. In TO, Montreal, Vancouver, you need big bucks in terms of income to buy a home. Two cars, child care, save for children's education, help to look after children, save for retirement, vacations, emergencies, mortgage. etc., no way anything close to 50K will cover. 200-300K after tax goes quickly. And a resident's salary cannot cover this.

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Yeah very true. I was basing my stance on more thinking of renting because I'm quite content with paying a much lower rent number than a much higher mortgage number and pocketing the difference. But to your point even rent isn't super cheap. And the near 50% you guys pay in taxes doesn't help things either.

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You will note that I didn't deal with the debt argument which would only tend to bolster my views. I have 2.5 more years of residency to be followed by 2 years of fellowship to be followed by considerable uncertainty in securing a position in my surgical specialty. Assuming I land that job, I will be in my mid thirties at least having lived on air all these years relatively speaking, with absolutely no savings, whereas my friends in other professions, e.g., tax lawyers, investment bankers, tax accountants, have been earning in the six figures for 5+ years with no debt and have built up nest eggs. Considering my investment of time and energy in building up my expertise to this point, with the greatest respect, and leaving aside my debt obligations, an income in the range of $50,000 would be an insult taking advantage of my expertise. I know if I was living in Cuba on less than $100/month, I would be thrilled with the prospect of earning 50K per annum, however, I am in Canada. And, I could always be sued for malpractice and at least theortetically, wiped out financially if my malpractice insurance does not provide full cover.

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You get sued in Canada? I thought that was more of a states thing.

Why fellowship? Is that a requirement? I always thought it was 4 years under grad, 3/4 years med school, 2-6 years residency and then you start working?

Many surgical specialties struggle to find jobs. I mean, you still need to get hired for a job after residency. It just doesn't fall on your lap. Ortho, for example, is notorious for not having jobs in Canada, so many post-grads do multiple fellowships.

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You get sued in Canada? I thought that was more of a states thing.

Why fellowship? Is that a requirement? I always thought it was 4 years under grad, 3/4 years med school, 2-6 years residency and then you start working?

 

unfortunately not - as Mithral is pointing out. Plus even if you are starting to work it isn't like you instantly have a full roster of patients either for the associated fields. You have to set up your practice. Not usual as well to start out on a partner track position but not actually a partner either for a few years for most group practices - that means you are still effectively on probation for a bit.  

 

Nothing about this is particularly quick. I probably will be doing 2 years of fellowships for radiology - although it is more normally just one. It is a bit of semantics but I would say that residency and fellowships are jobs - I mean you at least stop the debit from growing ha. Still you won't know exactly where you are working and when until quite some time. 

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I agree, there needs to be a balance between effort and reward not only in medicine, but in all professions in order to be happy. 

 

Based on a balance of effort and reward, when I look at the CMA profiles of specialties there is often 10, 20, or 30% of the physicians surveyed that are not happy with their current professional life. For those of you in residency or working as physicians, would you say there is a fair balance between effort and reward with the salary you are currently making or expect to make? I would guess that those physicians not happy with their current professional life may feel that way partly because their effort is not being rewarded appropriately. 

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I agree, there needs to be a balance between effort and reward not only in medicine, but in all professions in order to be happy. 

 

Based on a balance of effort and reward, when I look at the CMA profiles of specialties there is often 10, 20, or 30% of the physicians surveyed that are not happy with their current professional life. For those of you in residency or working as physicians, would you say there is a fair balance between effort and reward with the salary you are currently making or expect to make? I would guess that those physicians not happy with their current professional life may feel that way partly because their effort is not being rewarded appropriately. 

 

I am pretty sure that most of the dissatisfaction (in my meager opinion of course) isn't really the salary. It may be the feelings of disrespect shown by how the government lately has been handling things money wise but I favour the bigger problem lifestyle issues, burnout, and volume of admin work. 

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I agree, there needs to be a balance between effort and reward not only in medicine, but in all professions in order to be happy. 

 

Based on a balance of effort and reward, when I look at the CMA profiles of specialties there is often 10, 20, or 30% of the physicians surveyed that are not happy with their current professional life. For those of you in residency or working as physicians, would you say there is a fair balance between effort and reward with the salary you are currently making or expect to make? I would guess that those physicians not happy with their current professional life may feel that way partly because their effort is not being rewarded appropriately. 

With my resident salary? Definitely not. I made something like $58k this year with the salary and call shifts. Tuition tax credits offset all of my income tax so all of it was take-home. Even then, for most of the year I was working 70+ hours a week when factoring in call shifts. That's about $15/hour. On top of that there are CMPA dues and ridiculously expensive exam fees. With those expenses my income was $50k.

 

Now with regards to what I expect to make as a fully licensed family doc, the amount of admin and paperwork I have to do that isn't compensated for is a real turn-off. The family preceptors that I have worked with believe they are underpaid, especially in Vancouver.

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I am pretty sure that most of the dissatisfaction (in my meager opinion of course) isn't really the salary. It may be the feelings of disrespect shown by how the government lately has been handling things money wise but I favour the bigger problem lifestyle issues, burnout, and volume of admin work. 

 

 

Absolutely that would play a role as well. Thankfully, according to the CMA profiles I read the majority of physicians are satisfied with their professional life. 

 

With my resident salary? Definitely not. I made something like $58k this year with the salary and call shifts. Tuition tax credits offset all of my income tax so all of it was take-home. Even then, for most of the year I was working 70+ hours a week when factoring in call shifts. That's about $15/hour. On top of that there are CMPA dues and ridiculously expensive exam fees. With those expenses my income was $50k.

 

Now with regards to what I expect to make as a fully licensed family doc, the amount of admin and paperwork I have to do that isn't compensated for is a real turn-off. The family preceptors that I have worked with believe they are underpaid, especially in Vancouver.

 

I bet. Residents are cheap labour. I actually look forward to making a resident's salary because that will be the most I have ever made lol. I might feel differently once the 80 hour weeks kick in though. This is if I get into med school. 

 

That's unfortunate they feel that way, but I'm not surprised. I am curious to know the income of Canadian doctors compared to other nations. 

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Absolutely that would play a role as well. Thankfully, according to the CMA profiles I read the majority of physicians are satisfied with their professional life. 

 

 

I bet. Residents are cheap labour. I actually look forward to making a resident's salary because that will be the most I have ever made lol. I might feel differently once the 80 hour weeks kick in though. This is if I get into med school. 

 

That's unfortunate they feel that way, but I'm not surprised. I am curious to know the income of Canadian doctors compared to other nations. 

 

compared to most nations our income is relatively high. Of course that in part is because of the pay it forward approach built into things. 

 

Residents are cheap labour for sure - although it is hard to exactly decide how much of the time is really effective labour vs training at times.  Assuming all 80 hours a week for instance useful productive labour to the hospital would be a huge over statement - if residents didn't exist large parts of that time wouldn't need to be replaced either because it is training, or because residents don't know what they are doing yet, ha, and some one that did wouldn't take that long. We also cost the system in turns of reduced staff effectiveness (they have now reviewing time, admin time, teaching time all added on. Community docs don't have to deal with any of that and can be much more streamlined effective). 

 

As I am starting to get more senior only now do I think I am truly replacing the staff from doing things (I can for instance do an entire day of basic procedures almost as fast as staff with none of their involvement). No way a junior is speeding anything up in radiology though - some staff are very happy with residents are post call and they just don't have to deal with supporting them through the day. 

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compared to most nations our income is relatively high. Of course that in part is because of the pay it forward approach built into things. 

 

Residents are cheap labour for sure - although it is hard to exactly decide how much of the time is really effective labour vs training at times.  Assuming all 80 hours a week for instance useful productive labour to the hospital would be a huge over statement - if residents didn't exist large parts of that time wouldn't need to be replaced either because it is training, or because residents don't know what they are doing yet, ha, and some one that did wouldn't take that long. We also cost the system in turns of reduced staff effectiveness (they have now reviewing time, admin time, teaching time all added on. Community docs don't have to deal with any of that and can be much more streamlined effective).

I think in earlier years in training, most of the things we do still falls under "learning." But the more senior you are more and more of this "learning" becomes productive labour. Of course it depends on the residency as well, and as a first year resident I was still mostly useless for decreasing staff load. However, in second year where nearly all of my rotations were FM or FM-related, especially during my rural rotations and hospitalist rotations, I was working non-stop overnight while my preceptors slept, as was the expectation. In the clinic, we would split the calendar, see roughly 50 patients altogether, and still get out by 4pm. I think it's fair to say that by R2, FM residents are doing a substantial amount of the 80 hours/week as productive labour, and probably by R4 and R5 for other specialties.

 

I feel most sorry for IM residents. Those guys work brutally long hours from the get go but are among the smartest and hardest working residents I've worked with.

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Or the Ortho residents who worked their butt off only to be hired after 3 fellowships

 

side note that is why the loss of general practice is still something that bugs me. You can really trap people under the current system. Still that isn't coming back ha any time soon (I have heard of some arguments for letting people do another year to get it mind you). 

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side note that is why the loss of general practice is still something that bugs me. You can really trap people under the current system. Still that isn't coming back ha any time soon (I have heard of some arguments for letting people do another year to get it mind you). 

The loss of general practice does not bother, as I can understand why FM/GP would want to protect their specialty.

 

From speaking to residents and my classmates, ortho residents go into ortho knowing that the journey ahead will be long, tedious and possibly jobless (for a long while at least, unless they choose to practice in the US).

 

I feel that the residency system has done them unjust. If there are clearly no jobs (such as in the case of Ortho), they should reduce the number of residency spots and shift funding to another specialty in demand (Psych comes to mind). It seems that many surgical programs are unwilling wish to reduce the number of positions as they rely heavily on their residents for service and calls. 

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The loss of general practice does not bother, as I can understand why FM/GP would want to protect their specialty.

 

From speaking to residents and my classmates, ortho residents go into ortho knowing that the journey ahead will be long, tedious and possibly jobless (for a long while at least, unless they choose to practice in the US).

 

I feel that the residency system has done them unjust. If there are clearly no jobs (such as in the case of Ortho), they should reduce the number of residency spots and shift funding to another specialty in demand (Psych comes to mind). It seems that many surgical programs are unwilling wish to reduce the number of positions as they rely heavily on their residents for service and calls. 

 

Part of that is that people in medicine kind of "optimistic" with their chances in all areas. Afterall they got into everything up to that point. So yeah they know the market is tight - everything before has been tight and it has worked out find. Often this is the first real time they ran into serious trouble. 

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The loss of general practice does not bother, as I can understand why FM/GP would want to protect their specialty.

 

 

I get it, and my annoyance with it is just that MY annoyance, but ha yeah it still does bug me. So much of this is aligned towards the old system even though it doesn't exist anymore. 

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I have to say, as a nurse I make over 100 000 a year. Easy. So no. Doctors definitely should be paid more than nurses. They deserve to be fairly compensated for the work they do. Do I think that SOME doctors are over paid. Absolutely, then they are usually the ones over worked.

 

If you are making over 500 000 a year, and have a huge waitlist, someone else should be taking a chunk of that and reducing wait times, but that simply isn't the case. There is a lot of kick back to that type of thinking. Then again, RN's push back against LPN's for the same reason. Even though we could have more bodies doing the work for the same money, people enjoy holding onto "their" turf.

 

All consider though, I think generally speaking physicians are worth their pay. I work with simply amazing Doctors that put their life into their practice, they deserve excellent compensation for the work they do.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Sure. If doctors got pension, benefits, a car and a house, as well as free tuition through med school + family educational expenses, all covered. Basically, where I would have been spending my earnings on- unfair to cut the profession's legs without giving them a wheelchair to get around on afterward, not to mention the disregard for the challenging, critical work performed and the extensive training + responsibility 

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