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Can someone clear up an MD's salary for me?

  1. Jul 18, 2010 #1
    From what I've read and heard from most doctors nowadays is that the pay isn't the substantial amount that it used to be and if your in it for the money there are higher paying jobs elsewhere that require a 1000 times less work and commitment.

    But at the same time, every single major source places surgeons and healthcare at the top of the salary list earning as high as $500,000 annually (median being 150k though). Forbes is one of these sources and I tend to believe them.

    Now I know most are in debt because of school loans and after taxes, being sued all the time and needed to pay premiums, staffing and other expenses your actually seeing a lot less than you really earn; but I'm still wondering if the medical field still the most profitable career out there?
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2010 #2
    MD certainly isn't the most profitable career out there - but that isn't the issue with MD salary. The thing that is attractive about becoming an MD in financial terms is that the bottom end salary is very good, and the high end salary is good also. This means that, when one becomes an MD, you're essentially guaranteed to make quite a lot of money.

    This is, of course, in relative terms. Business and finance is probably where the highest amounts of money are to be made but the problem is that the low-end for business type positions can see someone on what they might consider a poor salary. It's a risk - you can make millions, but you might (probably) not.
  4. Jul 19, 2010 #3
    I've actually been looking into this, since I'm thinking about ditching physics to see if I can get into medical school myself (not for the money, but rather the job security). I contacted a physics PhD awhile back who managed to get out of the field and become a doctor. He tells me that he starting salary for an attending physician is about $150k. Not all that bad, is it? I hear a lot of people talking about how you shouldn't go into medicine for the money and so forth. And I don't doubt that there are easier ways to get rich. Indeed, if wealth were my goal, I'd take my physics PhD to Wall Street, because that way I wouldn't have $200k in debt. Having said all that, from what I'm hearing, there aren't any staving doctors out there. Yeah, you've got to pay off loans. But that's not so bad considering what you're making as a doctor.
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