—“Doctors are paid way too much”— Robin Banks

That’s not true – if anything they’re underpaid. Doctors are (empirically) the most talented subroup in america, spending an absurd amount of wealth on their educations, and their cost per patient is trivial. The problem is the overhead administration costs of regulation placed upon doctors and the vast army of clerks that are needed to support them. (that’s the deal, really).

A doctor takes four years undergraduate, four years medical school, and three to seven years of internship, before they are eligible for a license. And they are in control of your life and death. A doctor’s average salary is 180k (round up to 200k). Thats 15 years of training. They have huge debt to repay – usually around 170k.

Now, if you are say, a computer software engineer with the same or higher IQ than a doctor, you need little or no university education, although it helps dramatically, and if you work equally as hard, you can make as much as a doctor does for fifteen more years than a doctor does.

So 15*200,000 = $3m + 250k for medical school, + 100K for university degree = $3.35M. Now, a resident for – let’s take an average of four years – is paid an average of 55K per year. So that’s 200-55 = 145k * 4 years = 580K. So 3.35M + .58M = $3.9M.

Now, that means that a 30 year old MD has accumulated an average of 170k in debt before he can earn that income, despite being one of our top performing people. But can work 45 to 50 years once obtaining that – while paying an average of 20k liability insurance per year.

Now, a software developer cannot (and need not) work that many years, but by his late 30’s has earned millions of dollars.

The principle benefits to being a doctor are social and long term financial, for the simple reason of ever-increasing demand, and persistent shortage.

The primary threat to your income is not the market but the government.

Leave a Reply