"Why I don't want my daughter to become a doctor"

The Patient's Doctor blog lists a few reasons why he is doing his best to discourage his daughter from taking up medicine:

"Doctors will have to spend half their lives on paperwork; or arguing with clerks about the "medical necessity" of the treatment their patients need."

Don't forget the 10 years of being a medical student/resident/fellow (4+3+3), the 80-hour work week, the night calls without a minute of sleep, and "the art of medical pimping", just to name a few other reasons...

FatDoctor still remembers how she slept 26 hours straight at the end of her night float month: "No waking up to pee, no waking up to eat, all I needed was sleep."

According to Newsweek, every year, between 300 and 400 doctors take their own lives—roughly one a day. No other profession has a higher suicide rate.

According to MarketWatch, physicians' income fell 7% after adjusting for inflation between 1995 and 2003. Primary care doctors income fell even more than 10% in that time.

During the same period, lawyers and engineers had a 7% inflation-adjusted gain. In a nutshell, while doctors lost 10%, lawyers made 7%...

References:
Why I don't want my daughter to become a doctor. The Patient's Doctor.
Young Doctors Learn Quickly in the Hot Seat. NYTimes.
Sleep. Fat Doctor.
Doctors' income falls over eight years. MarketWatch.
It is July and I love to pimp. DB’s Medical Rants.
Et tu, Radagast? Respectful Insolence.
Image source: OpenClipArt.org, public domain.

Related:
The process...how long does it take to become an emergency medicine doctor? EM Physician - Backstage Pass, 11/2007.
Primary Care or Engineer? And the Winner is... The Happy Hospitalist, 12/2007.
Who’s Cuddly Now? Law Firms. NYTimes, 01/2008.
Doctors Who Kill Themselves. Newsweek, 04/2008.
Eyes Bloodshot, Doctors Vent Their Discontent. NYTimes, 06/2008.
Reasons Not To Become A Doctor. Forbes.com.

Updated: 06/24/2008

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link. And I don't want son to be a doctor, either. The following professions are acceptable: Plumber, electrician, car mechanic. Still, he must go to college. He should be a well-rounded plumber, after all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. I translated it into persian for my readers.

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  3. physicians' income fell 7% after adjusting for inflation between 1995 and 2003. Primary care doctors income fell even more than 10% in that time.

    During the same period, lawyers and engineers had a 7% inflation-adjusted gain.

    I have to take exception with engineers. The period in question was 1995-2003 which was unusual in that it was the time of great demand for year 2000 fixes and dot-coms. So the numbers for engineers include software and hardware engineers whose income went up during this period, only to fall significantly after 2001-2002. In fact around 2003, companies in Silicon Valley were often firing software engineers making 90K only to hire them again for 70K.

    The income of IT professionals never recovered to the level of early 2000. I don't know about other engineers. I know people who had no raises in the last few years or just got a 2% raise this year after several years without raises. This is not adjusted for inflation - these are absolute numbers. There are no rules that tell a company - "You have to adjust for inflation". It is always supply-demand.

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