USA Today piece recently stood up for us physicians. With rising medical costs that are spiraling out of control some researchers are trying to go after doctors as the major culprit. By comparing physicians here to other countries the Columbia professors have decided that we should be knocked down a few pegs. The newspaper, on the other hand, explained a few things that should not be overlooked:
1. Doctors spend 40,000 hours on education
2. Loans after college and med school can reach $300,527 and take 20 years to pay off
3. The two combined deprives doctors of $788,880 in net income
4. Other countries don't have these high education costs
5. The average doctor works about 60 hours a week
6. Doctors income only makes up 10% of all healthcare costs
The risk of cutting into doctors' salaries means demotivating our best college students and driving them into other fields (Wall Street?).
I am a family doc. I make more than the average American. I spent a lot of my youth to get here and paid off a lot of debt along the way. The truth is that NOT everyone can be a doctor. I feel proud of what I have accomplished and how much I directly help people. I do not feel bad for making a very good living. It is still the American dream, you know.