Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Is Becoming a Doctor Worth $1 Million?
The typical doctor doesn't earn a full-time salary until 10 years after the typical college graduate starts making money. That lost decade of work costs a cool half-million dollars, if you assume this individual could have earned just $50,000 annually, and the typical medical school candidate is smart and successful enough to earn considerably more. Add in the time and cost it takes to pay off medical school debt and a dissatisfied physician may well consider pursuing medicine a $1 million mistake. (This assumes the average $166,750 medical school debt takes 30 years to repay at 7.5 percent interest -- a total cost of $419,738.)

Kathy Kristoff, “A $1 Million Mistake: Becoming a Doctor,” CBS MoneyWatch, September 11, 2013

There’s more, of course,  to practicing medicine than making money. Nevertheless, according to the personal website, NerdWallet,  most  doctors are unhappy in their careers, partly for financial reasons and partly for lost time reasons.  Only one-third would choose medicine if they had it to do over again.  Furthermore, doctors are leery about Obamacare and what it portends for them.

The reasons why are these.

·         Paperwork now takes 23% of their time, and when Obamacare's 20,000 pages of  regulations take hold, they are wary that this percentage will escalate.

·         The cost of becoming a doctor has soared, and the average doctor now graduates with an education debt of $166,775.

·         Obamacare does not address the Congressional SGR formula, which annually calls for up to 25% cuts in Medicare pay for doctors, nor does it address malpractice reform and increasing malpractice premiums.

·         It takes 11 to 14 years of education and training to become a doctor,  and this time sacrifice results in lost income.

·         With an estimated 30 million increase in Medicaid patients, which pay at 58% of private rates, many doctors will have less time to spend with patients at lower rates with higher overheads because of time spent dealing with government bureaucracy.

Tweet:    Doctors fear Obamacare will cost them money, and more importantly, time  spent with patients.

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