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Making Money Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
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Charisma Man Offline
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Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
Hi guys, long time lurker here. I’ve seen a lot of discussions lately centered around the concept of young dudes wanting to travel the world after putting in a good 10 or so years of work in the West. With that in mind, I thought I’d pitch in and write a not-so-brief synopsis on how a medical career-that is, becoming a physician-could fit that bill. How to become a doctor is no secret: get into medical school. This thread will focus on the "why," because I feel that many people have a fixed idea of what being a doctor entails that doesn't have to necessarily hold true. Brief disclaimer: this thread is directed more so at dudes still in college, and furthermore only that subset of them that has at least some interest in science and-most importantly-is good at test taking. Also, you best be American or Canadian. I’m sure medicine (read: $$$) is not far too different in the UK and Australia but your mileage may vary. If you’re not in the Anglosphere at all, forget about it from a monetary perspective.

Another disclaimer: I’m not a physician nor am I even a med student. In fact I hope to never attend med school as I’ll be the first to admit that there are better ways to spend one’s twenties than memorizing every retarded little bone and blood vessel in the body. My plan A is to get an expat position and/or start a business in Asia; however that is a high risk proposition so med school is my backup plan. To that end, I’ve done the whole premed thing, shadowed physicians, done medical volunteering, taken the MCAT, and applied to medical schools. In fact I have a couple of med school interviews scheduled for later this year. More importantly, I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours doing due diligence on what one can expect from a career in medicine and how one can contort the idea of “medicine as a calling” to “medicine as an enabler of the global player lifestyle," which is ultimately what I want.

That last sentence is basically the crux of the matter. You’re probably thinking, “yes, doctors make $$$ but it comes at the price of having no life. “ This is true for many but doesn't have to be true for you. Medicine can definitely be a slog. I’m not trying to argue in this thread that it's the ultimate or even “good” life strategy for aspiring international players. Frankly, if you want to escape the West just do it asap. As a young guy you have time to figure shit out. However, if you're dead set on taking the "work now play later" approach of staying in the West initially, there are worse ways to go than becoming a physician. One of those worse ways is thinking you're gonna get an accounting or engineering degree and slave away for 10 to 15 years so that you can save what…300k? 500k? and live and travel off that puny sum.

With that out of the way, I'll get to some basics. The way medicine (in USA) works is that after college you enroll in medical school, which lasts 4 years. So ideally, you finish your official schooling at a fresh and spry 26. Bad news? You’re not done yet. For all intents and purposes, graduating medical school does not mean you can practice medicine. After your second year of med school, you take the USMLE, which is a test of the basic sciences you learned in those first 2 years. Based on your score on that test as well as grades, research, and networking skills, you then choose a specialty and apply for residencies in that specialty. This process can get dicey: if you’re dead set on becoming a plastic surgeon for example you better be the smartest person you’ve ever met, because you’ll have to be in the top 5% or so of your class(in practice, this means you’ll have to score in the top 5% on the USMLE). Now in general whenever someone says “top 5%” this doesn’t mean very much because when you look at a random group of people chances are you’ve got to go past 80-85th percentile just to get to those who are merely “somewhat competent.” Do remember though that medical students are already highly selected so that top 5% is really “top 5% of the top 5%.” You get the point. In any case, the good news is, as you’ll see in a bit you probably don’t want to be a plastic surgeon anyway.

Moving on. Let’s say you’ve done well enough on the USMLE to get your choice of specialties. Now you’ve got to decide what you want out of life. There is a huge difference between an orthopedic spine surgeon fusing the vertebrae in Payton Manning’s neck and a family doctor “prescribing” cough drops for an insufferable brat with a mild cold or telling a 300lb land whale that one step they could take to improve their health is lose a few pounds. If you really like the surgical specialties for the “coolness” factor (and the ridiculous salaries: no reason you can’t eventually be making $1m a year as a spine surgeon although $700k is more usual) then be prepared to treat medicine as a calling. But let’s assume that even at this point, we’re still treating a medical career same as before we started the process: as a means towards an end (the lifestyle we want) rather than an end in itself.

Let’s backtrack. What is residency, anyway? It’s basically like an apprenticeship. After medical school you apply to a residency program-let’s say it’s a general surgery residency at New York Memorial Hospital, or whatever. Since in this example the specialty is general surgery, the residency lasts 5 years. During these 5 years you’re getting worked like a dog and are making 60-70k a year. The hours are brutal (especially if it’s surgery) and the pay sucks, so 5 years is a lot, isn’t it? Yep, especially since each year of residency is costing you the difference between resident pay (60k) and attending pay (varies but could be as much as 500k even just starting out.) So ideally your perfect “lifestyle” specialty has the shortest residency possible so you start raking in the big bucks as soon as you can, at the youngest you can.

So, you want to look at those specialties with the shortest residencies. Also, you want to be able to fuck off to wherever for however long you want on a whim, right? So you want shift work- you don't want specialties where you have to “build a practice,” i.e. accumulate a patient base that is relying on you and to whom you must be available round the clock. So forget shit like dermatology, cardiology, (most) surgery, etc. Finally, you of course want to get $PAID$ for the shifts you put in. With all that said, there is one specialty that is basically a no-brainer:

Emergency Medicine.

That’s right, working in the E.R. Here’s why:
First, the residency is “short” at just 3 years. A couple other specialties are also 3 years but none is less than 3. So in an ideal scenario, you graduate med school at 26 and finish up your EM residency at 29. Yeah, that ain’t that young and you’re probably behind your peers who have been in the workforce for the past 7 years, but don’t worry. You’ve put in the work and are now a financial Usain Bolt, ready to leapfrog a whole bunch of fat sluggish motherfuckers who happened to get a pathetically insufficient head start on you.

Anyway, it’s not even as bad as all that. We still haven't even mentioned moonlighting. Rules about this vary, but choose your residency program wisely and you can start moonlighting your second year of residency, i.e. at the age of 27. What is moonlighting? Well, hospitals and especially emergency rooms need to be open 24/7, for obvious reasons. You’d need to employ a lot of full time dudes to make sure that the round the clock coverage is always in effect, so inevitably there are gaps in coverage. Hospitals are often desperate to fill these gaps in their schedules when somebody takes vacation, goes on leave, etc. Desperate enough to pay YOU, a lowly resident, big bucks to fill those shifts. You can easily expect to make around $200/hr moonlighting. Shifts vary from 8-12 hours depending on the hospital. You’ll be dead tired from residency and the last thing you’ll want to do is MORE work, but just do the math. Force yourself to work even 2 or 3 12-hr moonlighting shifts a month and you’re looking at a yearly bonus of $80-90,000 on top of your measly resident salary. All in all, you can reasonably expect to make 160k a year starting your second year of residency so at 27 you're already making progress, buddy!

But enough about residency, let’s consider your life as a fully-fledged attending physician. I’m going to continue assuming we’re interested in leaving America behind, since we’re intimidated by strong, independent women and feel the need to slum it with young, naïve, easily- controlled foreign girlsRolleyes. Well, now you’ve got some more choices to make. Do you want to (immediately!) live a moderately affluent life in SEA or EE, or do you want to work hard for a few years and ball out? Let’s say the former for now. Good thing about EM (and physician shift work in general) is locum-tenens and moonlighting work. Locum-tenens is simply short term contract work: you go to bumfuck nowhere, Texas, and since it’s a brief stint where they’re desperate for coverage and it’s in bumfuck nowhere, you get that pleasant $300/hr rate. Nice. Your contract is for 4 weeks where you work 20 12hr shifts and make $72,000. Very nice! Now you can fuk off for a while if you so choose and you've only worked a month.

Now, are you always going to be able to find such contracts, back to back? Yep, you probably could, although getting $300hr consistently may be a stretch. Something like $250 is more the norm. It’s a moot point though, because you probably won’t want to work that much. The average EM physician works fewer than 14 shifts a month and it’s for a reason, namely that those shifts are exhausting physically and mentally. Those hypothetical 20 12hr shifts in one month are something you could probably do for a few months at a stretch as a young dude just out of residency but it’s not sustainable for the long run…so they say.

So let’s step back and take a look at the broader picture. You’re now 29. You’ve done moonlighting for the last 2 years of residency and hopefully paid off your med school debt with the proceeds. Your income potential is around $3000 a day (assuming a middle of the road $250/hr but gruesome 12 hr shifts). You can work as much or as little as you wish, wherever you wish, so long as you apply for the requisite state medical licenses. If you choose to get a steady job in Texas (generally best state for physician compensation) you will make $400k a year on roughly 13-15 8hr shifts a month. Do some moonlighting above and beyond that and you can make $500-600k without stretching yourself too much, or up to $700k if you go full-on kamikaze mode. Let’s say that first year out of residency you put in the time and make $600k. Congrats, you’ve almost caught up to your accountant and engineer friends (let’s be generous and say that their first 8 years income out of college looked like this: 60+70+80+90+100+110+120+130=$760,000). Of course, you added( 600k-tax-1 year living expense) to your bank account, whereas they added (760k-tax-8 years living expenses) to their accounts. Chances are you’re ahead, even taking compounding investment returns into account.

I can easily live on less than 20k a year in USA especially when working like a madman, and so can you when you keep your goals in mind. After that first year of full time work you put away roughly 350k after tax and living expenses into the bank and you’ve just turned 30. Now you’re ready to fuck off to wherever you want for 3 months before coming back for another 1 month locum-tenens contract. You’ve got decent capital already and you know you can always get more so you’re not risk averse. Invest that money in your pussy paradise and become a somebody. Hell, you’re an American trained doctor for chrissakes, the business opportunities are endless both home and abroad. You’re fucking set, more or less, because you’re always just a week of 12hr ER shifts away from another $15,000.

Now compare your situation to that of an average working stiff 8 years into his career. Moral of this story: if you’re a college kid and you’re thinking that the path you want to take is to invest your 20s and early 30’s into a career here in the West rather than jetting off to your pussy paradise right off the bat, seriously consider medicine. Unless, of course, you go to HYPS and have an inside track for a Wall Street job, in which case you already know to disregard this without me having to tell you.

Some concluding disclaimers: the situation I’ve described is very uncommon in medicine. Most doctors are blue pill as hell, have families, and care deeply for the patients. Moreover, they’ve grown fat and happy and hustling is not their forte. They’d rather work within the same 20 mile radius to stay close to the wife and kids than jet around the country in pursuit of those 300/hr contracts. The jobs I described are like the “Canadian Oil Fields” of medicine. You’re not going to be paid $300/hr to work a 9-5 shift in NYC or LA.

Finally, and most importantly: all I wrote above is true for today and today only, and may not and almost certainly will not describe the situation 10 years from now. The US healthcare system is under intense financial pressure. Moreover, the corporate leeches and parasites have started to descend upon the medical profession. Consider this: When a dentist pulls a tooth, the dentist gets the money. When a plumber fixes the sink, the plumber gets the money. When the factory worker builds the car, the CEO and shareholders get the money and the worker gets crumbs. Why? Because the worker is part of a large organization and in large organizations the money is always sucked to the top. Medicine is undergoing a profound transformation. It is changing from a system where medical care is provided by physician owned practices. In such practices, physicians are both the providers of medical care and the owners of the business, so the money flows to them. Increasingly, gigantic “Healthcare Systems” have been assimilating these independent practices and turning doctors into hospital employees, cogs in a machine. In the eyes of the parasitic elite, for too long have doctors escaped relatively unscathed from the despoiling of the American economy by the vampire class. If 100 Orthopedic surgeons earn $200,000 a year instead of $500,000, then that means 30 million dollars was just freed up to go to the Healthcare System CEOs and the private equity firms behind them! There are other potential pitfalls that I won’t go into, but the takeaway is just be aware that today’s reality may be tomorrow’s wistful reminiscence. But that is true of the future period, not just medicine.

Anyway, I hope some of you found this interesting/useful. Hit me up if you have any questions.
(This post was last modified: 11-04-2014 11:01 PM by Charisma Man.)
11-04-2014 10:59 PM
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kmhour Offline
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RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
I was going to rip someone who hadn't even gone to med school writing a 'doctor data sheet' but this isn't bad advice. the overriding principle is picking a specialty. if you're thinking about going into medicine, if it isn't a "god has spoken to me" calling I wouldn't bother going into any primary care specialty. between the pressure from insurance, the ACA, physician assistants, and the basic commoditization of primary healthcare (among other factors) it is not a major moneymaker and especially won't be one 10 years down the line. after malpractice insurance and time lost, your early 30s engineer counterparts probably won't be too different.

obviously medicine is a delayed gratification field just by virtue of the time lag involved in the education requirements, and the residency will grind you down. but as Charisma Man implied, there are benefits to the patient man. it's not a job any idiot can fall into, but we've all heard the joke about the last guy in med school. if you're smart enough pursue a STEM career there's no reason you shouldn't be able to get into medicine. I don't have anywhere near the depth of knowledge about emergency medicine and not all of us are willing to live a nomadic lifestyle traipsing around Texas in pursuit of contract work, but for a specific application it isn't a bad idea.

aside from the financial concerns, from a game perspective being a doctor is a panty dropper. pure and simple. that comes with its own attendant problems, but that's another story. the sheer social stature western society places on doctors probably isn't going anywhere this generation.

full disclosure, I'm not a doctor either, but I've worked in the healthcare field.
11-05-2014 01:32 AM
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Sandman Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
I'm a physician. I do a lot of "shift work" and locums and i can validate what is said above, and have filled one passport already

The problem is, it may not be that way in 5-8 years, so I would not start the process thinking it will work

I am very jealous of my friends who are time and location independent
11-05-2014 11:00 PM
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Sandman Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
Being a doctor helps get you GFs, does very little to help with the ONS, and often works against you, girls hold out longer on you hoping for the LTR
11-05-2014 11:01 PM
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edtf Offline
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RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
I'm a current first year med student, and last year I was going through the applications process, so I can shed some advice on the applications process.

There is a ton of bullshit to wade through, and I'll share with you some hacks/tricks that I wish I had known before going through this.

----- The MCAT -----

There's many prep courses out there, Kaplan, Princeton Review, Exam Krackers, etc. Which one is the best, you might ask? Before you shell out 2000$ for them, consider this. I took a Kaplan MCAT review course, and the instructor (who actually wrote the books and the curriculum, mind you) said that basically the only reliable prep that you can do are two things.
1. There is a outline of material covered on the MCAT for both biology and physical sciences, and know those equations like the back of your hand. This is available for FREE on the AAMC website. The prep companies put in a bunch of extra equations that are never tested.
2. The myth that you should only take a practice exam once is BS. You need multiple repeats of every single AAMC practice exam (AAMC only, not test prep company!!) in order to catch the underlying patterns and logic of the questions they ask. You will develop intuition for their testing styles and it will help you greatly on the exam. AGAIN, the practice exams developed by test prep companies (Kaplan, Princeton review, exam crackers) are unreliable indicators of how you will do on the actual exam!!

In my situation, I did each AAMC practice test 3 times, stopped using Kaplan questions, and was only making flash cards from the equations in the physics session. I scored a 35, which is in the 96th percentile.

3. The organic chemistry section is feared by many students, but it is extremely low yield. Even if you don't touch it at all, expect only 2-3 questions on the whole test to be about it. On my exam, I did get some weird reactions tested, but this is the exception, not the norm. If your time permits you to study it, then do it, but if your time is limited, spend more time on the biology and physics and they will be higher yield.

4. The verbal section is a shit show. Even with extensive practice, you can only hope for about 10 points. Anything above 10 points is usually luck. With practice you can guarantee 10 points. The same goes for physical and biological sciences, with preparation you can usually guarantee about 12 points on each. Therefore, with enough prep, expect to get 10+12+12 = 34 points.

Note: My advice will all be irrelevant starting next year, as the new MCAT coming out will include new subjects in the humanities such as sociology. However, the suggestion of using the AAMC practice exams still stands, as the test prep companies are just as much in the dark as you are about the new MCAT testing style.



---- Picking schools to apply to -----

Let me preface this by saying, the AAMC is one of the most corrupt organizations I've ever seen, whitewashed with a facade of future doctors in training, diversity fuzziness bullshit. The AAMC will fuck you out of your money to take the MCAT, again on the application cycle, charging you 30 dollars to basically email a pdf of your application to a school. It then whores you out to individual medical schools, which charge you 100$ a piece to read your application. Many top schools send you a secondary, and right when you complete it, they cash your check and immediately reject you. AAMC is supposed to be a non-profit corporation, yet its CEO is making 800k a year doing jack shit.

For example, you register to take the MCAT: 250$
Lets assume you didn't do that great the first time, many people void or retake their exam: 250$
After this you apply to 15 schools (a very average number): 15 x 30$ = 450$
Most schools will immediately send you a secondary application, and you will gleefully fill these out: 15 x 100$ = 1500$

You see, you're now down 2500$ (4500$ if you took an MCAT prep course), and you haven't even gotten one interview yet!

Sorry to dash your hopes, but unless you do have a 3.8+ GPA / 35+ MCAT / 1 scientific publication / 1+ year clinical volunteering, forget about the top 20. Their computer filters will immediately scrub you down before a human looks at your personal statement or essays. Apply to one if you must, but don't get your hopes up. Definitely apply to all schools in your state, as you will be able to get by with weaker stats (Unless you are a California or NY resident, in which case you're pretty fucked since all out-of-staters are gunning for UC and NY school spots). If I were to apply again, here would be my application strategy:

1. Apply to 1 top 20 school (just in case, whatever)
2. Apply to all schools within my state
3. Apply to 5 schools in the rank 30+ range
4. Apply to several Texas schools.
5. Apply to 1 DO school (osteopathic)

Texas schools are comparatively VERY easy to get into. If you are a Texas resident you are in luck. A 28 MCAT and 3.0 GPA can land you a spot, and if you are out of state your shot is not bad either.

Oh also, race does matter, and it matters A LOT for admissions. If you are black, Hispanic, or Native American, you’re in luck. None of anything I talked about applies to you. You can get a 2.8 GPA / 28 MCAT (64th percentile) and still have a 35% chance of getting in. If you are white or Asian with the same exact stats, your acceptance chance is 6%. The numbers are here:
https://www.aamc.org/data/facts/applican...icity.html


--- Personal statements, letters of recommendations, interviewing ---

PM me, as each person is pretty unique and they can play up and play down certain parts of themselves in order to strengthen their application


--- Misc Tips that don’t belong anywhere ---

Get funded somehow, otherwise you’re coming out of med school at least 400K in debt. There are military scholarships to look into, which will have you stationed in bases all around the world with competitive salary, basically travelling on the governments dime. I don’t know that much about it, but it’s worth checking out.

Remember, if you borrow money for medical school, your loan rate is 6.8%. Lets say you are paying it off over the span of 20 years. You buy a pizza for 20$. By the time you pay off the cost of that pizza, you’ve paid 80$ for that pizza. Student loan companies are fucking bastards. Even if you declare bankruptcy, you’re still responsible for your student loans, unlike all other loan types. So if you drop out, you’re pretty screwed.

There is no easy street after you get in. Many med schools are pass/fail, like mine, but it’s the hardest goddamn pass you’ll ever work for. That final you were studying for in undergrad? Imagine that same final, but you have 1/10 the time to study for it. So prepare yourself.

TAKE ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY DURING UNDERGRAD. Seriously, TAKE THESE CLASSES!!!! The students who were undergrad anatomy TAs in my class have a SERIOUS advantage over everyone else! They already know all the parts of the body as well as how they work, and they’re studying 60% less than you and still doing better than you. Put in your time now and you will thank me later.
11-06-2014 03:24 AM
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The_CEO Offline
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RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
To any younger guys on here, if i was re-doing my education, i'd have at least taken the pre-req's in college so it would be an option.

The best reason to be a Dr. is b/c you want to be a Dr., but if so, there are great perks.

Also, military may be an option to get your school paid for.

Another thing to consider - related medical careers such as Physicians Assistant (education required: Masters) but salary is quite decent.

I also know someone who started as a nurse (since pre-req's overlap) and then went to med school. There are diff. ways to approach it.

Regarding the E.R. route from the OP - you can also teach Emergency Medicine at some point.
(This post was last modified: 11-06-2014 05:07 PM by The_CEO.)
11-06-2014 05:01 PM
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BasketBounce Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
Why go to the military if you can pay off all your school debts yourself?

Unless you go into primary care, I feel like all doctors make enough money to pay off school debts. Seems to me like if you're frugal, you can pay off all your loans a few years after residency no?

Or am I misinformed?
11-06-2014 08:08 PM
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RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet


11-06-2014 08:50 PM
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Hedonistic Traveler Offline
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RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
(11-06-2014 05:01 PM)The_CEO Wrote:  Another thing to consider - related medical careers such as Physicians Assistant (education required: Masters) but salary is quite decent.

I also know someone who started as a nurse (since pre-req's overlap) and then went to med school. There are diff. ways to approach it.

I've looked into becoming a Physician's Assistant a little. It seems like a solid career plan. The M.A. programs I've looked at are just 24-months, and it seems like PAs have a decent amount of opportunities to work abroad, especially if I can pick up fluency in a second language in the next few years.

My sister became a Nurse Practitioner after nursing school, it seems like that's a similar level to a PA. She makes pretty solid money for 5-years of school, and seems to enjoy the work.

Are you a doctor?
11-06-2014 08:50 PM
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The_CEO Offline
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RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
(11-06-2014 08:50 PM)Hedonistic Traveler Wrote:  I've looked into becoming a Physician's Assistant a little. It seems like a solid career plan. The M.A. programs I've looked at are just 24-months, and it seems like PAs have a decent amount of opportunities to work abroad, especially if I can pick up fluency in a second language in the next few years.

My sister became a Nurse Practitioner after nursing school, it seems like that's a similar level to a PA. She makes pretty solid money for 5-years of school, and seems to enjoy the work.

Are you a doctor?

Not a doctor. Looked into it a bit and friends/relatives work in the field.
I am sorry I didn't at least do the pre-med req's when I was in College.

Phys. Assistant is good b/c you obviously don't have the huge time commitment and hours are less grueling. I think they make 120-150k or so.

Nursing can also be good and you can pretty much work anywhere and I believe other guys have posted threads about Travel Nursing.

For older guys thinking about going back, there are post-bacc pre-med programs. You also have med-schools in the caribbean Idea

It's not easy but I know of people who have gone back to med-school at 40.
11-06-2014 09:44 PM
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Alpharius Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
PA's typically make between $60-90k starting out. PA school is no joke, though. The goal of any PA program is to turn you into a doctor in all but name in 2/2.5 years.

I'd recommend anyone interested in entering the medical field to take a look at the Cuban medical program. If I could go back to 18, I'd bust my ass studying Spanish and getting a biology degree so I could attend. Free med school, language experience, unique travel experience, all they ask are two years of service work in exchange.
http://instituciones.sld.cu/elam/

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11-06-2014 10:17 PM
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Helmutnl Offline
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RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
I've read that Germany offers cool medical programs these days, and much cheaper than in the USA but one has to be fluent in German!
11-06-2014 10:49 PM
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Charisma Man Offline
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RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
I received a PM and replied at length so I'm gonna post it here as well in case anyone else finds it useful.

How did you determine that Emergency Medicine is the "way to go" if you're going for a player lifestyle through medicine? I ask because I am curious in understanding the thought process you went through to arrive at that choice. I want to be able to autonomously determine the relative lifestyle ranking of each specialty instead of relying on the opinions of other people all the time, you know?

I kind of explained my thought process at some length in my original post, but it boils down to this:

1) I want to be as close to "location independent" as possible. The closest thing to that in medicine is shift work, because you are not tied to a specific patient base and physician referral network that you must first build and then constantly maintain.

2) Of the specialties that offer shift work, EM pays highest, full stop. From what I was made to understand, the shifts are long, arduous, and stressful. But they pay. Your income is determined by your pain threshold, the number of shifts you can force yourself to work. Furthermore, out of all the specialties out there, I see EM as the least likely to suffer the sort of targeted reimbursement cuts that every medical specialty is dreading. Why? Because the whole definition of "Emergency Room" is that it's for emergencies, and as such you are expected to pay through the nose for even trivial treatments if you're retarded enough to go to the ER for a trivial problem. There are other reasons why I think EM is more resistant to reimbursement cuts but I don't want to make this too long.

You mention that you were pre-med, took the MCAT, did all the volunteering and stuff...and yet you still don't want to go to medical school. You describe medicine as a fallback plan. Of all the things you could pick, why medicine? It just seems like so much work to have as a fallback career.

Man, I could write pages and pages on that topic, but I'll try and keep it brief.

If there is one thing that I have a talent for, it's definitely the taking of standardized tests. I would say I'm a pretty intelligent guy. But succeeding in this cold hard world is not down to predominantly intelligence. In general, success is far more often determined by factors like a socially dominant personality, hard nosed business acumen, hard work, and yes luck. I chose Charisma Man as my moniker not because I'm especially charismatic. I'm not going to be the guy glad-handing and back-slapping my way to the C-suite by age 40, because intelligence is not how you do that.

To get to the point, becoming a physician is the purest way to leverage intelligence into a high income. Let's say your goal is to be capable of making $500,000 a year by your early 30's and you want to be absolutely certain this will happen. If you're an average guy with no connections, the surest way of doing it is to go to medical school. Sure, there are a million ways to make more money in less time than going to medical school, but these ways are also much less likely to pan out. In other words, medicine is a low-variance play for high yield results that will work even if my shot at a high-variance play fails. That's kind of the definition of a backup plan.

Finally, don't get me wrong. Up until middle of undergrad I was convinced being a doctor was my primary and ultimate goal. I'm a scientist at heart. But I came to the realization that I wanted more out of life, and furthermore that I need to GTFO of USA. Medicine is nice, but at 28 I'd rather be getting drunk in a Tokyo club with my buddies and some Asian dimes celebrating a successful deal than fending off drug seeking hoodrats at an urban American ER.


And if you did attend HYPS how would you go about attaining that global player lifestyle?

Simple. Study economics with a math minor, get a 4.0 GPA, learn Chinese or Japanese in my spare time and get a posting to Tokyo, Shanghai, or HK with a bulge bracket investment bank right after undergrad. Makes me green with envy just thinking about it hah.
11-06-2014 11:56 PM
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Sandman Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
I gotta hand it to charisma man. He's pretty damn accurate for someone who hasn't done it yet. You will go far man in whatever you choose

I too have always said my mutant power is blowing standardized tests outta the water. And no doubt medicine is the best way too leverage that talent.

However, if i could have done it again, I would have gone the PA route and done emergency medicine as s PA.

It's interesting though. I've noticed rappers want to stop rapping and become producers, pro athletes want to become owners, etc

Absolutely every doc I know, unless they have a ton of family wealth, would all prefer to transition into administration in some way (maybe just owning your own practice, not necessarily to become a CEO) and have other docs or PAs or NPs work for you. I think it's because you can't scale up or have residuals on what you do with your own hands

My sister is going to PA school. I keep telling her she should just be my office manager and she will make almost the same, and that's what she will want to do anyways eventually. But when i was her age, I wouldn't have listened to me either
11-07-2014 03:05 AM
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Sandman Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
Also, if you F up in med school at any step along the easy, it's permanent on your record and if EM becomes really competitive, you can really easily get locked out forever. Absolutely zero do overs.

So i tell people only go into medicine I'd you can be OK with working in primary care, bc that's the only field you will always be able to do for sure
11-07-2014 03:09 AM
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Phoenix Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
The length of training required to get into a medical specialty always makes me wonder: why don't we start streaming people into these fields at a much younger age? If a kid wants to be a heart surgeon, surely he could reach that skill level by 25, not 30, if he was in university at 13 instead of 18. Does he really need to learn most of the useless fluff he learns at school?
(This post was last modified: 11-07-2014 03:53 AM by Phoenix.)
11-07-2014 03:52 AM
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The_CEO Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
(11-07-2014 03:52 AM)Phoenix Wrote:  The length of training required to get into a medical specialty always makes me wonder: why don't we start streaming people into these fields at a much younger age? If a kid wants to be a heart surgeon, surely he could reach that skill level by 25, not 30, if he was in university at 13 instead of 18. Does he really need to learn most of the useless fluff he learns at school?

Well besides the "useless fluff" supposedly you're learning social skills as well.

Anyway, if you talk to many doctors and surgeons they were already on that track anyway - doing well in math/biology/chemistry high school and already heading down that path.

Some schools are trying to shorten med school from 4 to 3 years by the way (maybe NYU is one of them).
11-07-2014 11:51 AM
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BasketBounce Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
What are the boundaries to creating your own company after becoming a doctor?

Let's assume that you don't have a family, and you are location independent. If you got the coin and you've got the smarts, there is nothing really tying you down. There's no rule saying you have to be tied down to a location to have a successful start up.

Just thinking long term here...would love some insight.
11-10-2014 10:37 AM
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edtf Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
(11-10-2014 10:37 AM)BasketBounce Wrote:  What are the boundaries to creating your own company after becoming a doctor?

Let's assume that you don't have a family, and you are location independent. If you got the coin and you've got the smarts, there is nothing really tying you down. There's no rule saying you have to be tied down to a location to have a successful start up.

Just thinking long term here...would love some insight.

Look into tele radiology. You can make 400K a year remotely
11-10-2014 10:40 AM
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The_CEO Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
(11-10-2014 10:37 AM)BasketBounce Wrote:  What are the boundaries to creating your own company after becoming a doctor?

Let's assume that you don't have a family, and you are location independent. If you got the coin and you've got the smarts, there is nothing really tying you down. There's no rule saying you have to be tied down to a location to have a successful start up.

Just thinking long term here...would love some insight.

One of the wealthiest people in LA (a billionaire) is a doctor who started at least one pharmaceutical company. He still sees practices and see patients too.
(This post was last modified: 11-10-2014 11:56 AM by The_CEO.)
11-10-2014 11:55 AM
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poutsara Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
(11-10-2014 11:55 AM)The_CEO Wrote:  One of the wealthiest people in LA (a billionaire) is a doctor who started at least one pharmaceutical company. He still sees practices and see patients too.

true
(This post was last modified: 02-13-2016 09:13 PM by poutsara.)
11-10-2014 12:56 PM
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Time Lord of Gallifrey Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
Everything you need to know about emergency medicine can be found in this forum
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forums/e...dicine.43/

for physician assistance forum focusing on emergency medicine
http://www.physicianassistantforum.com/i...-medicine/
11-10-2014 01:08 PM
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Post: #23
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
(11-10-2014 12:56 PM)poutsara Wrote:  
(11-10-2014 11:55 AM)The_CEO Wrote:  One of the wealthiest people in LA (a billionaire) is a doctor who started at least one pharmaceutical company. He still sees practices and see patients too.

That would be Patrick Soon-Shiong. He started Abraxis. I highly doubt he still sees patients.

Right; that's who it is.
According to him, he still see patients, because he chooses to.
There was a documentary profile about him on PBS. You can look it up on Youtube if you want.
11-10-2014 01:28 PM
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texrifle Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
Hey gents,

Second year pre-med here, finishing out a semester of Organic Chemistry 1, Calculus Based Physics 1, and Calculus II. I have a question as to whether medical schools will even give a damn about a math minor, or whether taking an easier biology minor and for sure getting A's would be better suited for applying to medical school. As of now I'm set to get an A- in all of my classes as a result of some bullshit that came up that ate about two weeks of study time for two weeks near the end of the semester. My GPA is currently a 3.8, but will take a small hit after this semester.

Also, to answer the question about medical startup's, there is a big push by doctor's who are successful trying to go into the business application side of medicine. I won't name names but I am happy to provide some general examples shared with me from some of my family members who work within prominent health verticals(their term not mine)/division's of companies that we are all familiar with.

Note: In most of the medical literature that I've heard talked about at conferences, and heard through firsthand hearsay from those whose job it is to make money off of existing needs in healthcare, the number one problem within hospitals today is alarm fatigue, and it kills many more patients per year than the general public would like to know, and medical practitioners would care to admit.

Example 1: Company A is providing a software and hardware platform that instates an integrated solution to manage nursing overwork and alarm fatigue, that ultimately notifies the CEO of the company and the hospital administrator if a patient's call isn't responded to within 2 minutes. The CEO of the company has a very personal edge to why he's implementing this policy.

Example 2: Company B is providing an integrated solution to battery monitoring throughout hospital's, believe it or not this is also a major contributor to alarm fatigue, and rather than stay current on all battery usage, many times the batteries are simply removed. I have personally been to a clinic in which the staff were overburdened with numerous side difficulties and the maintenance was not managed properly. Long story short I was undergoing a test in which the apparatus which the doctor was going to use for the test had the batteries removed from it, and the lightbulb had been removed. This is another money pit, the only reason these things haven't gained traction yet is the lack of qualified salespeople to reach the roughly 3000 hospitals in america.

To break it down, the company I am basing my information off of has successfully penetrated 2/3rd's of the market with their claims processing software/integrated solutions technology, and they are being solicited as the top dog in this sector. All of their business people generally are from the era from "just before the internet". I mean the folks who are pitching their products to current hospitals were cutting their teeth on integrated solutions when the first credit card transaction machine was used to process a claim in hospitals in the early 90's. These salespeople are so successful, with such a valuable product, it's simply not as profitable (for them) to switch to pitching another product that saves lives. In summary, there is definitely big money in identifying areas of need and getting on the ground with a solution, but the big problem is penetrating the major sectors of hospitals, such as the Ohio Valley Region. Also, roughly 60% of the United States population lives within 6 hours of Atlanta, another huge sector for healthcare. I firmly believe that big changes are coming to healthcare as far as payment processing, and that we will eventually move to a single payer system, but for now there are still significant opportunities to be had in the healthcare industry as a whole.

If you aren't going to work for big pharma, insurance industries, or lobbying, then identifying a key need and providing a competent and relatively easy to implement solution that has research based proven efficacy will be the biggest factor in determining success in my opinion. I'm open to answering any questions, but it is finals week so it may be a while before I can get back to you.
(This post was last modified: 12-05-2017 11:59 PM by texrifle.)
12-05-2017 11:57 PM
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NiceGuy Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Medical (physician) Career Data Sheet
Physician here - second year of residency. I echo many of the sentiments here.

Long time lurker, but always appreciate this forum. I've started travelling much more again and hope to share my perspectives much more.

I've been extremely fortunate with ONS with the doctor line; although, I do notice many of these girls tend to be clingy and want the LTR. Just need to play your cards right. The nurses, as cliche as it may sound, have been the most ONS-eager.

I'll have to say many of my fellow colleagues are "autist" and I get a lot of "wow, you're a doctor and actually have social skills" when girls in bars/clubs find out I'm a doctor. I started in dermatology before deciding to switch specialties, so I still play the botox/filler card which women absolutely love.

Overall, being a doctor is a big sacrifice - I'm 28 now. I spent the better half of my 20s studying, studying, and studying more. Once I'm in my 30s, will it be worth it considering I wasted most of my 20s - maybe? However, I have good buddies who are 25-26, and who bank 150-180K per year as consultants; however, their working hours are shitty.
07-30-2019 10:11 PM
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