Should MDs Make Less Since Work Is Fulfilling?

It’s an interesting question, and one I had never thought about.  But, this is how I would summarize Penelope Trunk’s post.

Why do doctors need to make so much money? The non-financial rewards for being a doctor are larger than almost any other profession. Except teaching.

Can’t I have a good job that I like; make a difference in society; AND make a lot of money.  Is that too much to ask?

I guess it’s like saying why can’t I balance work and family AND make a lot of money.  It can happen, but it’s rare and hard. 

I’m not sure I buy her hypothesis about lowering standards to create more MDs which would drive down costs, but it’s an interesting perspective.

One Response to “Should MDs Make Less Since Work Is Fulfilling?”

  1. I understand where you’re coming from, but this seems like a very one-sided perspective. It is important to keep in mind that physicians come out of medical school hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, even without debt from undergraduate training. Whether or not a profession is fulfilling should not have bearing on its monetary value. Especially given the standards placed on healthcare today, physicians spend upwards of ten post-secondary years in training, often amounting to almost 15 extra years. Primary care physicians are seeing their incomes diminish as years pass, while specialists are seeing increased reimbursements (albeit they require more training). This trend explains the significantly reduced numbers of medical students entering primary care. Efforts to lower healthcare costs should not target health care providers, especially not as a homogenous group. All perspectives must be considered. Becoming a physician is no simple task, and far from a cheap one.

    [BTW – Just to be clear…I’m not proposing that this is right, but I think that Penelope’s perspective is interesting. I believe physician’s should be able to make a good living and have rewarding work. I’d like to believe I enjoy my work, make a difference, and am reasonable compensated.]

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