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Want to succeed in life? Don't become a doctor

Sunday, March 16, 2014 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: doctors, success, medical career

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(NaturalNews) Once upon a time in America, becoming a physician was considered the pinnacle of success, but today - thanks to incessant government over-regulation, to be made even worse by Obamacare - doctors are increasingly having second thoughts about their choice of profession.

According to the personal finance site NerdWallet, in fact, deciding to go to medical school could turn out to be a million-dollar mistake.

As reported by CBS' MoneyWatch:

If you are brilliant, ambitious and gifted in science, you may consider becoming a doctor. If so, think twice. According to a new survey by personal finance site NerdWallet, most doctors are dissatisfied with the job, and less than half would choose a career in medicine if they were able to do it all over again.

Christina Lamontagne, vice president of health at NerdWallet, says there are a myriad of reasons why physicians are increasingly feeling disenfranchised. For one, most enter the field of medicine thinking they will spend nearly all of their time actually caring for sick people. But in reality, doctors spend a huge chunk of their day dealing with paperwork - paperwork which is becoming overwhelming.

"Administrative tasks account for nearly one-quarter of a doctor's day," Lamontagne said. "With additional liability concerns and more layers in health care, we can understand the drain this takes."

The $1 million mistake

In addition, the cost of becoming a physician has simply skyrocketed. And while that is true of all higher education, med school is nearly cost-prohibitive, leaving the brand-new physician with an average of nearly $167,000 in debt. And as debt is soaring, paychecks are falling; nearly one-third of physicians were dealt pay cuts last year, based on research by NetWallet.

Yes, doctors still make an above-average, comfortable salary of six figures nearly everywhere, says government employment data. But that comes with a huge investment of time as well; it takes anywhere from 11 to 14 years of higher education to become a doctor. "That means the typical doctor doesn't earn a full-time salary until 10 years after the typical college graduate starts making money," MoneyWatch reports, adding:

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.)

And the physicians needed most, especially now that Obamacare will add tens of millions of new patients to an already overburdened, over-regulated healthcare industry, are family practice doctors, otherwise known as "primary care" physicians. But they make the lowest salaries, earning "barely more than the amount they accumulated in medical school debt, between $173,000 and $185,000, according to the study that looked at data from George Washington University's School of Public Health, the American Association of Medical Colleges and Medscape," MoneyWatch reports.

It's only going to get worse

Who are the least-satisfied physicians? Those who enter internal medicine. According to the study, on average, internal med docs see about two patients an hour, spending some 23 percent of their time doing paperwork. They work an average of 54 hours per week and take home around $185,000 a year; one-fifth of them have seen decreases in pay recently. Of this group, less than one in five, or 19 percent, said they would choose the same specialty. And if they had it all to do over again, only one-third said they would choose a medical career.

"The frustrations that patients have about not getting enough time with their doctor is mirrored by the frustration their doctors have with not having enough time to spend with their patients," LaMontagne said.

Look for these figures, and the dissatisfaction rate of physicians and other primary care providers, to worsen in the coming months and years, as more of Obamacare's mandates, rules and regulations take effect, which will lead to less access to healthcare and fewer physicians to see more patients.





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