It sounds like this field called medicine is slowly becoming the equivalent of starving artists who try to pursue purely for their passion. When I say this, I’m stating that all that education, all that debt, in the end, it’s going to involve a large amount of monetary loss for doctors. Essentially, people should not misconstrue the profession of a physician as one that will accumulate a lot of money. There is much gratification in the profession …. but the power of having so much knowledge and having the responsibility of many patients in your hands can only take you so far. You still need to some degree, a way to take care of yourself. Let me just say, from the looks of it, doctors will be heavily overworked. This is not to say I’m against universal health coverage, rather, I’m for universal health coverage with a backup plan. Physicians are already overworked as it is and if the number of spots for doctors don’t expand, the quality level of healthcare will only diminish as a result of heavily exhausted physicians trying to see as many patients as they can squeeze in to pay for that rent along with loan repayments. At this rate, the notoriety of doctors studying so much and earning so little can cause an aversion of people from applying to the field.
I still cannot picture myself doing anything else. Though with this new healthcare reform, I fear that I may be spread too thin to be able to provide the best healthcare possible to my patients. Tis is true, the job of a physician should never carry the connotation that they will be rich … that is after they’ve managed to pay off all their loans while still having enough to survive just to eat and live under a roof.
Today my intern told me he got his first paycheck for his work from the past 12 days. He says he basically earned the same amount as he did prior to medical school when he waited tables …. only difference was that he was working way more than he did while waiting tables.
I do hope to avoid becoming a jaded, grumpy doctor. That is not the kind of care I plan to provide to my patients.