Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Two Young Doctors

I met two young doctors last weekend. Just finished up residency. This is no small feat. They spent 4 years in medical school, then 4 more in a residency that pays little but demands great amounts of time and effort and skill. They've moved into a city after getting married.

Here is their situation:
total school loans: 250,000 - told me.
total mortgage: 500,000 - a guess based on what they told me, but conservative.
total pay: 210,000 - another guess, but this is on the outside.

To call them completly screwed is to make an error of scale.

I'm so sorry for them. I'm not sure how they can do it. They don't have kids, they want kids, this will lead to less work, more expenses. Meanwhile, doctor pay is not going to increase much or at all.

Oh well, I'm happy I'm not them. I live within my means, even though my house is more expensive than my parents.


Blogger marybishop said...

You can compare that to two insurance guys I know - they do own their own companies, but had no college loans; live in homes worth 1-2 million dollars, also have summer homes and god knows how much money they make a year..but it is a lot.

Then compare the income of a a professional baseball or basketball player. No college. Sometimes no speakie de English. Filthy rich - 5 million dollar homes to go with their 200 million dollar salaries. Age 20 and worth a fortune.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

Wow. I have a bet that the two insurance guys you know started life pretty well. I mean, who do you have to know/blow to get enough start up cash to start an insurance company?

I don't watch or pay any attention to professional sports. So I have no idea what sorts of ungodly amounts of cash these guys are getting. I have met some football players who later did go pro. Sad life. They make about 250,000 for 4-5 years. Or much less. And then they're done. And that's it. But during their glory days, they were living well outside their means.

9:38 PM  
Blogger marybishop said...

Not a lot of start up money -- just an office in the beginning. Basically they are just middlemen between the client and the insurer like Cigna or the Hartford, etc.

Also no huge malpractice insurance for them...

5:03 AM  
Blogger _Summer_ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:33 AM  
Blogger _Summer_ said...

I cannot fathom being $250,000 in debt for school.

Does it say something about their character that they assumed these risks for the greater good (the health and well-being of the general populace)? It's not like becoming, and then being, a doctor is easy.

Hmm. But yeah. They do appear to be screwed.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

Ah... Insurance brokers. Part of the business middlemen that make America - America. I got med mal insurance through a broker - and couldn't have been less happy. I have no idea why they exist, but I wish they didn't.

Summer: because I was once a medical student, and I've met hundreds more, I can tell you that no med student sees debt as a risk. Instead, it's just a right of passage. There's irrational happiness and magical thinking. You just assume that you, as a doctor, are going to make bank and it's worth it. Few people ever do the math until it's too late.

It's weird. Medical students are not encouraged to think about such things. It's only by the grace of an admission staff that I got into my state school, and found an interest in a specialty.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Joe W. said...

I don't get it, why are they screwed? All of that debt is low-interest and if they can live off of 100,000/year they can pay it all off within ten years.

6:03 AM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

Perhaps they will. I doubt it, however, because they will have kids. They live in a city - that means private school at least. They won't live exactly within their means. They will spend. They need new cars, stuff to put in their house, etc.

I don't think they're going to be in the black for another 20 years.

4:57 PM  
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