Source: BestMedicalDegrees.com

## The Deceptive Salary of Doctors

Most people believe that high school teachers don’t make enough money, and few believe that doctors should make more. Believe it or not, doctors make 3 cents less per hour than high school teachers over the course of their career.

## Time Spent Becoming a Doctor

### 1: Bachelor’s Degree

• 40 hours/week

• 40 weeks/year

• 4 years

= 6,400 hours (to be a competitive candidate for medical school, this number is likely much higher in actuality)

### 2: Medical School

• 80 hours/week (that’s 2 full-time jobs)

• 48/weeks/year

• 4 years

= 15,360 hours

### 3: Residency

• 80 hours/week (that’s 2 full-time jobs)

• 50 weeks/year

• 3 years minimum up to 7 years (the first year is known as an internship)

= 12,000 – 28,000 hours

Residencies vary in length depending on the specialty

### 4: US Medical Licensing Exam

Pass all three parts of the US Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE)

### 5: Board Certified Specialist

Some additional steps and training are required to become board certified in a specialty.

### For instance, to become…

A doctor in internal medicine you must:

• Graduate college with a Bachelor’s degree

• Graduate from medical school

• Pass all three USMLEs

• Take part in a 3-yr residency program

• Pass an internal medicine board exam

Total training/study time: 33,760 hours

A doctor in thoracic surgery you must:

• Graduate college with a Bachelor’s degree

• Graduate from medical school

• Pass all three USMLEs

• Take part in a 5-yr general surgery residency

• Take part in a 2-yr thoracic surgery fellowship

• Pass a thoracic surgery board exam

Total training/study time: 49,760 hours

Doctors spend an average of 40,000 hours training. That’s equivalent to 20 years of full-time work.

For the rest of their career, doctors work an average of 59.6 hours/week.

The average doctor’s career ends at 65. If they finish their residency at 29, they’ll spend 36 years working almost 1 ½ times more than most other Americans.

In other words, it would normally take 54 years to do the work that doctors do in 36.

## Money Spent Becoming a Doctor

### Undergraduate Student Budget

• Public schools: $22,826/year [formerly $19,338] • Private schools: $44,750/year [formerly $39,028] Average medical 4-year undergraduate student loan debt: $100,000

### Medical School Student Budget

• Public medical school: $32,993/year [formerly $24,384] • Private medical schools: $52,456/year [formerly $43,002] (not include rent, utilities, food, transportation, health insurance, books, professional attire, licensing exam fees, or residency interview expenses)

Average 4-year medical school student loan debt: $200,000

Doctors often graduate medical school with well over $300,000 of student loan debt.

### Residency

It would cost a doctor $1,753 per month ($21,037 yearly) just to pay the interest on a $300,000 loan. That’s almost half of a doctors average net residency income of $50,000.

So, for a doctor practicing internal medicine to forbear a $300,000 loan for three years during residency, then repay that loan for 20 years, it would result in an overall loan cost of $687,360. That’s $34,368 per year for 20 years.

### Career

U.S. tax code allows deductions of up to $2,500 per year for student loan repayment—but that phases out for incomes between $115,000 and $145,000.

The average US doctor’s salary: $202,948

The average net income after a 28% federal tax rate: $146,123

After non-deductible student loan payments: $111,755

### Lifetime Adjusted Net Hourly Wage

To determine a doctors’ overall lifetime hourly wage:

Find their lifetime net income:

(Net Annual Income * Years Worked) + (Residency Income* Years in Residency) – (Student Loan Debt)

• Take the average net annual income ($146,123) and multiply by the average number years worked (36) =

$5,260,428

• Add the average net residency income ($50,000) and multiply by the number of residency years (3) =

$150,000

• Subtract the total average cost of student debt = $687,360

• Lifetime net income = $4,723,068

Find their lifetime hours worked:

(Average Hours Worked Per Week x Weeks Worked Per Year x Years Worked) + (Hours Spent Training)

• Take the average number of hours worked per week (59.6)

• multiplied by the average number weeks worked per year (48)

• multiplied by the average number number of years worked (36)

• Then add the total number of hours spent training (40,000)

• Lifetime hours worked = 142,989

Divide lifetime net income by lifetime hours worked = $33.03 per hour

### – Compared to the average high school teacher –

Find their lifetime net income:

(Net Annual Income * Years Worked) + ( Net Pension Income* Years Received) – (Student Loan Debt)

• Take the average net annual income ($47,113) and multiply by the average number years worked (43) =

$2,025,859

• Add the average net pension income ($35,507) and multiply by the average number of years received (15) =

$532,605

• Subtract the average cost of student debt = $186,072

• Lifetime net income = $2,372,392

Find their lifetime hours worked:

(Average Hours Worked Per Week x Weeks Worked Per Year x Years Worked) + (Hours Spent Training)

• Take the average number of hours worked per week (40)

• multiplied by the average number weeks worked per year (38)

• multiplied by the average number number of years worked (43)

• Then add the total number of hours spent training (6,400)

• Lifetime hours worked = 71,760

Divide lifetime net income by lifetime hours worked = $33.06 per hour… about an apple a day more than a doctor.

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