Salary of Doctors
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.

About Us

Dr. Skyhar is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon, in practice on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital, Encinitas since 1988.

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310 Santa Fe Drive, Suite #112, Encinitas, CA 92024

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