Increased Salary with a Medical Degree: Consider the Options

by Catherine Zandueta - Date: 2006-12-12 - Word Count: 455 Share This!

Physicians are probably one of the highest paid professionals in the world. They make a lot of money and have the ability to set their own schedules to some extent, but it's certainly not an easy job. Even with the salary increase, this may be something that just isn't for you.

Eight Years, At Least

After finishing your undergraduate degree, you will have at least eight more years of full-time schooling before you can become a medical doctor. If you want to specialize, you may be looking at as many as twelve to fifteen years in school. The requirement of time and commitment is great, and many people find that it is simply too much. Before applying to medical school be sure that you are truly interested enough in medicine to give this kind of time and effort.

Shadow a Doctor

Before applying to medical school, shadow a doctor. In fact, you should do this before you ever begin a pre-Med program. You should not bank so much money and such a huge chunk of your life on the salary increase available in the medical profession. Shadow several doctors to be sure that being a doctor is really something that interests you.

How Big Is the Increase?

Doctors can make anywhere from $80,000 a year to well over $200,000 a year depending on the type of doctor, their experience, and the geographical location. The increase is certainly significant, especially if you eventually own your own practice. Just remember that the increase is partly so large because this is a high stress job.

The Downsides

There are also a lot of downsides to being a medical doctor. You're on call at least part of every month. You can't take off every holiday many times. Your malpractice insurance is EXTREMELY expensive and cuts deeply into your profits not to mention all the money it cost to get your degree.

Other Possibilities

If you find the prospect of medical school daunting or decide that it's simply not for you, then you don't have to completely give up on the medical profession. You may want to consider becoming a nurse or a physician's assistant, two jobs that allow you to work with patients, pay fairly well, and are much less expensive and stressful. Consider all the possibilities before you commit to a decade or more in medical school.

Before Signing Up

Before applying and paying for a medical program, consider the following:

Can you commit to eight or more years?

Have you shadowed a doctor?

Can you handle the stress of the job?

Is the salary increase worth all that work?

Have you honestly looked at the downsides?

Have you considered other possibilities?

When you've answered all the questions, then you'll be ready to decide whether or not a medical program is right for you and your family.

Related Tags: online degree programs, campus degree programs, online degrees, career learning center

Catherine Zandueta is a frequent contributor to Catherine Zandueta is a feature writer that covers topics relating to MBA Programs and online colleges.

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