Menu

Do physicians owe society a longer practice lifetime?

Home The Lounge Do physicians owe society a longer practice lifetime?

  • Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 6186
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    I wonder if the wall street forums ever chastise their own for punching out at 35 and not taking as much from society as possible? 😀

    #47081 Reply
    Avatar SValleyMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 466
    Joined: 05/12/2016

    Chalk me up as one who thinks that is a ridiculous question. I don’t owe anyone jack. If I could get out I wouldn’t think twice.

    99.5% of us are all replaceable and would be replaced in a drop of a hat by an admin out there if given a reason to do so.

    #47082 Reply
    Liked by Drsan1, ENT Doc, Zaphod
    PhysicianOnFIRE PhysicianOnFIRE 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1536
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    I wonder if the wall street forums ever chastise their own for punching out at 35 and not taking as much from society as possible? ?

    Click to expand…

    I touched on this concept in the podcast — what about the other 50,000 who attended Flagship U with me and did nothing to serve society with their taxpayer funded degree (if they ever got a degree)? Some are doing nothing for society, some are engaged in work that has a largely negative impact on most people outside their immediate circle, and some are actually doing good work for good pay.

    If all I do is work a dozen years in a field that genuinely helps people through some of the scariest and most stressful days of their lives, I won’t feel like I’ve let the world down.

    I’ll probably help more people as a retiree than I do as an anesthesiologist. As a physician, I might help a few hundred people a month. With a keyboard, I reach (and hopefully help) thousands. If I had the investing knowledge and command of the English language that @zaphod has, it might be tens or hundreds of thousands.

    40-something anesthesiologist and personal finance blogger @ https://physicianonfire.com [Part of the WCI Network] Find me on Twitter: @physicianonfire

    FIRE. Financial Independence. Retire Early.

    #47083 Reply
    Avatar StarTrekDoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2052
    Joined: 01/15/2017

    Parable of the Talents.  We owe ‘nothing’ is true to the point of obligation.  What we do with our gifts is a whole other matter and really depends one’s own beliefs and convictions.

    To each their own says my Libertarian side.  That said, I believe our gifts are given for a reason and not to be squandered.

    #47086 Reply
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3517
    Joined: 01/14/2017

    Parable of the Talents.  We owe ‘nothing’ is true to the point of obligation.  What we do with our gifts is a whole other matter and really depends one’s own beliefs and convictions.

    To each their own says my Libertarian side.  That said, I believe our gifts are given for a reason and not to be squandered.

    Click to expand…

    So should Will Hunting have taken the CIA job or gone after the girl?   🙂

    #47090 Reply
    Liked by CM
    q-school q-school 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2629
    Joined: 05/07/2017

    I think Wall Street is a little different because I value the service they provide as a lower priority to society than healthcare. This is really more a personal opinion. Also, barrier to entry is a lot lower and a lot easier to be replaced. MBAs are generated by the tens of thousands, if not more every year.

    I don’t know when people get skilled on Wall Street, but my experience with physicians is that after training they get better and better. Many don’t really hit their peak until years 4-6 and stay there until years 13-15. After that it’s a long slow slide down. 🙂

    #47097 Reply
    RJ RJ 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 124
    Joined: 01/09/2016
    Earnest refinancing bonus

    Chalk me up as one who thinks that is a ridiculous question. I don’t owe anyone jack. If I could get out I wouldn’t think twice.

    99.5% of us are all replaceable and would be replaced in a drop of a hat by an admin out there if given a reason to do so.

    Click to expand…

    SValleyMD, I could just copy/paste your answer. Well said.

    #47101 Reply
    TheHappyPhilosopher TheHappyPhilosopher 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 145
    Joined: 08/04/2016

    Great discussion. This is a topic I am pretty passionate and opinionated about. In short, you do not owe society anything. If you choose to go to medical school and not practice 1 day that is fine. If you quit right after residency to become a SAHM that’s fine. If you want to quit or go part time in your 30’s or 40’s, great. If you want to die while seeing patients in clinic at age 90 because you live it, go for it.

    You owe it to yourself to be happy. That’s it. You get one shot at life and time only moves in one direction (unless you are a subatomic quantum particle).

    Who is to say being a physician and practicing medicine is the best way for you to contribute to society? Who makes those judgements? Live your life free and happy, society will be just fine.

    #47105 Reply
    CM CM 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1168
    Joined: 01/14/2017

    I think Wall Street is a little different because I value the service they provide as a lower priority to society than healthcare. This is really more a personal opinion. Also, barrier to entry is a lot lower and a lot easier to be replaced. MBAs are generated by the tens of thousands, if not more every year.

    I don’t know when people get skilled on Wall Street, but my experience with physicians is that after training they get better and better. Many don’t really hit their peak until years 4-6 and stay there until years 13-15. After that it’s a long slow slide down. ?

    Click to expand…

    Zaphod was making a joke, “…and not taking as much from society as possible?”

    It turns on the stereotype that Wall Street workers are a community of leeches rather than contributors.

     

    (On the other hand, doctors are so special and vital that we are duty-bound to serve until we drop. How will the world get along without us?)

     

    Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried bags for Cyd Charisse (gracious). Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

    #47107 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod
    q-school q-school 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2629
    Joined: 05/07/2017

    CM
    We are valuable in that only so many people are licensed to check the mandatory Emr boxes and take on all liability for health care? Someone needs to check the boxes acknowledging orders were placed for patients discharged days ago.

    If not us, who will fill out all the forms from every agency known to mankind? Sick days. Fmla. Workmens comp. insurance.

    So yes, we are vital. 🙂

    #47108 Reply
    Liked by Vagabond MD, Zaphod, CM
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 6186
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    I think Wall Street is a little different because I value the service they provide as a lower priority to society than healthcare. This is really more a personal opinion. Also, barrier to entry is a lot lower and a lot easier to be replaced. MBAs are generated by the tens of thousands, if not more every year.

    I don’t know when people get skilled on Wall Street, but my experience with physicians is that after training they get better and better. Many don’t really hit their peak until years 4-6 and stay there until years 13-15. After that it’s a long slow slide down. ?

    Click to expand…

    Zaphod was making a joke, “…and not taking as much from society as possible?”

    It turns on the stereotype that Wall Street workers are a community of leeches rather than contributors.

     

    (On the other hand, doctors are so special and vital that we are duty-bound to serve until we drop. How will the world get along without us?)

     

    Click to expand…

    Yes, that was indeed a joke. Or rather as it appears an attempt.

    #47110 Reply
    Avatar High Income Parent 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 37
    Joined: 03/26/2017

    I don’t see how any rational human being can chalk this up to number of years in service being the deciding factor whether you’ve paid your “debt to society”.
    There are so many other factors. What if I taught residents? Was I more beneficial because I multiplied the number of doctors available to society?
    What if I worked twice as many shifts as someone else but half the years? Am I just as good?
    What if I stay in but barely do my job and make everyone around me miserable because I’m so miserable?
    If we really cared about this as a society we should only accept young single males into medical school because they are the most likely to work the longest in medicine.
    Of course that’s terrible for ministering to all the different patient populations we take care of.
    Also I want to see the first person to post on the Mr. moneymustache forum about how he is so terrible because he didn’t fulfill his engineering debt to society. I would bring the popcorn.

    Tom

    Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work. | | C. S. Lewis https://HighIncomeParents.com

    #47113 Reply
    Avatar artemis 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 593
    Joined: 12/02/2016

    Also I want to see the first person to post on the Mr. moneymustache forum about how he is so terrible because he didn’t fulfill his engineering debt to society. I would bring the popcorn.

    Tom

    Click to expand…

    I’d pay good money to read THAT post!

    Certainly anyone who went to a state school or took out Federal student loans during their undergraduate years  had their educational costs at least partially subsidized by society.  So why don’t they receive the same guilt treatment if they retire early or switch to a job that doesn’t require a college diploma?

    I am hovering on the edge of a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.  Literally the single best thing I could do for my physical health at this point would be to quit medicine in favor of a 40 hour/week job with regular hours, so that I could cook my meals at home and get at least an hour of exercise in every day without sacrificing needed sleep.  Does my decision to go into medicine in my youth mandate my dropping dead in harness from a lifestyle-related disease because I can’t make my diet and exercise schedule a priority while still meeting the expectations of my current job?  (I tried to do that in the past; it didn’t work.  My physical health improved immensely, but my stress level shot through the roof and I almost got fired.) How much life expectancy must I give up before it’s OK to put myself first instead of anonymous strangers?

    #47119 Reply
    hatton1 hatton1 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3063
    Joined: 01/11/2016

    I don’t see how any rational human being can chalk this up to number of years in service being the deciding factor whether you’ve paid your “debt to society”.
    There are so many other factors. What if I taught residents? Was I more beneficial because I multiplied the number of doctors available to society?
    What if I worked twice as many shifts as someone else but half the years? Am I just as good?
    What if I stay in but barely do my job and make everyone around me miserable because I’m so miserable?
    If we really cared about this as a society we should only accept young single males into medical school because they are the most likely to work the longest in medicine.
    Of course that’s terrible for ministering to all the different patient populations we take care of.
    Also I want to see the first person to post on the Mr. moneymustache forum about how he is so terrible because he didn’t fulfill his engineering debt to society. I would bring the popcorn.

    Tom

    Click to expand…

    Tom I agree with you and the multitude of previous posters that it is ludicrous to think any doctor owes anybody anything (except of course loan repayments and military service).  If a doc wants to quit because of another calling or burnout or suicidal ideation.  I say it is your life to live as you want.

    I hope you are being sarcastic when you say that as a society we should except only single males in medical school because they will practice longer.  I think you are.  I mention this because when I started med school eons ago in 1979 several classmates told me that I was wasting a space since I would get married and have kids and dropout. I am still practicing at 59 and did ok.  If I had gotten married in medical school and had a kid and dropped out it still would be nobody’s business but mine. I think when you do a residency you have more than paid back any societal debt you theoretically owed.

    #47121 Reply
    WealthyDoc WealthyDoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 270
    Joined: 02/03/2016

    I started med school later than most and practiced for 25 years before retiring at 60. I was burned out and I don’t think patients want a burned out doc who has lost a lot of the passion, empathy and joy in his job treating them. I could have gone down to part time to try to recapture some of my  joe de er, but I had reached critical mass and decided it was best for all concerned to throw in the towel. If Uncle Sam decided I had to practice for 5 more years, I would probably have had a nervous breakdown. I paid my modest student loans off and I figure my six years in the navy makes up for “owing” anyone a “full” career.

    Click to expand…

    25 years is a full career to me. I hope I dont have that long of a career, I didnt start that late I dont believe, but just a long path.

    Click to expand…

    I have been thinking about this lately.  I have patients who had 30, 35, or 40 year careers.  I ask myself why I’m getting so tired at just short of 20 years in practice.  I think the difference is I have been intensively working either at school, work or both since age 17 but only get credit for my “career” starting at age 31.  20-25 years probably should be considered a full career in medicine?

    Wealthy Doc is a FI (Financially Independent) physician. He enjoys financial freedom and wants to help others achieve that as well. See more at http://www.WealthyDoc.org

    #47124 Reply

Reply To: Do physicians owe society a longer practice lifetime?

In case of a glitch or error, please save your text elsewhere, clear browser cache, close browser, open browser and refresh the page.

Notifications Mark all as read  |  Clear