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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
busymom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-12-09 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. seriously...
Edited on Thu Mar-12-09 12:46 AM by busymom
I would argue that most of the people here don't know what they're talking about. I'm not arguing against teachers...someone in that thread asked for an example with docs and I gave it.

Have you followed a doctor around for a week to see what they do? They're not all just sitting in the lounge talking about their Beamers.

No one likes being sick (and many docs don't have the choice about patients that they see, btw) ...but let's be honest here. Would you call a plumber out to your house if your toilet got backed up, there was no place to take a...dump, but you had no money and didn't intend to pay? Doctors don't take patients with certain insurance policies anymore because they don't get paid by them. Most doctors that I know though have a certain number of patients that they see pro bono or for a very small fee...they just can't fill their practice entirely with them. It's a HUGE issue with medicare (which I see brought up here again and again as the panacea of health care). Doctors leave medical school with ~150,000 dollars in debt. That's a big chunk of change. They then serve as residents from 3-10 years depending on their specialty and whether or not they do research and they work 100+ hours a week even with the bogus new 80 hour work week requirements.

There is no choice about this. If you want to become a doctor, you have to do this...family, children, life be damned. During my husband's training years we didn't have good health insurance at all AND had no dental insurance....and he was WORKING for the hospital as a DOCTOR. We did not qualify for any aid for our children even though our income was negligible. He worked so many long hours that it became impossible for me to work with his erratic hours. It was terrible.

We finished training and were hit with taxes. After taxes and paying off loan debt, we were no better off financially than during residency and fellowship. We lived paycheck to paycheck, had garage sale furniture in our very modest home AND just to be clear...for the entire time of training and raising 3 children...and for his first THREE years of working as a "real" doctor...we had only ONE vehicle.

I drove him to work every day and picked him up...with all of the kids.

Is this the glamorous doctor life you envisioned?

We are 8 years out of training and are finally getting our heads above water in regards to the mountains of debt that my husband accumulated. Do we live in a nicer home now? Yes. Do we live an extravagant lifestyle? no. We pay a shitload in taxes (and will never see anything for our children or ourselves for that money...which is fine if it isn't going to fund the Iraq war) but on top of it, we get to listen now to the resentment of people around us .... how dare we be more comfortable now financially...he should be working for free or for peanuts I guess.

It's as if people really believe what they see on ER.

And by the way...I have taught for years....in a classroom...with students...

I am very grateful for the hard work teachers do....and I understand it at a personal level.

At the same time, I am also very grateful for the hard work that doctors do and the hard road to get there...

The next time you visit a doctor, it might help to imagine the sacrifices that that person made in his personal and family life to get there. My best friend's husband is a pediatric surgeon who has spent more time with other people's children than his own...he falls terribly short as a husband and father, but he is one of the best damned peds surgeons you could ask for. If your child was sick, you would be asking for him to operate.

The cost of becoming that good is doing a LOT of surgeries...in a short period of time...again and again and again over a few years to refine your technique until you are let loose on the public without supervision and then are actually paid for your work like a "real doctor".

The cost...is family, friends, personal life and sometimes personal health...but we all want our doctors to be the best. Many things in medicine are learned through experience and repetition and you can only get that with multiple patient contacts...do it, repeat it, do it again...until you master it...

There is sacrifice involved, and it has to be compensated...if it isn't...people won't make those sacrifices anymore.

There will need to be a complete overhaul of the medical training system to achieve what many people here are talking about. No one is going to take on ~150,000 + in debt, work like a slave for 100 hours/week and endure the challenges of working with sick people (and we all know we're needy when we're sick...at least I am) to not earn enough money to have some nice extras in their lives or at least be able to pay off their student loans.
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