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Young doctors in debt: $500,000 in student loans!!

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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:24 AM
Original message
Young doctors in debt: $500,000 in student loans!!
http://money.cnn.com/2007/11/16/pf/young_doctors.moneym...

Young doctors in debt

Chris and Meg Reis are on their way to long medical careers. Now it's time to deal with $500,000 in student loans.

By George Mannes, Money Magazine senior writer
November 16 2007: 11:47 AM EST

(*** snip ***)

From six figures to student loans
It's all supposed to pay off, of course. Once they become full-fledged doctors (attending physicians, in the trade), they'll have six-figure incomes, more reasonable hours, a respected occupation and work that they love.

But for this generation of doctors, and for Meg and Chris in particular, financial security won't come guaranteed with their medical licenses. As health-care economics squeeze physician salaries, rising college and med school tuitions are putting young doctors ever deeper in the hole.

Chris and Meg live frugally, work hard and are making the kind of investments in their future that would make any parent proud. But they're also on track to finish their medical training in the next few years with a staggering $700,000 in debt.

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greenman3610 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. how is that possible?
you would have to be a moron to take that on.
it is not necessary. I've looked at med
costs, its just not that high.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. Perhaps not "necessary", but certainly not uncommon.
When it comes to education, the whole "you get what you pay for"
thing works on a VERY steep curve. Skoolin is SPENSIVE these days!

Four years of "pre-med" at a "top school", followed by four more
years at a top Med School...throw in 8 years of LIVING on credit
in the places those "top schools" exist, and a half-million in debt
is staring you right in the face.

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razzleberry Donating Member (877 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:08 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. just say no .n/t.
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BadgerLaw2010 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
19. Four years of undergrad, four years of med, add residency and internship
You can work some during undergrad, but not a good idea to even try it during med school itself, while you run up living expenses to boot. And residency and internship don't pay enough to put any dent in their debt, while they continue to have living expenses. $200K debt each certainly isn't impossible if you don't have family/savings to pay for it.

I talk to a lot of med students who sorta resent that law students have three years of school and are immediately payed full associate rate once they graduate. Or sometimes before they graduate if they work at big firms during the summer. Big firm associate is hell, but so is medical resident.

Law and MBA students have significantly better financial deals than med students, at least at top tier schools. School is shorter and you earn major money immediately.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
2. SallieMae owns me.
See y'all in debtor's prison.



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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
69. Its crazy and whats scary
the salaries aren't going up either
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #2
88. Tell me about it!
This PhD worked odd jobs as bartender, librarian, adjunct college instructor, etc, waiting for the "big break" that never came.

Now I'm "gainfully employed" in an occupation that didn't require my PhD; and paying off SallieMae whenever I have enough geld at the end of the month. I figure I'll still be paying them with my Social Security checks.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:36 AM
Response to Original message
3. My hubby
came out of medical school with about 60,000 in debt in the early 80's. It took us forever to pay it off. I can't imagine a half a million debt. I worked overtime for the nursing pool along with my regular hospital job and he worked long hours getting his practice started. We scraped by in the beginning.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Folks now paying off student loans into their 40s.
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sandyd921 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #4
23. Some of us are paying them off into our 60s
n/t
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nightrider767 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
5. This Is How it's possible
That article was shaky at best.

For one, that's a combined dept for married doctors. Once they're online they'll be looking at the potential to make over $400,000 per year.

They have $18,000 in savings that they are sitting on, "emergency money".

They're smart, they're doing fine, they know exactly what they're doing.

I just don't know what the point of the article was.

Should we take up a fund for these people?

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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:17 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. It does not seem the best
time to be starting a family esp if they never see eachother. If they work for someone they probably will be fine. My husband started his own practice which costs a fortune to do. We were too stupid in our twenties to know that though.
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #7
28. The best time to start a family is when you're fertile. Biological clock, and all that.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Not THAT shaky
I had friends that went right from college to Med School and they racked up about 100,000 in debt (each) off the bat. Why? Because since they had no savings and they couldn't work and go to Med School at the same time (its not really allowed even if you can find the time) they had to pay for not only the school but books, RENT, FOOD that sort of thing.....
ANd while they eventually went on to get decent practices, this high debt is making it hard for them to save anything.
The point of this article is to point out that because of debt a lot of young doctors struggle finacially for a long, long time. Its kind of a myth that all doctors are rich....
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. Meanwhile, MSN spits out articles saying "Don't spend, save" every 6 hours.
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 06:30 AM by HypnoToad
(when not putting out articles claiming consumers are responsible for 70% of our economy's stability or putting out articles by their own financial folks saying how it's gloom and doom, or how it isn't gloom or doom)

There are so many double-standards and mixed-messages it's beyond belief.

And thank you much for the clarification (e.g. the myth of doctors being rich; even frugal ones have to pay back all that debt... which is far more now than it ever was in the past due to governmental spending problems of the last 28 years or so.)
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
30. Agreed. Bump!
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #11
27. No, the point of the article is to tell them that the debt is okay.
It's one of those financial makeover columns and the recommendations are mostly insignificant except suggesting that they reconsider the desire to have the woman work part time after she completes her residency. The planner's calculations showed that with full time employment for both the loans could be paid off in under ten years.

This couple seems to have made strategic choices with a view of the long term. The husband chose a much more expensive medical school in the hopes of staying in Chicago for residency. They bought a condo rather than renting because they knew that they would be in the area for several years. They've been setting aside some retirement contributions and not living off of their credit cards and managed to keep a good size emergency fund. With all that the planner was still able to point out some mostly minor changes to build their security.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 06:27 AM
Response to Reply #5
16. I'd say "no" to the fund; they can clearly pull themselves up without anyone else's help.
That's good money they're making, and even if I had the sort of intellect (and dexterity) to become a surgeon, I wouldn't go gun-ho (whoops, gun-ha -- mustn't upset anyone who I didn't call a hooker) on a big ass mansion of personal fleet of SUVs.

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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
47. It depends on their specialty.
My hubby probably will never make $200K. At least, I can't see it ever working out. He's close to maxed out on his patient load, working as hard as he can, and he's nowhere near that.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #47
61. It is not all it is cracked up to be.....
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 04:03 PM by AnneD
It is expensive to educate and train a Doc or Nurse and getting more expensive by the year. Med schools get some federal support and Nursing schools get zilch-even though it is vital to society to have these skills.

You get squeezed by the HMO's, Ins. Co, and Medicare/Medicaid if you are a Doc. It frequently costs more to treat than what you can recoup. If you are a Nurse the hospitals do all in their power to low ball your wages and over work you too many patients.

The older Docs are retiring early in disgust and the newbies are under a load of debt. As much as I love Nursing, if I had to do it over again I wouldn't. Sadly, I have heard some great Doc's say the same thing.

The mata is going to hit the fan soon-and I predict a profound crisis very shortly (a few years out) when the Boomer's retire. When I hang up my shoes to retire....that will be it-finis. I sometimes hear it floated that if it gets bad enough they might do some mandatory call ups, but I don't care who writes an order-I gave at the office for years and I finished. I have tried to bring this to political leaders attention for a long time, with very little success. I am tired of not being listened to or expected to give it away for free.

Edited to add Knitter....I hope all is well and you and your family are healthy and having a better time and a better Thanksgiving than you had last year.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #61
67. Hey, I'm up and walking, so it's already a better Thanksgiving.
:hug: Thanks. I sometimes sit and think about how scary last year was, and I keep wondering how we made it through all of that. This year, I'm just hosting Thanksgiving (for three days) for all the in-laws. *sigh*

God bless you and all the nurses. Hubby's got a couple of absolutely wonderful nurses at his new practice, and he just loves them. They make his job so much easier. Good nurses are worth their weight in diamonds as far as I'm concerned and should be respected, paid well, and fully staffed.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #67
84. Honey....
if I lived ANYWHERE close to you and your Hubby.....I'd be knocking at you door with a resume.

My best buds hubby is going through the chemo phase of his bladder cancer treatment. I went over and brought him a big gallon of lemonade-the home made kind. He just had so much nausea and vomiting. I told him that a patient of mine once told me that when your having chemo-eat and drink what you won't mind tasting again. That's how he discovered that lemonade was pretty good. :spray:My friend said that it worked well for him too. He swears he has it timed just right so he can enjoy Thanksgiving-so we'll see. He needs to be fattened up a bit. Big hugs to you and your family and we are so glad you've made your first year out.... :grouphug:
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:26 AM
Response to Original message
6. Evidently Biff and Trixie ran up $50K a year each for tuition, housing and food.
Now medical school is more expensive than most other graduate programs, but they must have gone to a very, very expensive private v. state school and lived quite well while going to college. Whoever heard of 2 grad students having $18K in savings!?! Dang! That is about the most any GTA or research asst. can even make at the most generous schools, and a grand a month for 9 months is about average.

I have what I thought was a massive $50K debt for almost 8 years of school and now I shan't lose any sleep over that, I shall cry for Biff and Trixie instead. NOT!
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ima_sinnic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. really--my thoughts exactly--whatever happened to "living in a garret"?
I noticed when I went back to school at the Univ of Florida in 1998 that students were living in condos with fitness rooms, every kind of appliance, ethernet, cable etc. etc., and driving SUVs and even Porsches and Jaguars. My heart bleeds for the poor widdle yuppies.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. yes they are all rich yuppies...
Including my friends who each lived in a one bedroom apartment in Norfolk, Va and drove the used cars they had while in college. And they had the actual gall to have 100,000 in loans so they could you know, go to school and still have a roof over their head and HORRORS..actually EAT! But I guess only starving, homeless med students are acceptable right?
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 06:25 AM
Response to Reply #6
15. "Biff"? "Trixie"? Who did the time warp thrust and fuck us back to 1952?
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #15
40. Ok fine. Tyler and Kaitlyn. There, are you happy?
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BadgerLaw2010 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #6
20. Med students do not necessiarly get to pick to go to in-state school.
You go where you get in, or you're not a doctor. There are not a lot of medical schools out there, and acceptence rates are extremely low.

Tuition will be $30K/year+ for any private or out-of-state public school.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #6
25. Medical school is expensive
The books are expensive. You cannot work while in medical school.

If this debt was divided equally between the two of them over the whole 8 years, you're looking at $31,250 a year each debt. That's not outrageous.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #25
41. Yes. That's not outrageous, which is why we shouldn't be upset by it either.
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 01:35 PM by JVS
They borrowed the money, they'll pay the money.
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piesRsquare Donating Member (960 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:28 AM
Response to Original message
13. OMG--their first baby is due this month!
Over half a million in debt, both still in residency, they go days without seeing each other--and they're having a baby! They're both under 30!

That is beyond irresponsible, in my book!
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. Well, at least they passed the biology exams...
all that homework.

Still, read that article. It sounds like they are the archetypal responsible people. Apart from the lady who works 3 jobs and gets applauded for doing so...

Maybe it's my relatives who are out of touch; they always said being in debt is bad. Everything in our society encourages it, despite the token blather suggesting the opposite?
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #13
21. Right! They should wait till they're 45 to have a baby!
Pay off their debts first! That's the responsible thing to do.

Come on.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #21
29. She is considering not working full time
They do not see eachother now coming and going. Who is going to care for the child? Just because they are young doesn't mean the time is right. A few more years wouldn't have hurt for the child's sake. The debt is beside the point.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #29
35. Well, the women aren't staying fertile forever. Unlike most men.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #13
26. OMG. She should wait until 50 to have that baby. Of course
older women have more fertility problems, but who cares, right?
:eyes:
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #13
38. Meh. I noted down below
that my doctor friends arrived with 3 young kids, picked up a mortgage and paid a nanny's salary. All with massive debt. They surely struggled for the first few years, but they are doing just fine.

No luxury cars yet, though.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 06:23 AM
Response to Original message
14. I read that article too. Since there are DUers who like to rant "Stop using debt as an excuse",
I opted not to bother posting it.

Debt has always been around. But if they'd take off their blinders, they would see the disconnect between education costs and return on investment. Since the medical, legal, and bioengineering fields are starting to be offshored en masse, who is going to want to spend hundreds of thousands

Then the same fools** whine and complain Americans aren't doing their part, which is why they want to bring in H1Bs.

You bet there's a problem, but everybody (including those too timid to take the risks, I wholly agree) has their part to play.



** Or are they?
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
22. There's a coming shortage of doctors in this country
Most doctors I know are telling their kids not to apply to med school. You'd do a lot better going to business school. And your lifestyle would be a lot better, too.
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BadgerLaw2010 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. I hear a lot of "$&#^, I should have gone to law school."
Law school is every bit as demanding as med school, and the "money chase" stuff right out of school is just as physically punishing, but three years of expenses and tuition beats four years, and you can start earning serious cash right away.

There's no comparison whatsoever between a fourth year of paying out $30,000 and a fourth year of earning $110,000, following a summer job that paid you almost as much in 12 weeks as a year of med student residency will pay that guy.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #22
48. Damn straight we're telling the kids not to be doctors.
It's not the "golf all day and answer a few phone calls" life so many seem to think it is. Hubby's an attending, and he averages 80 hours a week most weeks still. Between the debt, the hours, the constant stress, the threat of lawsuits, and dealing with death everyday, it's not an easy job.
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Solar_Power Donating Member (422 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
31. I'll never feel sorry for a doctor. Never. Ever.
All the doctors I know live in mega-mansions and drive high-end luxury cars.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. And my doctor
Lives in a middle class neighborhood and drives an Acura. :shrug:

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Solar_Power Donating Member (422 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Average doctor earnings are $312,000 in the US
Do you make that much?
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Sounds like the doctors are gonna need that salary if they have
that much debt over medical school.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #34
45. If that 500,000 is divided between the couple, that's 250,000/individual.
With a salary of 300,000/year, 250K is not that big a deal.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. Average doctor
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 01:31 PM by tammywammy
That includes plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, neurosurgeons, and general practitioners and pediatricians.

There is a hug difference between what an anesthesiologist makes versus a pediatrician.

BTW, no I don't make that much money (yet), but my father does. Yet he lives in a simple middle class house and drives a Ford Ranger. :shrug:


edited to add: Also my doctor works for free at the free clinic as well. Oh and my best friend that just graduated from medical school last year makes $40,000 a year as a resident and works 28 days a month (60+ hours a week). She's not really raking it in.

And where did you get that information? This website says differently:
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/People_with_Doctor_... (MD)_Degrees/Salary
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #36
53. The new residency hours restrictions must be nice. *sigh*
Hubby was before that, so he averaged 100 hours a week as an intern, anywhere from 80-120 hours a week, depending on how many call nights he had that week. It got better the further along he got, but he still never dropped below 80 hours a week on average.

Now that he's an attending, he's still somewhere around 80 hours a week, but at least it's home call. That's much better.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #53
55. I'm not sure her total hours per week,
But I know she gets 4 days off a month. She'll work 2 weeks on, 1 day off, one week on 3 days off, that way she can fly home to see her parents (she's in FL and parents in TX). BTW, her mom works for AA that's why she can fly like that. She was lucky, her parents make a good living and saved a lot for their children's education. She did take out loans in medical school, because she felt bad that her parents were having to pay so much.

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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #55
57. That's all part of the new hours restrictions. Thank God for them!
There were months when Hubby might get a day off, maybe two. I don't miss those years at all. We had two young kids, and I felt like a single mom with the occasional live-in husband. It was awful.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #57
59. I tell you what, seeing what she does
I don't envy her one bit. She's soooo smart, but I saw her "homework" during medical school and help quiz her before tests, medical school ain't no picnic.

And the hours she puts in too in residency, I know I can't do that. But you know, when she's done, she's going to be one excellent pediatrician. I'll be proud to take my own kids (whenever I have them) to her.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. Let her know that Michigan needs her.
:hug: I love peds. They work their butts off and are the most possessive doctors I know who fight tooth and nail for their patients. We don't have enough here in Michigan and are always looking for more. I know that Manistee on Lake Michigan is in dire straights for a few.

Peds residency's hard-core, too. They have to have really high standards--these are kids they're dealing with. My doc is a Med-Ped (combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics residency), and she said that her peds attendings were far harder than her medicine ones.

Did you know that they make the residents taste all of the ped medicines? That still makes me giggle. That way, my doctor knows if something tastes bad and needs to be masked in something else. :)
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #60
62. I don't know if she'll want to go up to Michigan
She did grow up in Texas after all, Michigan might be too cold. :)

When she came home after a month of residency she told me that she had the classic Jehovah Witness, sickle cell case. She was upset b/c the parents wouldn't get the blood transfusion, because all she cares about is the child.

She's still contemplating on doing an endocrinology residency and becoming a pediatric endrocrinologist to be able to work with more diabetic kids.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #62
66. Ooh, that's a rough area, too.
Endocrine puts your through your paces, that's for sure.

Dang. Well, tell her we need her anyway. ;) Not that she isn't needed in Texas. We get ads for them all the time in the mail. Big doctor shortage all over out west.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #33
50. Average--so take a look at where those numbers come from.
Interventional Radiologists, pathologists, high-end cardio guys, and some specialized surgeons make that much and more. Some, like radiologists, make a lot more.

Then you have pediatricians. Their average salary is right around a $100K (and they have the same student loans everyone else has). A lot of them are going under, actually, or joining in with hospital practices because the payments for kids just aren't there.

Hubby makes $160K. No, we're not poor. When we were first married and he was in med school, I was a Catholic high school teacher and grossed $18K, so we know poor. Things are tight, though, since we have a lot of debt to pay off still and my medical expenses weren't exactly in the budget. Oh, and our health insurance sucks. It's the only one the practice can afford.
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BadgerLaw2010 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #33
51. Say what? It's nowhere near that high.
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/People_with_Jobs_as...

Not one of the categories is anywhere near $300K.
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #33
89. Maybe surgeons, but not pediatricians or internists.
I don't know a single internist who earns anywhere near that much. And certainly not in rural America.

When my hubby was in private practice as an internist, he made no more than $150,000. At his highest.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #31
49. *snarfgle* Really?! Well, Hubby's a doctor, and he drives a Taurus.
We can't afford to replace it, either. So, we're hoping to get as many miles out of it as possible before getting another one.

We live in an older neighborhood, since I refused to have a house that cost more than the med school debt. It's 2200 s.f., and it's perfect for us. Yes, we splurged a bit and got me a better used car for toting around the kids and running the errands and such, but that's a Ford, too.

I really hope you were kidding.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. Well, you must be lying
All doctors are freaking gazillionaires with big fancy schmancy mansions and tooling around in their Lexus/BMW/Mercedes/Range Rover.

And all they care about is money money money. I've never met a decent doctor in my life. They're all uppity snobs with so much money they use it instead of fire wood in the winter.

:sarcasm:

And I don't think the previous poster was kidding. Some people can't see the forest for the trees.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #52
54. Thanks for the giggle.
I'll never forget my MIL telling my hubby, at the end of residency when we were interviewing and looking at jobs, that he should've been a radiologist instead. Just for the money. :eyes: Then again, this woman never did get it all through med school and residency that when he was on call, it meant he wasn't coming home anytime soon. Drove me nuts.
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Solar_Power Donating Member (422 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #49
70. Who cares what he drives. Tell us how much he makes.
Then you may have an argument.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #70
72. At his new job, $160k. Take out taxes, he brings home just over $7K a month.
Edited on Sun Nov-18-07 10:46 AM by knitter4democracy
That's at a minimum of 60 hours a week (he doesn't seem to count his being on-call for one hospital every night, even though I do, since it means we can't be more than half an hour away from that hospital and go anywhere), no dental, crappy health insurance ($2400 deductible with an HSA that I hate), real call every Monday and every fourth weekend (coving both hospitals), and four weeks off a year (sick time included, which hurt us this year since we both got mono last spring).

We still owe on the $175K base for the med school loans, so we got a smaller house to keep our debt in line. We had to pull our kids out of the private school because we couldn't afford it with the higher medical costs and three of us having asthma and needing three different meds each, plus my other health stuff. To get our debt down, we're keeping his 2001 Taurus until it drops and then probably replacing it with a similar car (hopefully low mileage since he's still covering both hospitals in both towns).

We ran up a lot of credit card debt in residency that we're still paying off, and we're tightening up the budget as much as possible. With having to pay his sister's college bill last summer, we're a little tighter than we'd planned by this fall with hosting his entire family for Thanksgiving (and why not--he's the doctor and so obviously can afford to feed 20 people and house an extra seven for three days and add an extra guest at the last minute, or so MIL seems to think--it's costing us a fortune, and I'm doing it as cheaply as possible).

We're cutting costs everywhere we can, since we basically have two mortage payments in addition to higher medical and dental costs with this job that we hadn't planned on. I'm not saying we're poor (when he was in med school and I was a Catholic high school teacher making $18K, we were poor), but things are tighter than we'd ever thought possible during those tighter times. Food, gas, heating, all those costs going up, and even we are starting to feel the pinch.
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Solar_Power Donating Member (422 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #72
78. Just $160K -- while median household income is $44K
Thanks for making my point.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #78
82. We've made less than that, too.
Our first 7 years of marriage, we were below the median. Our first three years of marriage, we made less than $20K a year. We've put in our time. We don't come from rich families at all, we never had a fancy car or nanny or parent-paid condo or even any help with med school bills of any kind. We come from the middle class, and so our families couldn't help us much. I taught, he studied, and when I got pregnant, we found out that my job would barely have paid the daycare bills, so I stayed home while he took out more in med school loans.

In residency, he never made more than $44K a year. That's with 120 hour work weeks (no union, no hours restrictions then), two babies at home, and a sick wife. We have put in our time, and that's why we donate as much money as we can afford, take food constantly over to the local food bank, and help out families we know personally as much as we can with food and other needed items. Others helped us when we didn't know where the next rent payment was coming from, and so we help others.

I'm not sorry Hubby's finally making the real money of an attending. He's put in his time, and this is his reward. He works damn hard to earn every penny, and our family makes a lot of sacrifices for his job. The money doesn't come close to making up for the times he hasn't been there for us, but at least we're able to host Thanksgiving and pay my medical bills.
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BadgerLaw2010 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #78
85. And you claimed $312K without providing a link. What exactly IS your point?
You don't like people with high incomes?
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #78
90. Median earners didn't spend 11 years in training, either.
Or are you saying that EVERYONE should get paid the same, no matter what they do?
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likesmountains 52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #31
63. For real? Wow...my family MD drives a 1985 Toyota Tercel! They're not all rich you know...
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
37. Yeah. I have two doctor friends that are a couple.
For the first few years that they lived here, they had folding tables in their dining room. They arrived here with massive debt from school, three kids and a nanny plus a new mortgage.

They're both making excellent money and will do just fine. The first few years must've sucked, though.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
39. Boo fucking hoo!
:nopity:
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angstlessk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
42. It's no wonder that they cannot go to inner city neighborhoods and
treat poor people. No wonder we need docs trained in Cuba FOR FREE to come out and practice medicine with the poor!!!
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Retired AF Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. And who in the hell would go through all this crap
if we had socialized medicine? Just saying.
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SemiCharmedQuark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. Yes, because clearly all doctors are in it for the money.
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 03:15 PM by SemiCharmedQuark
:eyes:

Other countries have doctors AND socialized medicine. However, they also provide school for free or practically free. We need more than universal healthcare in this country to catch up with the rest of the world.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #43
56. Hubby wants socialized medicine.
And he's an internist. He's constantly pissed off with insurance companies and drug prices and all.

Two of the residents when he was an intern were from Canada. They'd come to the US to do their residency, hearing that our system was better. They ran back to Canada when they were done. They were constantly horrified at the crap we all deal with on a daily basis from insurance and Medicare, and Pharma, and everything.
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SOS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #43
58. Nations with national health
also provide college and medical school at no cost to the student.

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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #43
87. Maybe more people than you think
because medical school subsidies would be part of any reasonable government medical program.

Funny how I lived in Canada for four years and they didn't seem to have a shortage of doctors. One of my best friends' dads is a doctor in Canada and he never complained about not making as much money as his US counterparts, even when I asked him about it point blank. It's also funny how you never hear about a shortage of doctors in Europe, either...
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
46. Man, we got off easy with $175K, then.
I can see how that adds up, though. Hubby and I managed to get through undergrad without any loans (mine thanks to my parents and Hubby because he worked as a nurse's aid in nursing homes), so the only student loans we have is his med school loans. He graduated from Case in 2001, and I'm sure their tuition has continued to skyrocket.

We would've had more if I hadn't taught while he was in med school. He would have needed school loan money to pay for housing and such, and we still needed some because my Catholic teacher salary was crap, but we owe less because of that.

So, basically, we have two mortgages--the med school debt and the house. With my medical problems and his job change this last year and all, things are tight, but we're making it. I'm tightening up again like how I did all through med school and residency, and things are okay. It's not like we're poor. We've been poor and know what that's like.
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taught_me_patience Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
64. 250k per person in student loans?
Tells me right away that this article is a load of crock. This article cherry picked two very extreme cases. Most doctors that I know have about 100k in debt coming out of med school. Going to a public undergrad really helps.
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conspirator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
65. Welcome to 21st century slavery: loan sharks nt
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AZ Criminal JD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #65
68. Slavery at 200k a year
Oh the oppression! Oh the humanity!
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Solar_Power Donating Member (422 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #68
71. My friend is physician recruiter
My friend tells me that doctor pay ranges depending on experience.

Few doctors make less than $200K and top surgeons make over $1 million/year. Those who own their private practice also make over $400-$500K/yr.

Yeah, I'm not feeling sorry for doctors and dentists.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #71
73. Where do you live? I don't know any job here going for $200K.
Hubby had to get a new job last year when his practice wanted him to take a $50K pay cut, and we couldn't find anything for that much. In Michigan, the going rate for an internist with a few years of experience is $160K.

I know doctors who own their own practices who wish they were making that much here. Hubby's old practice is probably going under soon. At least, it has all the signs (firing him, firing their latest PA hire who is really talented and deserves better, losing another doctor because of contract crap, losing a few good aides, etc.).

Pediatricians in Michigan are lucky if they make around $100K (with med school debt taking a huge chunk of that every year). Those guys making a million are super-specialized or are radiologists (who can name their price, apparently). Your average primary care doc will never, ever see that kind of money.
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Solar_Power Donating Member (422 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #73
76. Oh the tregedy of living on $160K (which is like the top 5% of all people)
Cry me a river
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #76
77. I'm not saying it's a tragedy. I'm not saying we're poor.
Read my posts. I'm trying to explain where the money goes, that's all. I've said over and over again that we aren't poor, that we've been poor (unless you think living on a gross salary of $18,600 is rich) and know we're far better off now, but that we're not living some high life.

We don't have fancy cars, we don't have a huge or fancy house, we don't wear expensive clothes, we don't have expensive electronics, and yet we don't have any real savings. I'm not asking for pity, just a modicum of understanding that, while it seems like we have tons of money coming in, most of it is already spent in debt.
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Solar_Power Donating Member (422 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #77
80. Median houshold income is $44K
Allow me not to feel sorry for someone making 4x as much by himself
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #80
83. Did I ask you to feel sorry for us? When? Where?
Where did I ask for pity? I merely asked for a modicum of understanding, the merest hint of empathy that maybe, just maybe, those oceans of money that you seem to see don't really exist in the way you imagine.

As I posted above, for the first seven years of our marriage, we made below the median. I think we've put in our time, and I know that my husband deserves his pay, that he works damn hard for it.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #71
74. Considering all they go through to get to that point, I would say
they deserve it. After going to school for years and years, if they didn't make this kind of money, I don't know as to why anyone would want to be a doctor at all.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #74
79. And there are days when it's still not worth it.
Hubby didn't go into it for the money (if he had, he would've been in a more lucrative specialty, not "just" an internist), but having enough money to travel to see his parents when we need to and to pay my medical bills sure is better than when we were in residency.
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BadgerLaw2010 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #71
86. Your friend is smoking crack. "Few" doesn't = far more than half.
You need to source stuff better than some anonymous friend who's numbers don't agree with official statistics at all.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #68
75. How many hours do you think they work?
My husband is the only one in his practice that covers the hospital in the town we live in. If he has a patient in there (or three or four, as is usual), he's on call. That means that he has to round at both hospitals in the morning, work all day in the office, round again at night (usually an admission or something big he has to take a look at), and then have his pager and phone going off all night long. That's day in, day out. I tell ya, there are times I'd love to take a sledgehammer to that pager.

Oh, and he doesn't make $200K a year and probably never will in this market. I'm just sayin' . . .
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Solar_Power Donating Member (422 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
81. Next DU thread: CEO's have 500K Harvard MBA student loans
Edited on Sun Nov-18-07 12:58 PM by Solar_Power
Yeah, next we'll have a pity party for CEOs
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
91. My hubby LEFT medicine. So did I.
And we're doing much better financially since we left it, working in a completely different field.

So I don't envy doctors their jobs. Not one bit. I've been there, done that, and being a doctor nowadays is the pits.
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mainegreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-19-07 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #91
92. All us Mainers get ripped off on the income scale.
I always feel kinda sick when I see what programmers make elsewhere.

Still, I like it up here.
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