Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

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Bill McNeal
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Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Bill McNeal » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am

A relative is seeking some career advice for her college bound son. She wants him to become a doctor, but he prefers an easier path to make money, and is considering going into coding/software instead. He hopes to work for a FAANGM, enticed by the massive comp packages for new graduates.

A recent article on Bloomberg lists the top ten professions by salary, and concludes medicine is more lucrative:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -by-salary

The article doesn't mention the opportunity cost in time/tuition for medical school and residency. What pathway would you advise STEM-inclined college students to follow?

visualguy
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by visualguy » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:29 am

I don't think this decision should be made based on pay. He should pick based on interests, talent, and personality. Both career paths pay well, and both don't work well for people who aren't well-suited for them.

Valuethinker
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:00 am

Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
A relative is seeking some career advice for her college bound son. She wants him to become a doctor, but he prefers an easier path to make money, and is considering going into coding/software instead. He hopes to work for a FAANGM, enticed by the massive comp packages for new graduates.

A recent article on Bloomberg lists the top ten professions by salary, and concludes medicine is more lucrative:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -by-salary

The article doesn't mention the opportunity cost in time/tuition for medical school and residency. What pathway would you advise STEM-inclined college students to follow?
Medicine is a calling, not a job.

You want to be a professional? You can be a dentist. A lawyer. An accountant. Medicine is special because it will consume you and change you profoundly - you'd have to be high on the ASD not to be changed by what you see becoming a doctor.

I have a friend, now a professor of economics at a major American university (let's say one of the most selective in America for undergrad ;-)), whose father was a hospital doctor in Philadelphia. As he said to me "people were sick and dying, I realised that was not what I wanted in my career". He had the brains, the humanity, he just wasn't called to it.

I realise American doctors are the best paid in the world, and the financial pressures of insurance companies & administration systems, costs of student loans, endless administrative paperwork, litigation-intensive environment can squeeze the life out of this.

But fundamentally this is about dealing with sick people. Standing at the bedside as people leave this life, or as babies are born into it. Blood & guts & mess & the worst of despair & the greatest of joy. Of at least a decade of training in slave labour conditions, overwhelmed by everything that is thrown at you, having basically no life.

The stories I could tell you - from friends or that I have read. Of a friend of mine, child caught in the birth canal, staff paralysed for a second, and the chief Gyn/ Ob of a top London teaching hospital, striding into the delivery room and saying "Madame, you and I are going to deliver this child" and reaching in and pulling the child out.

To look a 50 year old man or woman in the eye, in the prime of life, and say "I am sorry, there's nothing we can do". That all those hopes & plans & worries and dreams are ... over. Worse of telling the parents of a small child that you've run out of bullets to fire at their disease and it's only a matter of time ...

Of an 80-something year old man, struck whilst crossing a road, arriving by ambulance at the hospital, and the doctor turning to the mother & elder son and saying "I am sorry, there is no chance of regaining consciousness". Enough time to call for the priest, and say a prayer for the dying, and his heart leaps momentarily back to life, and then he's gone.

Knee on a 19 year old's chest, while you pull his broken arm back straight as he screams even though he is off his head on provocaine.

Walking into a GI ward, where people are being treated for Chrone's disease and other failures, screaming as cold machines serve as their artificial guts. Crying in pain ..

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/ ... rsh-review memoire of a neurosurgeon starts with the first patient he killed - maybe you will always remember the first patient you kill ...

Of Canadian doctors in field hospitals in Afghanistan, when an Afghan interpreter or army officer, that they have worked with, is brought in with his guts blown away ...

Imagine those doctors right now on the front line of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Risking dying with every contact. If it breaks out it would be a disease that sweeps the world.

Make money? Can't you be an orthodonist?

There's lots of ways to make money in life.

Medicine is a calling. It's about dealing with sick people, dying people. Grieving parents of dying children, the pure joy when you claw someone back from the beyond.

Go work in a hospital for a year as an orderly. See if it calls you. See if the work calls to you.

bondsr4me
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by bondsr4me » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:29 am

No matter what profession a person decides on, chasing money is the absolute wrong reason to go into it.
If you don’t do it because you love what you, you will probably end up quitting it.

To me, just to me, becoming a doctor is the noblest profession of all.
I wish GOD would have blessed me with that kind of ability.
My way of helping people was with their finances and I really enjoyed it.

Chasing a profession, any profession, because of money is absolutely the worst reason and you are doomed for failure.

To all the doctors out there I say a hearty “Thank You” for being there and doing what you do.
There are many of us patients who really truly appreciate what you do.

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Watty
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Watty » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:18 am

Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
What pathway would you advise STEM-inclined college students to follow?
If you doing something just for the money will make you miserable and most likely you will not be very good at it either.

I was a software developer and I retired a few years ago. During my career I saw a lot of people who had gotten into computers because someone told them it was a good field to be in. Usually they could learn the basic skills to get by but they were usually really mediocre and hated their jobs. They were usually the first people laid off when there were layoffs and by the time they reached 40 they had often moved on to some other job either voluntarily or because they could not find any more computer work.

Many college students will change majors after the first year or two when they know more about the fields they are looking at so it is good to start out taking classes that will allow you to readily change your major later on. At one point I was a Geology major but working on a strong Computer Science minor since they actually work very well together. It turned out I was not very good at Geology and a periodic oil bust hit before my junior year so the Geology job prospects were not good. I was pretty good at computers so I switched major to Computer Science which worked out well for me.

NoFred
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by NoFred » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:35 am

Good luck to your friends son. Finding and keeping a lucrative career is not easy - he’ll have to be lucky, very capable and interested in the field, and very competitive and motivated. So he should find the one where he fits those criteria.
-NoFred

warner25
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by warner25 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:41 am

Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
The article doesn't mention the opportunity cost in time/tuition for medical school and residency.
Thats a pretty egregious omission. Like it's probably the most important part of this whole analysis from a financial perspective.

afan
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by afan » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:44 pm

A student absolutely should consider compensation when choosing a career. That is not the only factor but it is important.

Right now one can start earning 6 figures straight out of college. Going to medical school not only keeps one out of the labor market for four more years but forces most people to borrow several hundred thousand dollars to pay tuition and to support themselves while in school. Training lasts for years thereafter, when you have an income but not nearly enough to make any dent in the debt. Instead of starting a six figure job at 21 you may be starting at 32, often substantially older, with $200k of debt.

It would be interesting to take this into account and compare across a lifetime. Ignoring it would be irresponsible.

It is also true that medicine would be intolerable as a career if you did not love it. Unfortunately some docs go through school, take on the debt, then discover the deep gratification most derive does not work for them. They are the ones who are desparate to get out, or miserable because practicing is the only thing they can do to cover the bills they owe.

A science oriented student could go either path. Time value of money favors tech. But there is nothing like medicine for the right people.
Last edited by afan on Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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rascott
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by rascott » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:07 pm

Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
A relative is seeking some career advice for her college bound son. She wants him to become a doctor, but he prefers an easier path to make money, and is considering going into coding/software instead. He hopes to work for a FAANGM, enticed by the massive comp packages for new graduates.

A recent article on Bloomberg lists the top ten professions by salary, and concludes medicine is more lucrative:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -by-salary

The article doesn't mention the opportunity cost in time/tuition for medical school and residency. What pathway would you advise STEM-inclined college students to follow?

Only a fool would become a doctor because his mother wanted him to. Mom should back off, a bit. You either really, really want to be a doc... or you don't. He clearly doesn't.

TravelGeek
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:16 pm

There is a (closed) thread about this article that might have some useful input.

viewtopic.php?t=286135

Cyanide123
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Cyanide123 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:16 pm

Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
A relative is seeking some career advice for her college bound son. She wants him to become a doctor, but he prefers an easier path to make money, and is considering going into coding/software instead. He hopes to work for a FAANGM, enticed by the massive comp packages for new graduates.

A recent article on Bloomberg lists the top ten professions by salary, and concludes medicine is more lucrative:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -by-salary

The article doesn't mention the opportunity cost in time/tuition for medical school and residency. What pathway would you advise STEM-inclined college students to follow?

You don't become a physician for the money. Period.

I'm a physician. I finished undergrad at age 22. I just finished residency at age 30. If I was a software engineer, I would have started making a real paycheck at age 22, would have started seeing compound returns for 8 years for my retirement income. My first real paycheck was in residency of 53k a year working between 70-80 hrs/ week after accumulating 200k of debt. Some residencies can be 7 years long.

At age 30, now that I'm done with residency training and starting a real physician job, my net worth is around negative 150k right now, much better the average US medical education graduate. A software engineer by comparison should have a good half a million in savings if they kept maxing their retirement accounts and if they continued getting promotions.

Most medical specialties make between 200-300k after many more years of education and training. A software engineer can hit 200k with just a bachelors. The surgical specialties that make more also have longer hours and longer training. Surgeons easily work 60-70 hours a week for the rest of their lives for the 350k that they average.

[Political comment removed by moderator oldcomputerguy]

Do medicine for the love of medicine. Otherwise patients will drain you. Trust me, it's hard, burn out is real, half of the doctors say they are burned out, physician suicide is higher than most other professions, physician depression is higher than a lot of other professions. I deal with disrespectful and demanding patients everyday. Very frequently get yelled at by patients. Half of them are trying to get stronger pain medications and get pissed when you say no. My sister, also a physician, has gotten a black eye from a patient. It's not easy, sometimes money isn't everything.

Edit: two ER doctors were shot dead by patients in the last year. My wife's hospital recently had a code silver, a patient held a gun to a physician and the hospital was on lock down. Physicians average 1 lawsuit per 10 years of practice. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

Afty
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Afty » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:28 pm

I agree with the advice that the student should think about what they actually enjoy and not focus so much on the money. Both fields pay very well, and the aggregate differences in comp can be easily outweighed by ability or even sheer luck.

My mom also wanted me to become a doctor. I wanted to work with computers, so I chose to be a software engineer. I've been doing this professionally for 10 years and love it. My wife is a physician so I see the other side, and I'm happy I made the choice I did.

harmoniousmonk
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by harmoniousmonk » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:39 pm

49 yo radiologist here. The burnout is very real. Make sure you/he is a selfless person who doesn't mind putting others first and can deal with difficult people who might not be at their best when you come into contact with them. The pay can be very good but I have learned that money isn't everything. The job will beat you down. No doubt about that.

Katietsu
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Katietsu » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:11 pm

And for all the reasons discussed, medical schools are considering much more than grades and scores when the deciding who to accept. They want to make sure that the potential student has some insight into the day to day of clinical practice. Hence, they are looking for some shadowing, volunteering or work experience in the medical field. They are considering soft skills as well as the STEM. Some forward looking physicians feel this will be even more significant in the future when AI takes a more prominent role.

So, if he is not well suited or just not committed to medicine, he may be rejected anyway.

MoneyMarathon
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by MoneyMarathon » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:40 pm

Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
She wants him to become a doctor, but he prefers an easier path to make money, and is considering going into coding/software instead. He hopes to work for a FAANGM, enticed by the massive comp packages for new graduates.
He can graduate with less debt, start work sooner, get an initial total-comp offer around $170k, be making $200k+ within three years, and be making $300k+ within ten years if he's a successful software engineer at a big "FAANGM" company that awards lots of RSUs. These numbers are conservative, in today's dollars, and assuming he doesn't like management (and doesn't price in the risk of a tech crash or not getting into one of these high-paying companies... :shock: ). There are many ways to have a nice career, but if this is what he wants to do, it's not a bad way to go. If he doesn't make it, he can "only" be making six figures at many software shops across the US.

visualguy
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by visualguy » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:04 pm

MoneyMarathon wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:40 pm
Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
She wants him to become a doctor, but he prefers an easier path to make money, and is considering going into coding/software instead. He hopes to work for a FAANGM, enticed by the massive comp packages for new graduates.
He can graduate with less debt, start work sooner, get an initial total-comp offer around $170k, be making $200k+ within three years, and be making $300k+ within ten years if he's a successful software engineer at a big "FAANGM" company that awards lots of RSUs. These numbers are conservative, in today's dollars, and assuming he doesn't like management (and doesn't price in the risk of a tech crash or not getting into one of these high-paying companies... :shock: ). There are many ways to have a nice career, but if this is what he wants to do, it's not a bad way to go. If he doesn't make it, he can "only" be making six figures at many software shops across the US.
Right, but career longevity isn't very good in tech, particularly for those who don't go into management. Also, even though the pay in tech has improved when compared to the old days (at least at some companies where you get a lot of RSUs), the working conditions have deteriorated significantly for those who can't get a work-from-home arrangement. These open-concept offices which most of the companies copied and adopted are truly horrible in general, and particularly for work that requires such a high level of concentration. It was ok for typist pools 70 years ago, but how it works for software engineers is beyond me.

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MP123
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by MP123 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:05 pm

visualguy wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:04 pm
MoneyMarathon wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:40 pm
Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
She wants him to become a doctor, but he prefers an easier path to make money, and is considering going into coding/software instead. He hopes to work for a FAANGM, enticed by the massive comp packages for new graduates.
He can graduate with less debt, start work sooner, get an initial total-comp offer around $170k, be making $200k+ within three years, and be making $300k+ within ten years if he's a successful software engineer at a big "FAANGM" company that awards lots of RSUs. These numbers are conservative, in today's dollars, and assuming he doesn't like management (and doesn't price in the risk of a tech crash or not getting into one of these high-paying companies... :shock: ). There are many ways to have a nice career, but if this is what he wants to do, it's not a bad way to go. If he doesn't make it, he can "only" be making six figures at many software shops across the US.
Right, but career longevity isn't very good in tech, particularly for those who don't go into management. Also, even though the pay in tech has improved when compared to the old days (at least at some companies where you get a lot of RSUs), the working conditions have deteriorated significantly for those who can't get a work-from-home arrangement. These open-concept offices which most of the companies copied and adopted are truly horrible in general, and particularly for work that requires such a high level of concentration. It was ok for typist pools 70 years ago, but how it works for software engineers is beyond me.
Yes, it's very hard to put together a 30-40 year career in software/IT. Not impossible but certainly not the norm.

Medicine doesn't change anywhere near as fast and is pretty much a monopoly considering state licenses, the AMA, lobbyists, and so on. I'm sure it has it's challenges but becoming obsolete isn't one of them.

I think his potential career longevity is much longer in medicine.

Iridium
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Iridium » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:02 pm

Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
What pathway would you advise STEM-inclined college students to follow?
To use those STEM skills and figure out what they want. The career path between doctor and software engineer are so different, I am not sure how a comparison could even usefully be made.

What I love about my sort-of software engineering career is that the work is focused on my peers. We all have different perspectives and expertises, but ultimately, we are peers, with similar baseline educational background who work together to create something bigger than any of us could do alone. I love learning from my colleagues and I love debating the way forward (even if I 'lose' as many debates as I 'win'). I live my life at work in a bubble, but it is a bubble of similarly trained knowledge workers.

Compare that to a doctor. A doctor's main task is to work with patients and nurses. Within his/her area of expertise, there is rarely someone to gainsay the recommendations, the vast majority of professional interactions are with folks who are not doctors. I have no doubt that some tricky cases may require cooperation between specialists, but as best I can tell, these cases are the minority. For the right personality, this may be perfect, the doctor completely 'owns' the diagnosis and much of the treatment of incoming problems, and every day gets to help out and interact with a broad cross section of humanity. Not for me though.

On top of that CS != FAANGM. Other than Microsoft, I could never picture myself wanting to working at any of those places. Especially not in the Bay Area, where you typically hear about those outsize salaries.

On the flip side, maybe none of these are right. Maybe he wants the peers, but doesn't like how software engineering is moving toward 'guess and check' engineering. The career of mechanical or chemical engineers may speak to him more. You can do well with a variety of different STEM positions. Might as well figure out what appeals to him about STEM and find a career path that will give it to him.

NoFred
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by NoFred » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:23 pm

Software engineering is great, but like all fields high and consistent compensation is reserved for those that are naturally great and unnaturally motivated. It is as much a calling as being a dr, and just as intellectually hard at higher levels, plus it’s competitive and has a shorter shelf life.

If he’s smart, keep searching for a calling.
-NoFred

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by MoneyMarathon » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:00 pm

career longevity isn't very good in tech
it's very hard to put together a 30-40 year career in software/IT
has a shorter shelf life
Gonna go out on a limb and say that this (a) is a myth, with no real evidence, and (b) does not matter. Only one's own individual experience matters when it comes to choosing a career. If you want a 40 year career in software, you can have it.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:06 pm

MoneyMarathon wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:00 pm
career longevity isn't very good in tech
it's very hard to put together a 30-40 year career in software/IT
has a shorter shelf life
Gonna go out on a limb and say that this (a) is a myth, with no real evidence, and (b) does not matter. Only one's own individual experience matters when it comes to choosing a career. If you want a 40 year career in software, you can have it.
+1

My SF tech company start class included one guy who started his software developer career in 1984, several years before I was born.

Wakefield1
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Wakefield1 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:13 pm

It's an art It's a profession It's a calling (at least it should be but things are not always as they should be and that includes some who are only in it for the money)
perhaps Nursing should also get a mention
I disagree that software engineering is equal to medicine although it certainly might be more lucrative at high levels
wish Boeing had used better software engineering
Last edited by Wakefield1 on Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Erwin007
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Erwin007 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:16 pm

As a physician, I would advise my kids, if they were adept enough and equally drawn to medicine or tech, to go into tech 100 times out of 100.

As has been mentioned already in this post, the opportunity cost of medical school followed by residency and maybe fellowship might put you behind in a hole from which you can’t catch up. Sure there are some specialists in medicine that make upwards of $600k/year, but the vast majority of physicians are primary care docs making $250k or less, and on average with huge student loan burdens. Financially it’s a no brainer for tech.

Another facet to consider is the physical toll that medicine takes on you. A lot of the lucrative specialities require significant call burden or overnight shifts, and there are lots of studies that show decreased lifespan for people who have frequent interruptions in their sleep schedule. In tech I’m sure q4 call or multiple overnight shifts per month are not the norm like they can be in medicine.

Lastly, there is a not insignificant animosity arising against physicians that just isn’t there for people who work in tech. If you’re in tech no one seems to care that you are doing things to make money, but in medicine it is seen as a giant evil, even on this forum, which I think skews much more educated than the standard population.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by EddyB » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:24 pm

Erwin007 wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:16 pm

Lastly, there is a not insignificant animosity arising against physicians that just isn’t there for people who work in tech. If you’re in tech no one seems to care that you are doing things to make money, but in medicine it is seen as a giant evil, even on this forum, which I think skews much more educated than the standard population.
While this is probably fair generally, lots of tech jobs, especially at the top companies, are in areas where there will be noticeable local animosity and political aggression aimed at “tech bros.”

visualguy
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by visualguy » Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:08 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:06 pm
MoneyMarathon wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:00 pm
career longevity isn't very good in tech
it's very hard to put together a 30-40 year career in software/IT
has a shorter shelf life
Gonna go out on a limb and say that this (a) is a myth, with no real evidence, and (b) does not matter. Only one's own individual experience matters when it comes to choosing a career. If you want a 40 year career in software, you can have it.
+1

My SF tech company start class included one guy who started his software developer career in 1984, several years before I was born.
They exist here and there, but they are unicorns (at least in Silicon Valley), which is the reason they stand out and you notice it when you see one of these developers with 30-40 years of experience.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by BionicBillWalsh » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:25 am

We had some kids in my first year of medical school that were there for the wrong reasons. Parents, money, nothing better to do.

They unfortunately didn't make it. Suicide is a real problem in these situations.

The journey is too arduous, expensive, and essentially all-encompassing to do for the wrong reasons.
Saltwater has an amazing ability to wash away many of life’s troubles

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:31 am

visualguy wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:08 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:06 pm
MoneyMarathon wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:00 pm
career longevity isn't very good in tech
it's very hard to put together a 30-40 year career in software/IT
has a shorter shelf life
Gonna go out on a limb and say that this (a) is a myth, with no real evidence, and (b) does not matter. Only one's own individual experience matters when it comes to choosing a career. If you want a 40 year career in software, you can have it.
+1

My SF tech company start class included one guy who started his software developer career in 1984, several years before I was born.
They exist here and there, but they are unicorns (at least in Silicon Valley), which is the reason they stand out and you notice it when you see one of these developers with 30-40 years of experience.
Unlike medicine or law, long experience is not an asset, but a liability in software and engineering. The quality of work may be easily judged. The wide use of simulation tools makes deep understanding and analytic skills less valuable in favor of speed. Software and engineering are now mainly for young people.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by HawkeyePierce » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:56 am

A high-earner in tech could be financially independent by the time a physician of the same age starts practicing. That's a huge hedge against ageism. Add to that the power of compound interest on dollars invested earlier in one's life and I can certainly imagine tech being the more lucrative path.

Keep in mind it's not just FAANG or FAANMG or whatever mega-cap acronym you like that pays outsized compensation. The tier or two below those companies pays equally well. Slack, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb, Intuit, Lyft, Square, Salesforce and many others.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by mac808 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:06 am

I know plenty of physicians who went into medicine in order to make a lot of money. They treat it like a job and are probably happier and less susceptible to burn out than the naive idealists who think their mental model of the world at 22 will remain unchanged throughout a decade or two in real clinical practice.

That said, given equal aptitude, there’s far more money in tech and it’s a far more enjoyable lifestyle. Not even a close call.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Starfish » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:16 am

It was mentioned that medicine is a calling. Of course, that would be the ideal case, in reality know a lot of people who became doctors for less than ideal reasons, and they are doing ok.
To become good in software one is supposed to have a calling too. If you are in high school, your competition is already programming for many years now,going to competitions, clubs etc. A lot of FAANG employees participated and got prizes in various STEM Olympiads and competitions in school (math, physics, programming/informatics, chemistry etc.) since elementary school.
If one's mother has to chose for him from to completely different fields, I am afraid a strong calling is lacking for either.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by fwellimort » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:58 am

A relative is seeking some career advice for her college bound son. She wants him to become a doctor, but he prefers an easier path to make money, and is considering going into coding/software instead. He hopes to work for a FAANGM, enticed by the massive comp packages for new graduates.
Both professions will provide ample pay for her son to live without much financial struggles.
And Bloomberg is very off with the compensation.

Top Tech pays more. A LOT MORE.
My friend out of college joined a hedge fund and had total compensation of $345k first year.
My friend out of college got into Airbnb and started total compensation of $238k first year.

A lot of "FAANG" (why is M there? Take that out) {and FAANG like companies like Uber, etc.} pay most of their compensation in stocks.
Go check the data at https://www.levels.fyi/
Google L3 (out of college) is:
$123.5k salary
$42.2k stocks
$21k bonus
$15k sign on bonus
Similar ranges for the top tech companies. Facebook might pay an additional $70k if you interned before and you performed very well.
Of course getting into these "top tech companies" is mostly luck and connections but it shows how off the data is (or at least.. not quite on the mark).

Do note though software engineers generally "terminate" at L5 position. Above L5 is generally all about luck as a lot of it is outside your control (same idea as how despite you working all your life, you might never be CEO of the company you work at).
L3 to L4 is generally 1 to 1.5 years. L4 to L5 is generally 3 to 5 years.

Now, once we step into hedge funds and all, that's where you really see crazy paychecks in tech. Companies like Jane Street you might expect 7 figure total compensations after say 5 years.

A lot of "tech compensation" is not by salary. Of course, FAANG is not your average company as most companies in US do not give stocks but I just had to let it out as I feel a lot of people here are not up-to-date with current compensation packages.
And before all this talk about "it's stocks, not cash", stocks from Google is as good as cash currently. And it vests every month so you can sell quite immediately.

I mean by this Bloomberg argument, CEOs are broke because some of them only get paid $0.01. That's not how money works.
Stocks, bonuses, etc. all count to a total paycheck that can't be ignored.


Also, do what you want.
You should consider pay when deciding your career BUT it should not be the end all.
I have friends who are doing phd at mathematics, physics, etc. who could have joined the workforce for higher pay.
Some of my brightest friends are becoming teachers.
You only have one life.

Money is simply a man's interpretation of "transaction of time". Don't confuse yourself to think money is the end all.
What good is "transaction of time" when that time can never be recovered?

As long as the career pays enough for one to have a "livable" standard (food, shelter, heating, insurance, some for splurging), from there I would recommend the child look at what he/she wants to do.
The difference between $70k $85k $100k $150k $200k is generally not much when it comes to happiness.
That's all I'll add.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:14 am

fwellimort wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:58 am


Also, do what you want.
You should consider pay when deciding your career BUT it should not be the end all.
I have friends who are doing phd at mathematics, physics, etc. who could have joined the workforce for higher pay.
Some of my brightest friends are becoming teachers.
You only have one life.

Money is simply a man's interpretation of "transaction of time". Don't confuse yourself to think money is the end all.
What good is "transaction of time" when that time can never be recovered?


As long as the career pays enough for one to have a "livable" standard (food, shelter, heating, insurance, some for splurging), from there I would recommend the child look at what he/she wants to do.
The difference between $70k $85k $100k $150k $200k is generally not much when it comes to happiness.
That's all I'll add.
Thank you for saying that.

We had a professor in business school who used to deliver more or less this lecture.

"You take a huge risk in coming here, then you go work for [name of famous consulting company, name of famous investment bank]"

https://www.amazon.com/Srikumar-S.-Rao/ ... ont_book_1

Rao teaches an inspiring course at Columbia (and London Business School) - I was not in the right time/ institution but I think his lessons are quite important.

I can tell you that working for an organisation that is on a mission can be very rewarding. So too can teaching - depending on the attitude of the students. It's not how much they know, it's how much and how hard they want to know, that counts.

It's hard when you are a young person. But medicine is a long and dark tunnel and it's unlikely you will stick it if it's just about the Porsche at the end.

Math is an excellent background for many careers. Applied Math & Economics for example of a good major that can prepare one for a wide variety of careers.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:18 am

Starfish wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:16 am
It was mentioned that medicine is a calling. Of course, that would be the ideal case, in reality know a lot of people who became doctors for less than ideal reasons, and they are doing ok.
You have to cultivate, then, a detachment from sick and dying people. I don't deny some people seem to.

Studying medicine is about sick people and about dying people. Yes you can do dermatology in some affluent suburb, or orthopaedics at a ski resort*, and firewall yourself off from a lot of that. But, fundamentally, medicine is about dealing with sick people, and dying people.

Just as civil litigation is about dealing with powerful corporates, and angry people.
To become good in software one is supposed to have a calling too. If you are in high school, your competition is already programming for many years now,going to competitions, clubs etc. A lot of FAANG employees participated and got prizes in various STEM Olympiads and competitions in school (math, physics, programming/informatics, chemistry etc.) since elementary school.
If one's mother has to chose for him from to completely different fields, I am afraid a strong calling is lacking for either.
That's my gut, too.

* where I go, the resident doctor is a 6' tall German woman, Valkyrie but not the Marvel comics kind - she could swing a mean battleax though ;-), with very strong arms and hands - this I know, up close and personal ;-).

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by HawkeyePierce » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:42 am

Starfish wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:16 am
It was mentioned that medicine is a calling. Of course, that would be the ideal case, in reality know a lot of people who became doctors for less than ideal reasons, and they are doing ok.
To become good in software one is supposed to have a calling too. If you are in high school, your competition is already programming for many years now,going to competitions, clubs etc. A lot of FAANG employees participated and got prizes in various STEM Olympiads and competitions in school (math, physics, programming/informatics, chemistry etc.) since elementary school.
If one's mother has to chose for him from to completely different fields, I am afraid a strong calling is lacking for either.
(emphasis mine) Google has 20-30k engineers and that's just one company. I doubt that many of them were competing in STEM Olympiads or other competitions.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:31 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:00 am
Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
A relative is seeking some career advice for her college bound son. She wants him to become a doctor, but he prefers an easier path to make money, and is considering going into coding/software instead. He hopes to work for a FAANGM, enticed by the massive comp packages for new graduates.

A recent article on Bloomberg lists the top ten professions by salary, and concludes medicine is more lucrative:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -by-salary

The article doesn't mention the opportunity cost in time/tuition for medical school and residency. What pathway would you advise STEM-inclined college students to follow?
Medicine is a calling, not a job.

.
Thanks for this overly depressing portrayal of the life of a doctor.

My Dad was a hemeatologist oncologist. I envisioned his life to be full of sad stories like you mentioned.

I didn't want that for myself so I choose not to go to med school, not realizing that there are other specialities like family medicine, pediatrics, nephrology which aren't so depressing.

On the other hand, when several hundred patients showed up to his funeral, I was quite humbled the he made such a difference in the lives of so many people.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by NoFred » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:00 am

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:42 am
(emphasis mine) Google has 20-30k engineers and that's just one company. I doubt that many of them were competing in STEM Olympiads or other competitions.
We were (I’m stem not google), at least those high earners that kept achieving beyond the first few years. Entry level is nice but from then on it’s who’s the smartest and works the most.
-NoFred

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by afan » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:18 am

Docs do not have nearly the autonomy that some people assume. Much of their work is constantly second guessed or blocked by bureaucrats and insurance companies. Lots of counterproductive busy work. These factors account for much of the burnout.

Most medicine is practiced as teams, not solo.

Getting work at the large software companies is not particularly dependent on luck. They have elaborate systems for screeing applicants to find those who likely have the skills they need. Then the companies invest in quite expensive interviews with real software engineers, not HR types, to pick the ones who are truly expert. There is a lot at stake for the companies and knowing the right people does not make good code.

Medicine is being revolutionized by tech. People with software or hardware backgrounds are in huge demand as physicians.

A difference not yet mentioned. There are completely different ways of thinking. Software and any engineering requirea deep analysis based on understanding principles. Although science has provided explanations for many phenomena, there is a great deal of rote memorization. Docs need to think, of course. But they need to have large libraries of memorized facts. They need to keep adding to that library throughout their careers while discarding things now known to be wrong. Most docs do not get to devote extended time to analysis of any single case. They work under time clocks that require them to move from one case to the next as quickly as possible. Spending even a single day focused on one problem is almost unheard of.

Since changes in tech change medicine, the medical field changes at the rate of tech x medical knowledge. What changes slowly is the structure of the industry.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:41 am

unclescrooge wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:31 am
Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:00 am
Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
A relative is seeking some career advice for her college bound son. She wants him to become a doctor, but he prefers an easier path to make money, and is considering going into coding/software instead. He hopes to work for a FAANGM, enticed by the massive comp packages for new graduates.

A recent article on Bloomberg lists the top ten professions by salary, and concludes medicine is more lucrative:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -by-salary

The article doesn't mention the opportunity cost in time/tuition for medical school and residency. What pathway would you advise STEM-inclined college students to follow?
Medicine is a calling, not a job.

.
Thanks for this overly depressing portrayal of the life of a doctor.

My Dad was a hemeatologist oncologist. I envisioned his life to be full of sad stories like you mentioned.

I didn't want that for myself so I choose not to go to med school, not realizing that there are other specialities like family medicine, pediatrics, nephrology which aren't so depressing.

On the other hand, when several hundred patients showed up to his funeral, I was quite humbled the he made such a difference in the lives of so many people.
Countries vary. But in the UK now family medicine would be depressing -- overloaded. The GP and FMs are the frontline gatekeepers of the medical system so they see all hard cases when they are first sorted out to refer to different specialist departments. And they are responsible for ongoing care etc.

Maybe paediatrics is better, but sometimes the kids don't recover. Nephrology I don't know enough.

And yes, several hundred people could easily show up at a doctor's funeral. His or her family may have paid a price for his dedication (as they would for a top lawyer, corporate exec etc) but there is a payback.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by MindBogler » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:41 am

This discussion seems to ignore that the road to medicine, tech (or both) is not a free lunch. Medical school admission is hardly a foregone conclusion. People fail to matriculate every single year. And then the people earning these salaries in tech tend to be performers. Not everyone with a STEM degree is going to be capable of coding at a high level. Even among those who do code, only a small percentage of them will ever earn at Silicon Valley rates. This whole thread reminds me of parents debating whether their 5 year old should play in the NBA or NFL. :wink:

The article itself is bad because it ignores the opportunity cost. Break out the spreadsheets and it is easy to see that it takes a physician many years to generate an ROI versus really any profession that begins post-college and maintains a reasonable salary during the period.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Cyanide123 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:45 am

Fyi... The article miserably low balls actual salaries. Physicians and surgeons 200k 😂😂😂 more like 350k general surgeons, 380-400k urologists, 420-450k orthopedic surgeon, 650-750k neuro surgeons, 450-550k vascular surgeons, 350k emergency physicians, 380k anesthesioloogists, 220 family medicine, 210 pediatricians, 250-260 psychiatrists, 235-240 neurologists, 200-220k hospitalist/IM.

Med scape has more accurate numbers from surveys that are more in line with reality.

These are mostly just ballpark averages. Only the lowest paying specialties are around 200k.

If doctors started making 200k as a whole, I'd rather become a nurse anesthetist and make 180k on average with less training and liability

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by EddyB » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:04 am

visualguy wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:08 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:06 pm
MoneyMarathon wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:00 pm
career longevity isn't very good in tech
it's very hard to put together a 30-40 year career in software/IT
has a shorter shelf life
Gonna go out on a limb and say that this (a) is a myth, with no real evidence, and (b) does not matter. Only one's own individual experience matters when it comes to choosing a career. If you want a 40 year career in software, you can have it.
+1

My SF tech company start class included one guy who started his software developer career in 1984, several years before I was born.
They exist here and there, but they are unicorns (at least in Silicon Valley), which is the reason they stand out and you notice it when you see one of these developers with 30-40 years of experience.
I always figured that with that long in the valley, they hit the IPO/acquisition jackpot somewhere along the way and retired if they weren’t moving up to management somewhere or working on a more interesting startup project.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:35 am

visualguy wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:04 pm
MoneyMarathon wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:40 pm
Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
She wants him to become a doctor, but he prefers an easier path to make money, and is considering going into coding/software instead. He hopes to work for a FAANGM, enticed by the massive comp packages for new graduates.
He can graduate with less debt, start work sooner, get an initial total-comp offer around $170k, be making $200k+ within three years, and be making $300k+ within ten years if he's a successful software engineer at a big "FAANGM" company that awards lots of RSUs. These numbers are conservative, in today's dollars, and assuming he doesn't like management (and doesn't price in the risk of a tech crash or not getting into one of these high-paying companies... :shock: ). There are many ways to have a nice career, but if this is what he wants to do, it's not a bad way to go. If he doesn't make it, he can "only" be making six figures at many software shops across the US.
Right, but career longevity isn't very good in tech, particularly for those who don't go into management. Also, even though the pay in tech has improved when compared to the old days (at least at some companies where you get a lot of RSUs), the working conditions have deteriorated significantly for those who can't get a work-from-home arrangement. These open-concept offices which most of the companies copied and adopted are truly horrible in general, and particularly for work that requires such a high level of concentration. It was ok for typist pools 70 years ago, but how it works for software engineers is beyond me.
Noise cancelling headphones.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by visualguy » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:37 am

EddyB wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:04 am
visualguy wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:08 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:06 pm
MoneyMarathon wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:00 pm
career longevity isn't very good in tech
it's very hard to put together a 30-40 year career in software/IT
has a shorter shelf life
Gonna go out on a limb and say that this (a) is a myth, with no real evidence, and (b) does not matter. Only one's own individual experience matters when it comes to choosing a career. If you want a 40 year career in software, you can have it.
+1

My SF tech company start class included one guy who started his software developer career in 1984, several years before I was born.
They exist here and there, but they are unicorns (at least in Silicon Valley), which is the reason they stand out and you notice it when you see one of these developers with 30-40 years of experience.
I always figured that with that long in the valley, they hit the IPO/acquisition jackpot somewhere along the way and retired if they weren’t moving up to management somewhere or working on a more interesting startup project.
The scenarios I see typically are being caught at some point in layoffs, re-orgs, M&A changes, project cancellations, or a management change, and not being able to continue the career after that. Some may be able to retire early comfortably, and some not, but regardless their career doesn't last 30-40 years in most cases...

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:49 am

Erwin007 wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:16 pm
As a physician, I would advise my kids, if they were adept enough and equally drawn to medicine or tech, to go into tech 100 times out of 100.
I hear this a lot, but I didn't think there is any validity to it. I think it's just the grass being greener on the other side.

My parents, FIL and spouse are all physicians. I went the tech route. Moved out of programming due to carpel tunnel and other personal issues, but a lot of my friends still work in tech.

One of them makes $250k as a manager in a tech company. It just went IPO this year, so his RSUs are finally worth $2m. His reward for 8 years of 60+hr weeks, where he started at $150.

He has calls with Israel and India to coordinate the tech efforts which happen at odd hours.

He's put on a lot of weight in the past decade. I don't know his lifestyle would be worse if he was a doctor.

I see the same things with several of my friends in tech... Except not all of them have RSUs.

If you want to make real money, look at ad tech sales. Go to a party school, graduate with no debt, make $300k by the time you're 30!

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by Erwin007 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:58 am

unclescrooge wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:49 am
Erwin007 wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:16 pm
As a physician, I would advise my kids, if they were adept enough and equally drawn to medicine or tech, to go into tech 100 times out of 100.
I hear this a lot, but I didn't think there is any validity to it. I think it's just the grass being greener on the other side.

My parents, FIL and spouse are all physicians. I went the tech route. Moved out of programming due to carpel tunnel and other personal issues, but a lot of my friends still work in tech.

One of them makes $250k as a manager in a tech company. It just went IPO this year, so his RSUs are finally worth $2m. His reward for 8 years of 60+hr weeks, where he started at $150.

He has calls with Israel and India to coordinate the tech efforts which happen at odd hours.

He's put on a lot of weight in the past decade. I don't know his lifestyle would be worse if he was a doctor.

I see the same things with several of my friends in tech... Except not all of them have RSUs.

If you want to make real money, look at ad tech sales. Go to a party school, graduate with no debt, make $300k by the time you're 30!
So my opinion has no validity to it? If you look at surveys of physicians regarding recommending their kids go into medicine or not, the majority do NOT recommend that their kids follow in their footsteps and go into medicine. Maybe it is just a grass is greener phenomenon, but one can only advocate for (or against) what one knows.

Making a few phone calls sporadically in the middle of the night is a lot different than being up all night long working an overnight ER shift, or having to go in to the hospital in the middle of the night and operate for hours on someone who is dying and then having to work a full day the next day. I take 7-8 overnight calls per month or about 90-96 per year. 1/4 of my nights are potentially sleep disturbed/deprived.

And sure there are lazy doctors who don’t work out, but that wasn’t what I was talking about. There are studies that show that frequent interruptions in the sleep cycle lead to premature mortality, regardless of other co-morbidities.

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by boglemymind » Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:09 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:00 am
Bill McNeal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:24 am
A relative is seeking some career advice for her college bound son. She wants him to become a doctor, but he prefers an easier path to make money, and is considering going into coding/software instead. He hopes to work for a FAANGM, enticed by the massive comp packages for new graduates.

A recent article on Bloomberg lists the top ten professions by salary, and concludes medicine is more lucrative:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -by-salary

The article doesn't mention the opportunity cost in time/tuition for medical school and residency. What pathway would you advise STEM-inclined college students to follow?
Medicine is a calling, not a job.

You want to be a professional? You can be a dentist. A lawyer. An accountant. Medicine is special because it will consume you and change you profoundly - you'd have to be high on the ASD not to be changed by what you see becoming a doctor.

I have a friend, now a professor of economics at a major American university (let's say one of the most selective in America for undergrad ;-)), whose father was a hospital doctor in Philadelphia. As he said to me "people were sick and dying, I realised that was not what I wanted in my career". He had the brains, the humanity, he just wasn't called to it.

I realise American doctors are the best paid in the world, and the financial pressures of insurance companies & administration systems, costs of student loans, endless administrative paperwork, litigation-intensive environment can squeeze the life out of this.

But fundamentally this is about dealing with sick people. Standing at the bedside as people leave this life, or as babies are born into it. Blood & guts & mess & the worst of despair & the greatest of joy. Of at least a decade of training in slave labour conditions, overwhelmed by everything that is thrown at you, having basically no life.

The stories I could tell you - from friends or that I have read. Of a friend of mine, child caught in the birth canal, staff paralysed for a second, and the chief Gyn/ Ob of a top London teaching hospital, striding into the delivery room and saying "Madame, you and I are going to deliver this child" and reaching in and pulling the child out.

To look a 50 year old man or woman in the eye, in the prime of life, and say "I am sorry, there's nothing we can do". That all those hopes & plans & worries and dreams are ... over. Worse of telling the parents of a small child that you've run out of bullets to fire at their disease and it's only a matter of time ...

Of an 80-something year old man, struck whilst crossing a road, arriving by ambulance at the hospital, and the doctor turning to the mother & elder son and saying "I am sorry, there is no chance of regaining consciousness". Enough time to call for the priest, and say a prayer for the dying, and his heart leaps momentarily back to life, and then he's gone.

Knee on a 19 year old's chest, while you pull his broken arm back straight as he screams even though he is off his head on provocaine.

Walking into a GI ward, where people are being treated for Chrone's disease and other failures, screaming as cold machines serve as their artificial guts. Crying in pain ..

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/ ... rsh-review memoire of a neurosurgeon starts with the first patient he killed - maybe you will always remember the first patient you kill ...

Of Canadian doctors in field hospitals in Afghanistan, when an Afghan interpreter or army officer, that they have worked with, is brought in with his guts blown away ...

Imagine those doctors right now on the front line of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Risking dying with every contact. If it breaks out it would be a disease that sweeps the world.

Make money? Can't you be an orthodonist?

There's lots of ways to make money in life.

Medicine is a calling. It's about dealing with sick people, dying people. Grieving parents of dying children, the pure joy when you claw someone back from the beyond.

Go work in a hospital for a year as an orderly. See if it calls you. See if the work calls to you.
Oh, the drama...

Can't you be an orthodontist? My brother who is an orthodontist graduated first in his high school class, aced his way through college and dental school and said he was fortunate to land a spot in an orthodontics training program. If only it were as simple as just deciding to be an orthodontist. It appears to be a super competitive specialty to gain entrance.

Every job has it's difficulties and its rewards. People should choose a particular field with their eyes wide open (if that's possible for someone in their early 20s). But if you become a physician don't expect every day to be as exciting as your post would imply:)

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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by j9j » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:02 pm

Cyanide123 wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:45 am
Fyi... The article miserably low balls actual salaries. Physicians and surgeons 200k 😂😂😂 more like 350k general surgeons, 380-400k urologists, 420-450k orthopedic surgeon, 650-750k neuro surgeons, 450-550k vascular surgeons, 350k emergency physicians, 380k anesthesioloogists, 220 family medicine, 210 pediatricians, 250-260 psychiatrists, 235-240 neurologists, 200-220k hospitalist/IM.

Med scape has more accurate numbers from surveys that are more in line with reality.

These are mostly just ballpark averages. Only the lowest paying specialties are around 200k.

If doctors started making 200k as a whole, I'd rather become a nurse anesthetist and make 180k on average with less training and liability
Thanks for setting this straight. Those salaries are are little inline with reality. I totally agree with being a CRNA or a top tier tech person at 180k than a primary care doc at 200k. Also, top tier tech gets a lot of burnout and job problems as they hit 50.

Salaries for staff at certain hospital systems. The UT Health system as ortho surgeons at 650k base and neuro chief at 950k.

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unclescrooge
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:19 pm

Erwin007 wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:58 am
unclescrooge wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:49 am
Erwin007 wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:16 pm
As a physician, I would advise my kids, if they were adept enough and equally drawn to medicine or tech, to go into tech 100 times out of 100.
I hear this a lot, but I didn't think there is any validity to it. I think it's just the grass being greener on the other side.

My parents, FIL and spouse are all physicians. I went the tech route. Moved out of programming due to carpel tunnel and other personal issues, but a lot of my friends still work in tech.

One of them makes $250k as a manager in a tech company. It just went IPO this year, so his RSUs are finally worth $2m. His reward for 8 years of 60+hr weeks, where he started at $150.

He has calls with Israel and India to coordinate the tech efforts which happen at odd hours.

He's put on a lot of weight in the past decade. I don't know his lifestyle would be worse if he was a doctor.

I see the same things with several of my friends in tech... Except not all of them have RSUs.

If you want to make real money, look at ad tech sales. Go to a party school, graduate with no debt, make $300k by the time you're 30!
So my opinion has no validity to it? If you look at surveys of physicians regarding recommending their kids go into medicine or not, the majority do NOT recommend that their kids follow in their footsteps and go into medicine. Maybe it is just a grass is greener phenomenon, but one can only advocate for (or against) what one knows.

Making a few phone calls sporadically in the middle of the night is a lot different than being up all night long working an overnight ER shift, or having to go in to the hospital in the middle of the night and operate for hours on someone who is dying and then having to work a full day the next day. I take 7-8 overnight calls per month or about 90-96 per year. 1/4 of my nights are potentially sleep disturbed/deprived.

And sure there are lazy doctors who don’t work out, but that wasn’t what I was talking about. There are studies that show that frequent interruptions in the sleep cycle lead to premature mortality, regardless of other co-morbidities.
I am in no way slighting your work or sacrifice. ER medicine definitely takes a toll. That's probably why ER has a high burn out rate.
But that's an extreme case. I'm sure my kid's Pediatrician doesn't have the same stress you do. My wife definitely doesn't, even though she is on call every other weekend and twice during the week.

Sure, my buddy who is a cardiologist missed my spectacular July 4th party since he was called in and had to do 2 procedures, but in general, he's on call once every 2 weeks.

There are specialties with a good work life balance. ER is probably not one of them. Painting all of medicine from your viewpoint is probably an over reaction.

Surveys are not good indicators of anything, except sentiment. If you had worked in tech for a decade before switching careers, I would not argue your point.

But the fact is many doctors making such statements have not had other careers, and thus there is no basis for comparison. The grass just looks greener.

Yes, billing rates and going down and malpractice insurance is going up, but a below average doctor can still pull in $200k. A below average engineer makes $50k in the mid West. And, doctors make more in the mid West than they would in a major West coast city.

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greg24
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by greg24 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:35 pm

The only worthwhile point of debate on this is that mom needs to back off.

GCD
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Re: Bloomberg: Forget Tech, Medicine Still Pays More

Post by GCD » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:38 pm

I think the grass looked greener in the past. I know people in a variety of industries who's job now entails less independence, more oversight, more administrative duties and paperwork. That certainly describes medicine, but it also describes other industries as well.

I know a family of doctors. The dad (now about 85) told his sons not to go into medicine, mostly because of changes in the way medicine was practiced. He was grumpy about increased paperwork and reduced autonomy of doctors. He's now retired and his sons who were initially happy in medicine now advise their children not to become doctors because of the increased paperwork and reduced autonomy.

The modern bureaucracy has a way of continually ratcheting down and sucking the joy out of just about any profession.

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