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ER stands for emergency room, and all the doctors, physicians and nurses who work in the emergency room need to know that this is one of the riskiest, most stressful and most demanding areas of medicine, given the fact that they are the first medical professionals to get into contact with people who have suffered severed trauma or injuries. These professionals need to cope with dangerous, life and death situations and it is their duty to resuscitate and stabilize the patients. The ER physician must do everything in his power to stabilize the patient, to handle the medical emergency in an efficient and ethic manner and to help the patient cope with the pain. Working as an emergency room physician does require some pre-requisites as well, given the fact that the doctorate degree is of utmost importance for the career of every ER physician. The pre-medical courses play a crucial role during the undergraduate education, as without them it is impossible for the students to apply and get admitted to the medical school. Throughout the entire med school you will find out more about physiology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology and anatomy.
The residency program, on the other hand, is equally important and it usually lasts for 36 months.
The certification is provided either by the AOBEM or the ABEM institutions, and students are only eligible to sit for the certification after they complete their residency period.
In Australia, an ER physician makes more than Au$100,000 a year, in the United Kingdom between 40,000 and 70,000 pounds a year while in Canada they make around $CAD270,000 a year. To conclude, the salary of an emergency room physician is according to the stress and the work volume these health care professionals need to face in the ER, on a daily basis. ER doctors employed in the United States typically earn salaries in the range from $104,634 to $396,672 a year including bonuses and contributions from profit sharing according to the salary information provided by Payscale. The basic salary for emergency medicine physicians is usually in the range from $96,496 to $303,162 a year.
Jobstat reports that the highest salary recorded for ER physicians is $374,753 a year, and the lowest is $93,706 a year.
ER doctors with the Diplomate of American Board of Emeregency Medicine (ABEM) certification typically earn an annual pay in the range from $98,633 to $305,462 according to Payscale. ER doctors are typically paid a starting salary in the range from $43,631 to $259,763 in their first year on the job according to Payscale’s salary figures.
Medscape’s salary report shows that men earn $277,000 a year on average, while women are paid a median annual salary of $242,000. Emergency medicine doctors working in the Great Lakes region earn around $276,000 a year, those based in the Southeast report a median yearly income of $273,000, and physicians employed in the Northwest are paid $270,000 a year on average. Emergency medicine doctors’ average salary also varies depending on the work setting. The hourly rate for emergency medicine physicians varies depending on a number of factors, including years of experience. Emergency room doctors working in Florida earn between $100,671 and $367,663 annually, and physicians based in Pennsylvania make between $56,673 and $253,419 a year. ER doctors based in Houston make between $122,084 and $250,000 annually, and those working in Chicago are generally paid between $49,132 and $228,907 a year. Medscape’s 2013 Emergency Medicine Physician Compensation Report reveals that 5% of ER doctors earn $100,000 a year or less, while 3% report salaries in the range from $450,000 to $500,000 a year. On the higher end of the scale, 7% of emergency room doctors earn between $400,000 and $450,000 a year, 13% are paid between $350,000 and $400,000 annually, and 17% report a yearly income in the range from $300,000 to $350,000. On the lower end of the scale, 6% of ER doctors make between $100,000 and $150,000 annually, and 7% report being paid between $150,000 and $200,000 a year according to Medscape’s salary report. Emergency medicine doctors’ annual salaries can vary significantly depending on professional experience.
In terms of industry, ER doctors working in the health care sector generally report earning between $98,633 and $260,573 a year, and those employed at hospitals are typically paid between $59,800 and $311,996 annually. Women generally earn between $118,359 and $253,419 a year, and men are typically paid between $98,916 and $319,189 annually.
Emergency medicine doctors’ annual salaries can vary significantly depending on employer type. Emergency room doctors usually get a variety of perks and benefits along with their basic salaries and yearly bonuses, and these can sometimes reflect their annual earnings. ER doctors who have 401(k) plans typically earn between $96,095 and $304,496 a year, those who have malpractice and liability insurance are generally paid between $129,866 and $314,828 annually, and professionals who get life and disability insurance as part of their benefits package typically report an annual pay in the range from $101,367 to $332,959 according to Payscale. ER specialists who have paid vacations and holidays generally earn between $100,671 and $295,186 a year, and those who get paid sick leave are typically paid between $98,633 and $289,966 a year. The most popular benefits and perks among emergency room doctors are 401(k) plans, malpractice and liability insurance, life and disability insurance, 403(b) plans, and paid vacations and holidays.
In terms of employer type, doctors working at hospitals typically get around $11,000 a year, those working for non-profit organizations earn $22,500 on average, and professionals employed by private practices and firms earn around $40,000 a year. ER physicians’ salaries can also vary depending on the size of the organization that employs them. Emergency medicine doctors’ salaries can also vary depending on the number of professionals employed by their organization. According to information given to me by a UPS representative on May 13, 2005, UPS drivers require no specialized education. It takes about 18 years for a doctor to approximately equal the lifetime earnings of a UPS driver working full-time.
It takes about 27 years for a doctor to approximately equal the lifetime earnings of a UPS driver working as many hours as I did to become a doctor, then practice medicine.
I calculated this comparison using a four-year residency program during years 9 through 12.
Doctors do not earn their average salary the first year they begin working as an attending (year 13 in this example). Because of their schooling, the earning years for doctors are compressed into a shorter period of time, thus increasing their income tax rates relative to UPS drivers.
Students often receive money from relatives and sometimes family friends because they are needy students. The burnout rate for doctors in some specialties is so high that doctors may quit well before age 65.
UPS drivers typically do not seem to be as wealthy as doctors because, like just about everyone else, they usually begin spending money as soon as they make it.
If you are still debating about the financial wisdom of forgoing a doctor's smock for the seemingly plebeian brown UPS uniforms, consider this: Like many other workers, UPS drivers receive a raft of benefits.
If you don't mind doing real work and can tolerate cold weather, you could earn $30,000 to $60,000 working two months of the year as an ice road trucker in northern Canada. Heavy equipment operators in Alberta, Canada can make $200,000 per year working 12-hour shifts with four days on and five days off. I expanded on this topic in a LinkedIn article ($70,000 per year, start now) in which I gave concrete examples of how people can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year doing work that's much easier to get than a UPS job. In the 40,000 hours it takes training to become a licensed doctor, a longshoreman working a comparable number of hours could make about $3 million plus healthcare plus pension worth another fortune—all while doctors are acquiring a mountain of debt without a penny of net income! On December 3, 2013, Chuck Reed, Mayor of San Jose, California, said their yearly cost for a police officer is $200,000, much of which is retirement benefits since their salaries top out around $100,000.
The person who sells hot dogs in front of my local Home Depot store makes $75,000 per year working part-time. General Motors created Delphi when it split off its partsmaking operations to reduce its labor cost, but the wages and benefits there still add up to $76 per hour of labor, according to Jerry Flint's column in the May 22, 2006 issue of Forbes.
A few years ago, a local hospital advertised jobs for RNs paying up to $4200 per week, or $218,400 per year. During an episode of CBS's 48 Hours, they incidentally reported a few years ago that an electrologist earned $100 per hour ($208,000 per year for a 40-hour week). A home improvement television program mentioned that they paid $5000 to have 8 trees removed, which the contractor completed in less than a day. According to ABC News and FOX News, Sergeant Drew Peterson, the 53-year-old who is a suspect in his fourth wife's disappearance and his third wife's death, is eligible for a $6,000 per month police pension.
After 30 years of service, an Air Force lieutenant colonel receives a pension worth $72,288 per year. Flavorists (who increase the palatability of the junk that processed food companies feed us) make up to $100,000 per year. Airplane repossession men can earn up to $90,000 per plane, or up to $23,400,000 per year working 5 days per week and just one plane per day.
An episode of the TV series Buying Alaska featured bush pilot Wes Head and his wife Angela.
A group of online psychics charge $3 to $4 per minute; that's $180 to $240 per hour, or (for a 40-hour workweek) $374,400 to $499,200 per year. A 31-year-old financial advisor and his stay-at-home wife featured on an episode of ABC's Wife Swap had a $700,000 home paid off. One of my friends recently hired an exercise equipment technician to replace the belt on her treadmill.
Here's a web developer who charges $100 per hour—that's $208,000 per year working just 40 hours per week. The November 26, 2007 issue of Forbes reported that sports psychologist Bob Rotella charges thousands of dollars per session. If you are still masochistic enough to voluntarily spend what should be the best years of your life with your nose stuck in a book so that you can become a professional, consider a career in dentistry instead of medicine. I called a mechanic offering on-site service and asked how much he'd charge to change the transmission fluid in my tractor and replace its starter. Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, "If I would be a young man again, I would not try to become a scientist or a scholar or a teacher. So Einstein craves independence, and I, as a doctor, don't care how much I make as long as the pay isn't insultingly low. Thus what I did was financially stupid: risking everything I had and would later earn to save the life of a young inner-city male. You are clearly intelligent enough to appreciate the lost opportunity costs and the financial burden of loans, but many people just don't get it.
UPDATE: Medicine just became a much more desirable profession, thanks to the economic crash that devastated our economy in 2008. ER professionals and physicians commonly deal with life and death situations, and the median yearly wage of an ER physician rises to around $250,000 a year, although in some parts of the USA, these health care professionals can make as much as $350,000.
ER physicians work closely with other health care professionals to diagnose the patients and to come up with the most suitable treatment plan depending on their condition.



These professionals must check and document the vital signs and the overall symptoms of the patient, they must move the patients from one department to another, to prescribe and administer the medical treatment, to take different blood and tissue samples as specimens to be sent to the laboratory, to provide the necessary medical provisions, to document the allergies and such. In addition to the degrees of higher education, these professionals must also get certifications in other fields like critical care, advanced cardiac support or basic life support.
The premed coursework should include in-depth classes in most of the topics related to the medical field, from the organic and inorganic chemistry to biology and physics. Once they get their medical degree, it is extremely important for students to apply for the USMLE or the United States Medical Licensing Examination, as otherwise they would be unable to practice in the United States without a license.
Some of the physicians – especially those who plan to work in the ER – can also enroll in a one-year internship that will help them get used to the stressful and highly demanding environment in the emergency room. However, even after getting their certification, it is important for them to understand the importance of continuing education in order to maintain their certification valid. The yearly bonuses can amount to up to $48,434, and the reported annual earnings from profit sharing are generally in the range between $1,932 and $103,042 according to Payscale.
The salary range for ER physicians with the degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD) goes from $112,865 to $300,414 a year.
The best paid emergency medicine physicians are those based in the South Central region, who earn $298,000 a year on average, followed by ER doctors employed in the North Central region, who receive a median annual salary of $289,000 according to Medscape’s report.
ER doctors working in the Mid-Atlantic region earn an average salary of $269,000 a year, and those based in the Southwest are paid around $265,000 annually. The best paid ER doctors are those employed at hospitals, who earn $277,000 a year on average, followed by physicians working in single-specialty group practices, who earn around $253,000 a year. ER physicians who are partners in their organization earn $298,000 a year on average, and those who work as independent contractors earn around $282,000 a year.
Physicians working in New York generally earn salaries in the range from $83,598 to $255,321 a year, those based in California make between $99,666 and $311,474 a year, and ER doctors employed in Texas are typically paid between $98,633 and $397,317 annually. Professionals working in Ohio typically report an annual income in the range from $98,986 to $320,556, and those employed in Georgia generally earn between $126,045 and $287,816 a year according to Payscale’s salary data. Doctors based in New York generally earn between $83,000 and $300,000 a year, those working in Atlanta are typically paid between $141,972 and $265,000 a year, and professionals employed in Philadelphia usually report an annual pay in the range from $196,527 to $250,000 according to Payscale’s salary figures. Professionals employed in Phoenix earn between $199,676 and $285,000 a year, and those based in San Francisco report annual salaries in the range from $137,569 to $254,341 according to Payscale. The highest percentage of emergency medicine doctors (23%) are paid bentween $250,000 and $300,000 annually, and 19% report an annual pay in the range between $200,000 and $250,000. ER physicians with 1 to 4 years of experience typically earn between $60,000 and $300,082 a year, and those with 5 to 9 years of experience are generally paid between $100,799 and $287,478 annually. Physicians working in emergency medical services make between $98,986 and $322,303 a year, and those employed at acute care hospitals usually earn an income in the range from $76,596 to $420,847 a year. Professionals working at hospitals generally make between $75,076 and $272,737 a year, those employed by companies report salaries in the range from $123,291 to $296,958 a year, and physicians working for private practices and firms are typically paid between $155,470 and $358,417 annually.
Professionals who have 403(b) plans usually make between $170,297 and $320,556 a year, and those who get reimbursement for education, training, tuition, or certification are generally paid between $126,148 and $304,630 a year according to the salary data provided by Payscale. ER physicians with 1 to 4 years of experience typically get around $5,500 a year, and those with 5 to 9 years of experience are paid $10,279 a year on average in bonus money.
ER doctors in Texas get $10,137 a year on average, those based in Florida are paid around $9,826 annually, and professionals working in Georgia get around $7,500 a year in bonuses.
ER physicians working at medical offices report getting $50,000 a year on average, those working in health care staffing earn around $20,000 a year, and professionals working in the health care sector are typically paid around $6,500 a year in bonuses. Doctors employed by private practices and firms typically get around $19,653 a year, those employed by universities and colleges are paid around $25,000 annually, and physicians who work as contractors get $5,000 a year on average.
Physicians specializing in surgery get $10,000 a year on average, those specializing in emergency medicine are paid $7,742 annually on average, and professionals who specialize in family practice earn around $2,500 a year in bonuses according to Payscale. ER doctors with 1 to 4 years of experience typically get around $30,000 a year, and those with 5 to 9 years of experience report earning $15,000 a year on average. ER doctors based in Massachusetts get $70,000 annually on average, those working in Texas earn around $40,000 a year, and professionals employed in Illinois get $32,500 a year on average. ER doctors employed in emergency medical services typically earn around $40,000 a year, and those working at acute care hospitals get $21,000 annually on average.
ER physicians employed by companies report getting $50,000 a year on average in profit sharing contributions, and those working for other organizations earn around $88,000 a year according to Payscale. Doctors employed at general hospitals typically earn between $100,671 and $307,431 a year, those working in ambulatory care or surgery centers make between $57,497 and $258,895 annually, and professionals working at physicians’ offices are generally paid between $141,972 and $450,000 a year. Based on Payscale’s salary data, emergency medicine specialists working for organizations that employ between 1 and 9 people typically earn between $142,031 and $303,188 a year, those working for organizations with 50 to 199 employees make between $165,000 and $261,905 annually, and professionals working for organizations that employ between 200 and 599 people are typically paid between $59,598 and $297,228 a year.
For example, doctors working for organizations that employ between 10 and 49 professionals typically report a yearly income in the range from $203,473 to $296,870, while those working for organizations that employ between 100 and 499 professionals are generally paid between $270,225 and $351,683 annually according to Payscale’s salary figures. Physicians working at institutions with fewer than 50 beds generally report salaries in the range from $99,329 to $303,461 a year, those employed by institutions with 50 to 99 hospital beds are typically paid between $155,133 and $296,755 annually, and professionals employed by institutions with 100 to 299 beds usually make between $97,871 and $289,932 a year. However, I will demonstrate how people in seemingly much less lucrative jobs can outearn doctors.
News & World Report said that UPS drivers earn $60,000 per year (my UPS driver said that he earns $85,000 per year circa 2009). We will begin looking at total net income for physicians at year 8, once they graduate from medical school with an average debt around $100,000.
Since this complicates the analysis, ignore or discount what I wrote about UPS drivers and substitute the equivalent and often much greater income for the occupational alternatives I presented below and in a LinkedIn article: $70,000 per year, start now (that article's title is intentionally understated). This interest often leaves doctors with more than their original debt at the end of their residency years.
Some residency programs are shorter, but many are longer (thus keeping doctors relatively impoverished for a longer time).
Translation: Even if the doctor earns the same total amount of money as a UPS driver, the doc's tax rate will be higher, leaving him with less after-tax income.
Many doctors receive nothing but salary (that was the case for almost every job I had as a physician).
In the December, 2004 Time Inside Business, Bill Zollars, chairman and CEO of Yellow Roadway, the largest trucking firm in the United States, said that his average driver makes $70,000 per year in addition to good benefits.
On February 18, 2004, Paul Harvey reported that auto mechanics willing to move to in-demand areas can earn up to $120,000 per year, with employers eager to hire them offering inducements such as paying for their tools and education (some technicians earn two-year certificates or degrees in auto repair, while other receive only high school-level training). One of my friends, a well-to-do pharmaceutical representative, grumbled how he made less money than his uneducated brother-in-law who worked six months of the year building basements, netting him over $350,000 (adjusted for interim inflation in 2009 dollars). According to Forbes magazine (March 15, 2004), Oneida's workers in New York average $30 per hour with benefits. Genital teaching associates make up to $120 per hour for helping medical students learn to perform genital and rectal exams (Details magazine, September, 2004).
Even unskilled laborers mining those oil sands can take home $80,000 per year, according to the March, 2007 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine. NOTE TO THOSE WHO WRITE TO ME COMPLAINING THAT SOME DOCTORS CAN EVENTUALLY EARN MORE THAN UPS DRIVERS: That was just one of the many examples I posted over the years. Since it is much easier to become (and be) a longshoreman than a doctor, I could have compared longshoreman-versus-doctor income instead of UPS driver-versus-doctor income. Bottom line: the average doctor will never catch up, thus proving my point that if money is your goal, you have better options than medical careers. My brother added that Ron always took a book to work with him, because he averaged less than 3 hours of work per week.
Oregon requires that electrologists attend a technical school in which they obtain 235 hours of theory and at least 365 hours of practical experience. If he did only one such job per week (taking the other 6 days to rest and count his money), he could still bring in $260,000 per year.
I'm friends with a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, who might easily live 30 or more years after her retirement.
Let's all drink Boone's Farm and send the money we'll save to charity, leaving the master sommeliers time to do something more useful.
If she worked as many hours per week as I did to become a doctor, she could earn $572,000 per year. Thus, it is obviously more lucrative helping professional athletes not to choke than helping people not to die, as I've done in the ER. If a crane operator worked as many hours in his lifetime as the average doctor does in training and thereafter, he could easily make well over $400,000 per year. The education and training are somewhat shorter and less demanding, the stress is less (as an ER doctor, I had thousands of critically ill and injured patients per year, not thousands of cavities per year that needed filling), and the pay is surprisingly lucrative. When a doctor is outearned by UPS drivers, Yellow Roadway drivers, ice road truckers, heavy equipment operators, auto mechanics, tractor mechanics, autoworkers, hot dog vendors, electrologists, part-time basement contractors, part-time tree-removal contractors, personal trainers, life coaches, lawn mowers, ad copywriters, chefs, dentists, crane operators, genital teaching associates, and even strippers … well, that's an insult.
One of my former bosses, the most financially astute doctor I've known, said most physicians don't know how to manage money and often make mistakes such as becoming house poor.
I didn't know anything about him, but statistically most young black men his age aren't wealthy enough to give money to docs who save their lives, so there was no possible financial benefit for me (I couldn't bill him), but there was enormous potential liability.
Time pressure is one of the most onerous forms of stress, and for UPS drivers, that pressure is unrelenting. In spite of the many examples I cited and the others I could mention, I still have students and others writing to me trying to dispute my overall message.
Doctors generally make less than what people presume, but high medical bills are no figment of your imagination. They must take the medical history of the patient quickly and briefly, and they must react quickly as sometimes they only have a few minutes to administer the right treatment. Another aspect of utmost importance is asking the patient about all the prescription and the over the counter medications that they take, just to make sure that the treatment administered in the emergency room will not interfere with other treatments. After applying for the MCAT test and getting to the med school, you will need to study for four years in order to get your degree: the first two years will consist of thorough coursework while the final two of practical experience.
The lowest average salaries for this occupation are in the West, where ER physicians earn $258,000 a year on average, and in the North East region, where the median yearly salary for this profession is $242,000 based on the results of Medscape’s salary survey. ER doctors employed by healthcare organizations make $251,000 a year on average, those working at outpatient clinics are paid around $215,000 a year, and ER specialists working in multispecialty group practices have a median annual pay of $203,000 according to Medscape’s salary report. Emergency medicine physicians who are employees at their organization are paid around $250,000 annually, and those who own solo practices earn an average annual income of $229,000 according to Medscape. ER doctors with 10 to 19 years under their belt usually report an annual pay in the range from $144,960 to $325,732, and physicians with 20 or more years of experience generally make between $103,042 and $345,998 a year according to Payscale’s salary data. ER doctors working for the federal government make between $53,013 and $226,000 a year, those employed by universities and colleges are paid between $79,056 and $254,660 annually, and professionals working for non-profit organizations typically report earning salaries in the range from $40,268 to $397,317 a year.


Professionals with over 10 years of experience earn bonuses in the average amount of $5,000 a year according to Payscale. ER specialists based in Michigan earn $5,000 a year, and those working in Ohio typically get around $5,087 a year.
Professionals employed by trusts, foundations, or the federal government typically earn around $12,500 a year, and those employed by teams get $10,000 a year on average. Professionals with 10 to 19 years of experience get $40,000 a year on average, and those with 20 or more years of experience typically earn around $15,000 a year from profit sharing.
Emergency room doctors based in Wisonsin earn around $29,000 a year, those working in Pennsylvania earn $21,000 annually on average, and professionals employed in North Carolina earn $8,500 a year on average.
Professionals working in the health care sector earn $15,361 a year on average, and those employed at hospitals typically earn around $5,000 a year according to Payscale’s income statistics.
ER physicians employed by the military usually report salaries in the range from $85,000 to $201,980 a year, and those working in other settings typically earn between $150,000 and $275,000 a year according to the salary information provided by Payscale. ER doctors working for organizations with 600 to 1,999 employees generally report salaries in the range from $116,350 to $340,039 a year, those employed by organizations with 2,000 to 4,999 employees typically make between $147,395 and $232,472 annually, and professionals working for organizations that employ between 5,000 and 19,999 people usually report an annual income in the range from $78,987 to $400,000 a year according to Payscale.
ER doctors working at institutions with 300 to 499 hospital beds typically earn salaries in the range from $71,517 to $300,882 a year, and those employed by institutions with 500 or more hospital beds are generally paid an income in the range between $100,671 and $360,647 a year according to Payscale’s salary data. For example, who would think that a UPS driver or auto mechanic could earn more than a doctor? The average physician income is usually quoted as being $160,000 to $200,000 per year, so it may seem preposterous to claim that UPS drivers can earn more than doctors. In contrast, a would-be doctor requires many years of education for which he is paid nothing.
Students may make small amounts of money while in college, but this (and much more) is immediately spent on tuition, fees, books, supplies, and other college expenses. Thus, while they may make $160,000 (total) during a four-year residency, they may leave it with $130,000 of debt. Furthermore, many students take longer than eight years to complete college and medical school—and those are the lucky ones who make it.
I began working for less than half (even adjusting for inflation) what I would ultimately earn as my peak income five years later. Few young doctors have that kind of money, so they usually must borrow it—further increasing their debt. This money is rarely reported to the government or included in statistical analyses, so the educational cost is actually higher than you may think. If a UPS driver scrimped as I did, he could invest most of his salary, reaping the benefits of many years of compound interest.
As an independent contractor, I received no health insurance, dental insurance, optical insurance, unemployment insurance, life insurance, sick pay, overtime pay, personal days, workers' compensation benefits, or pension. Furthermore, he usually arranged his deals so he was paid in cash, which enabled him to hide most of his income from the IRS. An advertising copywriter reported in Newsweek magazine that he made up to $100 per hour for inducing people to buy things they did not need. She claims to have read a book on this subject and taken an online course that anyone with a credit card could sign up for. With certain careers, such as this one that requires no experience, you could make considerably more than physicians and you can rake in piles of cash when you're still young enough to enjoy it!
If you do the math, you'll quickly realize that an average longshoreman will earn much more than an average doctor, receive better benefits and pension, and do it all by working considerably fewer hours and much less education, responsibility, and stress. The rest of the time, he would sit and read, or have a friend punch him in and out on the time clock so he could go home several hours early. In that time, she would receive over $2.16 million, not factoring in cost of living adjustments. I heard an ad by a maritime academy that said their graduates can make $120,000 per year to start.
Granted, it takes some finesse to be a good crane operator, but it takes exponentially more aptitude, devotion, sacrifice, education, and training to become a good physician—or even a third-rate one, for that matter! According to The Wall Street Journal (January 10, 2005), in 2000 general dentists averaged $166,460, more than internal medicine doctors ($164,100), psychiatrists ($145,700), family practitioners ($144,700), or pediatricians ($137,800). I did that and more, such as one night leaving the ER (and my malpractice insurance coverage) to take over a code being botched by the residents.
Some of those folks seem angry at me for bursting their bubble of delusion that becoming a doctor is financially akin to winning the lottery. I needn't remind you that things are bad now, and almost certain to get much worse (if you doubt that, read this).
The high salary most emergency room physicians get these days should not be the only factor that determines you to pursue a career in the emergency room field. ER doctors working in an academic setting earn an average salary of $182,000 a year, and physicians employed in other settings receive an average yearly income of $225,000 according to Medscape. ER physicians working as contractors earn between $205,659 and $300,000 annually, and those who are self-employed generally make between $245,000 and $354,930 a year according to Payscale.
Physicians employed in California are paid around $5,500 a year, and New York-based physicians get $1,000 a year on average in bonuses.
ER doctors working for non-profit organizations are paid around $6,000 a year in bonuses, and those who work at hospitals get $5,024 annually on average.
Most students who try to become doctors never succeed, thus incurring debt for a career that never materializes.
To make this a fair comparison for income potential, we should consider what a UPS driver could make if he worked two shifts (or another job) for years 1 through 12, then a half-time job in addition to his primary UPS job. Furthermore, I didn't just pay the usual Social Security contribution; I also paid the portion normally contributed by the employer. Forbes (June 9, 2003) magazine said that a celebrity chef can make $150,000 per year (some undoubtedly make much more than that) for, I might scornfully add, helping people clog their arteries.
You'll work overtime to make $300K in this job, but all doctors work years of overtime in their training, and often throughout their careers.
When you consider everything, it is clear that you could make far more money selling hot dogs if you devoted the same time to that occupation as you did a medical career. Furthermore, when autoworkers lose their jobs, they are paid handsomely, receiving over $108,000 per worker just to walk out the door (Forbes, October 16, 2006). If she implemented all my health tips, she might live long enough to collect over $3 million. Furthermore, the incomes of dentists are skyrocketing past inflation, while doctors' pay is stagnating or even falling. I wasn't sued because I saved the patient's life, but inpatient codes fail 85% of the time.
So UPS drivers are being paid while those who aspire to become doctors are paying for the privilege of pursuing their dream.
Therefore, after 12 years such a UPS driver who worked as many hours as I did could have made $1,440,000. If I were smarter, I would have hired people to work for me, paid them $20 per hour, and kept the rest as profit.
According to the February 12, 2007 issue of Forbes, an experienced watchmaker can earn well over $110,000. Perhaps there are life coaches who truly are worth more than doctors who save people's lives (ahem!), but every person I've met who wanted to be a life coach was a woman with a screwed-up life that could serve only as an example of what not to emulate. FOX News also reported that the average Christmas bonus in 2007 for all Goldman Sachs employees, including secretaries, mail room clerks, and even janitors, is a whopping $660,000. Had he worked as many hours per week as I did to become a doctor, he would make $880,000 per year. I've used a lot of ink warning students in the past about the drawbacks of a medical career, and all of those reasons were quite valid.
After 18 years, the total income would be $1,980,000, easily surpassing the total doctor income. I could also build more of my inventions that increase the efficiency of lawn mowing, thus decreasing the time required to mow a yard. Other than a credit card and a pulse, the most essential prerequisites for becoming a life coach are an immense ego and endless chutzpah. Furthermore, you should consider the attrition rate: Most people who invest time and money trying to become doctors never make it.
Hmm, let's see: draining and refilling the transmission fluid and putting in the three bolts that hold the starter on is (in his mind) worth several times more than I ever earned in the ER for saving people's lives? The cons are still there, but the list of pros just mushroomed in importance thanks to the inherent job security in most medical careers. Customers pay for getting their lawns mowed, not for how many hours you waste on mowing with antiquated technology.
In the ER, I made half that for saving lives and working much longer weeks after an incomparably longer and more intensive education.
An episode of CNN’s This is Life with Lisa Ling included a stripper who earned up to $3000 per evening, which is likely about $500 per hour. If she worked as many hours per year as I did to become a doctor, she could make $2.86 MILLION per year! Here's something else to consider: if you are bright enough to quickly learn computer programming, you can begin working before you graduate from high school, but no matter how smart you are, you won't get your own prescription pad or scalpel until you spend a significant fraction of your life in training.
Some strippers gripe about how hard their job is, but learning anatomy is more arduous than revealing it. Incidentally, I live near what used to be an upscale tourist town where businesses are now (in 2010) dying faster than flies in a blizzard, so I presumed that the poor local economy would make mechanics willing to work for less than princely wages.
Additionally, EM docs have no hierarchy generally speaking…you can make these maximum salaries right out of residency.



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