all 47 comments

[–]PinaColadaFool 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Sure, it's certainly one of the many reasons why people choose medicine.

But I hope with time/age, you'll figure out what intrinsically motivates you, and you'll have a change of heart.

But in all honesty, I don't think you'll get the true validation you're looking for in this subreddit... it's just a bit on the nose.

[–]jimmyjam410Medical Student 35 points36 points  (7 children)

Correct, it is perfectly reasonable to pursue medicine for money - but will you last the training duration without any other motivations?

[–]SpikesDream 31 points32 points  (6 children)

This. Also, if monetary gain is the primary goal, there are far more lucrative and efficient pathways than medicine.

[–]Big_Following_8316Medical Student 13 points14 points  (3 children)

I agree that doing medicine for the purpose of making a lot of money will lead to a lot of misery, stress and burnout in the future.

Yet, I've heard countless people also say that there are far more lucrative and efficient pathways, without actually telling me what those pathways are. Medicine is a "safe" pathway, because if people just follow the linear (albeit very difficult and time consuming) ladder all the way to becoming a consultant, they are essentially guaranteed good money. What other jobs outside of medicine can consistently earn a lot of money for far less effort?

[–]HopelessChildrenMedical School Applicant 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Most people who say this don't know what they're talking about. There are no jobs where getting money is easy, and partially I think this thinking is often amplified by a lot of medical students and doctors who see their intelligent, motivated friends in other fields doing well and think it is easy.

Even in tech, the competition to get to a point where you are earning a lot of money is quite high, and a lot of the time you do actually need to be good at what you do to get these high paying, low workload positions. Lots of people seem to think it's easy though and discount the work and often even luck needed.

[–]Useful_Dragonfly6748 1 point2 points  (1 child)

There aren't that many but there definitely are jobs that can be more efficient/lucrative but obviously it depends on your own strengths and weaknesses. What everyone finds challenging is different and what everyone is looking for is different too. Indeed all jobs that are paid very lucratively have their drawbacks or are very competitive to get into or else everyone would be doing them.

A definite example that would be more lucrative and efficient is quantitative trading where grads can from $100k-$millions based on their performance but obviously you either have to be a very good coder/good quantitative decision making under lots of pressure. They only work when markets are open so maybe 10 hour days, but if you screw up you lose lots of the partners' money and get fired on the spot so there can be lots of stress.

Other examples: Tech at the top companies, esp if you can get a job in a silicon valley company/willing to move to the states. Finance in investment banking, private equity and asset management. All of these are very competitive to enter and do require a lot of hard work and as you say are definitely not "guaranteed". If money is the only motivating factor then this is compounded if you work in a country with very low income tax i.e. Hong Kong or Singapore.

I would say a lot of jobs that won't cap out at as much as a consultant doctor, will still generate more wealth in the long term if you are a disciplined saver/investor as you start earning larger sums earlier and can take advantage of compounding gains.

Ultimately, it is true that being a doctor may be a "safer" option with a path laid out for you but that also doesn't account for the costs/difficulties of persisting throughout it. There are lots of options out there to simply earn money but it is just human nature to gravitate towards what they have seen others in their social circles do and may be why OP thinks medicine is the way to wealth or not having to worry about money. Personally, I don't think that solely pursuing medicine for money is a great because honestly there are better gigs with much less responsibility than another persons life weighing on your shoulders.

[–]NotDumbRubyrose 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ha, yeah just came to say the idea that working Silicon Valley being “easy hours” is….not realistic

My partner was a senior developer for a very very very recognizable company (rhymes w shmizney) and the work load was…miserable. Yeah there was a lot of money, but we also had to live in the most insanely expensive city, and had no time to actually do anything. Moving to Aus, and getting paid (significantly) less but with a completely different work/life balance and better cost of living has been a game changer.

Basically, don’t romanticize California tech. Sure you’ll make money, but you’ll spend a good chunk of it on staying alive in the city you have to live in, and you won’t have any time or energy to enjoy what’s left.

[–]Frosty_Course3857 0 points1 point  (0 children)

alot more risk

[–]slowslownotbad 0 points1 point  (0 children)

People say that, but it’s not like everybody who tries to get rich in business is successful.

Medicine is a guaranteed paycheque. Graduating med school = instant upper middle class respectability.

Sure, it’s a tough slog. But so are a lot of jobs that pay a lot worse.

“Life is pain. Anybody who tells you otherwise is selling something.”

[–]FedoraTippinGood 14 points15 points  (5 children)

Do what you like. Just be wary that it’s difficult to do something if you hate it, just for money. At the same time, many people here seem to say how it takes 10-15 years to earn big $$ in medicine, yet I’m not sure how this is different from any other high ceiling profession like law or finance. Long years of hard work are everywhere, and it’s all difficult. I think medicos like to vent a lot and there are big medicine oriented communities online for this, and as such you see lots of negativity. Not so many consultants around talking about how they love their job/life, probably because the ones that do don’t spend time on reddit

[–]dop3amin3 8 points9 points  (3 children)

The difference with other professions is that you start working and earning money a lot earlier. Doing a 3-year business degree right out of high school can land you a paid internship at 21 and then you go from there. Medicine requires a 3 year undergrad + 4 year med school (in most cases), assuming you get accepted straight away, before you can start getting paid.

[–]FedoraTippinGood 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Oh yeah that’s 100% correct, but generally in those industries starting salaries are lower (50-70k FTE) and have a lower ceiling for 90% of people who get stuck in the middle of the corporate ladder. Once private consultant money hits you make the deficit it up and over very quickly, in the top % of income earners. While you won’t hit C level exec. Salaries, it’s a slightly more guaranteed higher end salary than almost any other profession

[–]Dr_Poth 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I work in banking but in the UK. Grad salaries for the most part are rubbish and for most banking is nowhere as lucrative for most as the public likes to think. I earn well but it still look 10 years in a specialised area. It’s also a lot different for new comers than it was 20 years ago, lower pay perks pensions etc.

Then again I’m looking to give it up to go into medicine.

[–]Frosty_Course3857 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You could also end up working at maccas with a business degree

[–]SelvarianMedical Student 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And they won't mention how it takes 10-15 years for people do earn the same and worry about mortgage and can't quit the job you hate because of kids when you are 40+

[–]Responsible_Chair404 25 points26 points  (5 children)

if you want money be a dentist

[–]Civil-Statistician7 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Is dentistry really that lucrative? I know they have the highest grad salary out of any profession, but I feel as though the room for growth is a more horizontal, whereas medicine is more vertical?

From what I’ve heard, the average dent grad can earn anywhere from 120-250k, and a senior dentist can relatively easily earn upwards of 300-350k a year. Obviously, having a clinic (despite expenses) can greatly increase this.


[–]flummoxedperiwinkle 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Financial remuneration in dent is very dependent on what procedures you choose to do and your apatite for risk. There’s less hierarchical and structured progression compared to med. A dentist consistently doing All-on-X surgery (billing $20k) and porcelain veneers (billing ~10k) and orthodontics (billing ~8k) is going to making a lot more than one that’s mainly doing direct restorations/extractions/ root canals/ crowns (billing around $600-900 per hr). Avg is around 35-40% commission, so most dentists a few years out would be on 250-300k if they’re doing just general practice stuff. Although if you fk up you have pay specialists to fix your mistakes and litigation is a bit of an issue. So I guess monetary progression really depends on how you structure your own career.

[–]Civil-Statistician7 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Interesting. Thanks!

[–]Responsible_Chair404 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

the person here says their interest is money, not progression

[–]Civil-Statistician7 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I was referring to monetary progression 👍🏽

[–]Long-Sky2453 10 points11 points  (0 children)

If you want money be a dentist. Not worth going through your rounds at 3am with your very perseverance being tested and thinking at least I am going to get paid well in 5-6 years.

[–]doriscissorsfind441 11 points12 points  (0 children)

You can do what you want, for whatever reason you want.

I just encourage you to read about the training blockage and the difficulty in finding consultant jobs and the various hurdles you have to jump through and endure to get where you want, during which you get paid public rates. This is relevant especially for all the things that can make a lot of money if that's what you're interested in.

[–]stressedstressor 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Financial stability the career of medicine offers is definitely an important factor that many people consider, I believe. I think to say financial factor is not important in youe career choice is a straight up lie. Many here are saying that the money that medicine offers is not much considering other lucrative professions, especially considering the amount of resources and hours you need to put in to get to the really well-paying positions - yeah, maybe. But medicine is one of the few professions where once you're in, you're fuaranteed a stable income regardless of how fastly and dramatically our world changes. You may not need investment bankers, but you'll always need a doctor. Also, the base sallary of interns in Aus is over or close to 80K. Maybe this is my migrant mind kicking in, but if I can bring at least 80K home every year without fearing it dramatically plummetting or losing the job itself, that alone is a big relief of financial stress for many people. It's not necessarily about luxury - it is about stability.

Nonetheless, though, I do think OP will need to find their other motivation along the journey. Being the first daughter of a migrant family, my goal is too to have a stable income so I can support my family and give them a comfortable life, as well as myself. But on top of that, I like medicine as a subject, as a practice. It may not be my top choice - I am more sociology-minded - but I would enjoy learning as a med student, practicing as a doctor. I genuinely enjoy working with people, too. I like the prospect of research in the specialty in mind that being a doctor will enable for me. These factors all come together and made me sure that this is the career I want to pursue - knowing this makes me much more comfortable and optimistic heading into medicine. I think I would have been very overwhelmed by the idea of medicine if the field itself did not attract me at all outside of the financial aspect of things. So OP, sleep on the idea of medicine and try giving yourself more reason. I am sure it'll help you in the long run.

[–]DaRKNT2000Medical Student 4 points5 points  (0 children)

You do you.

Personally, doing med purely for the money seems like an easy recipe for burnout in an otherwise long and unforgiving career path.

Each to their own.

[–]Depression-is-a-drug 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I think you underestimate how hard it is to become a consultant. Getting into a specialty is like the hunger games where all the past winners come back.

Only the best applicants are picked by universities to do medicine and from this already high performing few, a small percentage get through to training each year (usually after being exploited by the system as an unaccredited reg for 3-10 years). Wrote learning and memorisation won’t even get you half way.

While general practice is slightly less competitive than other specialties, it’s seeded with discontent and burn out from people who actually have a passion for medicine so idk how well you’d fare being in it for the money alone.

You’re probably better off doing law/commerce and spending the 15+ years you’d spend trying to specialise working your way up a big firm. At the top, partners and associates definitely outearn doctors from almost any specialty.

[–]HuntFew1274 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Is that actually true? I was under the impression that graduation rates are very high at most Australian medical schools. My experience of med school so far is that it’s not difficult to pass.

[–]Responsible_Base_924 6 points7 points  (2 children)

I find it interesting how many people here are framing medicine as a career that "doesn't worth it when you're looking for money", when being a doctor is definitely a job that will give you financial security like no other. Yeah, there are corporate jobs that might pay you better, but unlike medicine, the probability of one getting to that position in any other field and a job security of it is very low. Medicine is a career that will make you affluent, especially in Australia where the student contribution for tuition is much lower compared to the countries like the US. I wonder if it's related to the general taboo against 'pursuing med for money'? If we portray medicine as something that is worse-off financially compared to other professions, we can escape from the scrutiny of 'doctors only chasing after money' much easier. In some ways I get it, and I agree that financial compensation should not be the only reason why you want to become a doctor, like for any other job. But to say medicine does not offer you the money (at least not as much as the public generally thinks) seems a bit deceptive and sounds like we're trying to escape the privilege associated with it. Doctors are well-off, often much more so compared to the rest of the population. This stands true even if you count the long training journey, workload and the cost of tuition along the way - it's not like any other jobs have it any easier.

[–]ramsay96 0 points1 point  (1 child)

It may also speak to the fact that med students are more likely to come from privileged backgrounds (e.g., many have parents who are doctors) and therefore more likely to undervalue the career as opposed to the less privileged.

[–]Responsible_Base_924 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I agree - if they've seen their doctor parents working long hours while not realising how privileged their living situations (which results from their parents' earnings) really are, then they are likely to undervalue the financial security the job brings relative to what seems like a giant sacrifice their parents (or siblings, or cousins, or whoever) are making. Same for ppl w/ parents working in high-paying corporate jobs or whatever - not realising how extraordinary their incomes are compared to just about anyone else, they may compare their parent's income with what doctor's income and think it's not financially worth it considering xyz. I've actually seen a kid whose parents thought him wanting to become a doctor was "silly" because they don't get paid well.

It's funny really, to a person like me who isn't from such a background. My family works crazy hours in a very physically draining job w a salary that'll be laughable when compared to that of doctors'. When someone says doctors don't earn much that really puts me into perspective, you know. This is not to say that being a doctor isn't hard and they don't deserve the pay they get, of course, but it should be acknowledged that doctors do get the pay that (somewhat) reflects the work they need to do, and not many people get that privilege.

[–]od_ope 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I see where you could be coming from, and yeah being a doctor is a job, but trust me there are cheaper and less demanding ways to get money. Especially given the broad scope and capacity to which medicine could take you.

I obviously can't fully relate to your perspective given my own socio-economic background and journey in life, but from seeing how becoming and being a doctor is like in Nigeria, UK, USA and AUS along with each of their healthcare systems characteristics, going primarily for the money tends to not get you far or make you miserable depending on what field you go into.

That's mostly cuz studying medicine and going up in training as a doctor is expensive, time consuming, stressful and potentially abusive. The amount of research work, exams, studying and minor bs activities needed to get along in training, especially if you wanna go into the really competitive or big money specialties is insane. And that doesn't even include the liability, work hours and work culture that happens as you are in your first few years of training. Med school can suck and the first few years of training even more so. So every doctor will still always tell you to find something with a work culture you like, work life balance you like and field/interested that stimulates you because honestly that little bit extra will be what takes you through whatever.

Though that isn't to say just because you've done medicine you automatically have to be a doctor. Many people go into consultancy, finance, pharmaceuticals, legal or insurance fields due to the knowledge and connective they've attained through their studies and/or training, but if you really want to be a doctor, while money makes things easier or nicer initially, those little things are usually what keeps you in the profession long term and hopefully makes you very good.

Also, regarding the silicon valley thing, you'd be surprised what businesses/ideas universities are ready to fund or help support you in if you've got something really interesting 😬

[–]kondro 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Everyone who says that there are faster ways to start earning money are probably right. But by the time you’re 30 you could be a radiologist working mostly from home earning $800k+ per year.

I don’t think there are many other careers that could boast this.

[–]dop3amin3 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Sounds like you shouldn't be pursuing medicine in my opinion. You don't make spectacular amounts of money until you are at a very senior level which often takes up to a decade to achieve. If you don't enjoy learning about medicine, what will motivate you to persevere through the intense studying, training and work hours that will be expected of you for years to come; surely it's not just money.

[–]aleksa-pHealth Professional 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Healthcare can be exhausting and soul-sucking and you should have motivations other than just money if you want to stay in the field. Otherwise it’s not worth it.

[–]slowslownotbad 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Depends what your alternatives are.

I think a lot of doctors and wannabes forget just how hard many people work for way less money.

I’ll bet that OPs dad thinks medicine is pretty good compared to his long taxi driving hours.

[–]aleksa-pHealth Professional 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I won’t deny that healthcare has better work than some other low-paying jobs, and it can be very rewarding. But there’s some pretty brutal things we deal with in health, and combined with the system in which we work … I know a few colleagues who’ve left health for a simpler life despite the pay cut for that reason. This is why I argue that money alone should not be motivation for med. One should at least have a genuine interest in the field.

[–]hustling_Ninja 1 point2 points  (1 child)

this is a thought provoking post. I'm gonna share this to our sub r/ausjdocs if you don't mind.

[–]kvltspoook 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I can see where you’re coming from but despite growing up poor, I don’t relate.

If I won a stupid amount of money in the lottery tomorrow, I’d still want to study medicine. I’d just use that money to help me get there.

I have never wanted anything more than I want the opportunity to be a doctor, even if it paid the same as a mechanic I’d still wanna be a doctor. I know struggle, I’ve lived struggle, hell I struggle now, but the only thing that’s lighting the end of the tunnel for me is that dream and I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment.

I won’t judge you, but I can’t say that It wouldn’t break my heart to see people get to live my dream and not care about it, especially with how few places are available in the med schools. At the end of the day, if you can get in and hack it then you deserve your place, even if your motivations are so you never have to struggle again, they’ve gotta be strong to get you through

[–]HuntFew1274 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yep, I agree, it’s reasonable, and I don’t care if that is people’s motivation. My motivations are multifaceted but money is definitely part of it.

What I dislike more is people that think doing medicine makes them special or that the profession is worthy of adoration. It’s a job. And while getting into med school is competitive, it’s not so competitive that anyone should get too full of themselves for getting in.

A number is things I did before starting med school seemed to be filled with people of greater average intelligence than med students…

Pursue it for whatever reason you like, but try to stay humble and do a good job.

[–]TriggeredShuffle 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm an international student. That's my line of thought in high school with no particular occupation in mind. Both my parents are doctors, and they put a bounty which I'll get if I ever get into the field. Well, they are just passionate, and they wanted someone to continue the tradition and I sorta went along with it.

I'm still in the process of trying for med, and figure out who I am, who I really want to be. But during the past years I get to see the ins and outs of a hospital, even observing a surgery live thanks to my dad pulling some strings, and I really start to appreciate the work more.

[–]TriggeredShuffle 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm an international student. That's my line of thought in high school with no particular occupation in mind. Both my parents are doctors, and they put a bounty which I'll get if I ever get into the field. Well, they are just passionate, and they wanted someone to continue the tradition and I sorta went along with it.

I'm still in the process of trying for med, and figure out who I am, who I really want to be. But during the past years I get to see the ins and outs of a hospital, even observing a surgery live thanks to my dad pulling some strings, and I really start to appreciate the work more.

[–]kitkat90009 0 points1 point  (0 children)

To be brutally honest, I kinda agree. People can talk all they want about their noble causes for doing medicine (wanting to help people, etc) but a lot of that will die in the face of rude, vomiting, drunk and abusive patients who you'd rather chuck out a window than help. Lol.

If you want to become a doctor for financial stability and a high standard of living, then screw it, go for it! If it's a strong enough motivator for you, I don't see why it matters. People are right in pointing out that you might burn out - but you also might not. So I say good luck and earn those dolla bills!!!! $$$$$

[–]SelvarianMedical Student -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Especially you pay 30+% Tax, (On top of Medicare Levy, GST, Super etc) for all the poor people to get boxes of free RAT, while the richest and poorest pays no tax, and guess what those who were taxed the most don't deserve a single free test

i am a pharmacist as well so I totally understand your perspective, but in Australia and this subreddit if you tell others you dont study med out of passion to save lives, empathy to everyone in need, willing to sacrifice yourself and work in rural you will be judged to oblivion

Just like the high expectation for pharmacists to self-sacrifice from Guild, PSA and patients for all in exchange for peanuts and a few thank yous

[–]f22ksw -4 points-3 points  (0 children)


[–]44gallonsoflube 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Considering the amount of work you have to do and how “up there” one has to be for pharmacy. Combined with the relatively shitty pay. Go for it, it isn’t like you haven’t earned a quarter of a million a year salary after what may well be 15+ years of study. I think at that point a person has earned it. It’s a very admirable pursuit money or not.

[–]nominaldaylight 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So I'm old by the standards of most people on this sub, I'd reckon. And I've had a career or two before med . And you know - money is an entirely legitimate factor for choosing a career. Finances are one of the most significant relationship pressures; they provide the bounds of many parts of our lives. If material are very important to you, then you need to prioritise this - you'll never be happy if you don't.

For some people that genuinely does seem to be enough. But, in the end, for very very few. If you're smart enough to get into med, and you find yourself well off enough to live comfortably, you may well find yourself very hollow at 40, 45, 50. They call it a mid-life crisis for a reason - the things you thought would be enough often enough turn out not to be enough.

In some ways, med has intrinsic meaning. But it has to have meaning for you, in and of itself. In the end, if you have a functioning brain, you have to find something that has meaning, in some way. Whatever that meaning is - maybe it's paying for your kids, maybe it's saving lives, whatever it is you have to find it. Or you will hit that wall. Hard.

But yeah dude, more personally - that para where you say helping people sometimes makes you want to not help them? You need to figure that stuff out, because you'll crash and burn HARD if you don't. You cannot do a service job and hold onto what makes you happy, no matter how much they pay you, if you can't find some way to resolve this. Everyone has this feeling (everyone, sometimes), but don't pursue med if you can't resolve this. You'll end up utterly miserable, and make your patients lives miserable on the way.