Sunday, June 5, 2016

So you think Doctors make tons of money ...

Ok you’re right, someday as an attending…
Thanks Bravo for packing the stereotype into pop culture.

But really though, do you know what it takes to get to that point?

To be a doctor you need a bachelor’s degree, 4 years of medical school, focused residency training in the field you match, complete an optional year for fellowship training be specially specialized, then become an attending aka be on the Bravo Married to Medicine show.

The joyous phase between medical school and becoming an attending is affectionately titled "residency". An upside is that you DO get paid a little to train in field you want. For orthopedics, this phase is 5 years. The length varies. Surgeons need more training than family medicine doctors. The 8 years before becoming a resident, my hubster racked up in the ball park of $350,00 of school loans. Interest per month during residency is about $2,000 per month. (PS... I'm a teacher. $2,000 is my monthly salary.) It will be closer to $400,000 by the time we are able to start paying on them. Now is not the time.

Residents across the U.S. make about the same amount. If you are really curious just go to google and type in “orthopedic residency salary”. It’s actuate.

A sample from our residency website:

 PGY= Post (Medical School) Graduation Year 
 F= fellowship

Let’s be real… people live on far less than this. I know. Did I mention I was a teacher?

The Grand Issue:
Let’s hit you with some math basic math. (If math makes you cry, skip to the bold type at the bottom. You’re welcome.)

·        24 hours in a day. 7 days a week. 168 total hours in a week.

Usual weekly work breakdown:

·        100 hours at the hospital. Forget what you have heard. The 80-hour work rule only exists on paper.

·        5 hours per week reading articles for work

·        Grand total of 105 hours working per week in training.

For a first year resident making $52,000 and working 105 hours per week. The hourly rate is pretty pathetic.

·       52 weeks in a year minus 3 weeks vacation = 48 work weeks

·       48 times 105 hours= 5,040 hours worked in a year

·       $52,000 divided by total hours worked in a year…

A first year resident orthopedic surgeon resident after completing 8 years of school will make $10.31 per hour. Remember that time McDonald’s workers were pissed about their minimum wage pay?


Dude, I'm pretty sure the legendary rapping bum on campus at The Ohio State University brings in more per day. It probably helps he doesn’t have to pay income tax either!

What about resident’s free time? Yah… let’s go there...

·       168 total hours in a week

·       105 hours spent working

5-6  hours of sleep per night

·         Let’s be generous and say 6 hours per night

·         42 hours of sleep per week

168-105-42= a whopping 21 hours of freedom.

I asked my husband how he likes to spend his 3 hours per day of leisure:

Cheers to residents and spouses in the same boat! May the years go fast; the learning be meaningful, and future Louis Vuitton live up to their name! We deserve it.

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