We’ve been spending a lot of time at Georgetown Hospital recently.
In the process, we’ve developed a deep respect for some of the key cogs in the system: nurses, nurse practitioners and doctor-residents.
In casual conversation, our surgeon mentioned how she had managed to “survive her surgical residency”.
That got me wondering, about the life of a resident.
Here’s what I found …
According to Medscape – a health care consultancy, an typical resident is carrying almost $170,000 in med school loans and earns about $55,000 annually for 8 years … for 4 years of “basic” residency and 4 additional years of residency in a specialty.
To put that in perspective, a typical MBA leaves school with about half the residents’ student debt and earns about twice as much … starting their first year out of school.
And, the residents’ hours are grueling.
Early on, residents work well over 60 hours per week … eventually the hours taper off a bit to a mere 50 per week … except for the 1/3 of residents who still are putting in over 60.
Think about that for a moments.
After 4 years of college and 4 years of med school, the residents are toiling for about $20 per hour … about 1/3 the going rate for a plumber.
Sure, the residents have the prospects of eventually earning full doctor’s pay … but, according to Medscape, that only averages about $225,000 these.
That’s nice pay, but not exactly hitting PowerBall either.
So why are so many folks determined to reign in heathcare costs by squeezing doctor reimbursements?
Doesn’t make sense to me …