Sunday, August 05, 2007

Why physicians make more money

This NY Times article:
Doctors in the United States earn two to three times as much as they do in other industrialized countries. Surveys by medical-practice management groups show that American doctors make an average of $200,000 to $300,000 a year. Primary care doctors and pediatricians make less, between $125,000 and $200,000, but in specialties like radiology, physicians can take home $400,000 or more.

In Europe, however, doctors made $60,000 to $120,000 in 2002, according to a survey sponsored by the British government in 2004.
prompted some letters, including this:
American doctors make more, in part, to offset the astronomical cost of medical school. Medical students now graduate with an average of $130,000 in academic debt from undergraduate and professional school.
No, American physicians do not make one extra dime to offset their debts. Once they get out of school, they are subject to market forces. Those with debt compete against those without debt. Their employers pay them market rates, whether they have debt or not. Radiologists manage to make a lot more than pediatricians, but debt has nothing to do with it.

The causality is the other way. Medical students are willing to incur large debts because they know that they can easily pay them off later.

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