Most people have been to a doctor at least once in their lifetime. Whether it was a pediatrician as a child or a specialist as an adult, doctors are simply a part of life. They help diagnose and treat sick people and those with injuries. They work hard to become doctors and they often care a great deal about their patients. However, that said, there are many things that you might not know about your family doctor. Here are some of the things that most doctors have in common.
You might think that doctors only complete a 4-year undergraduate program and a 4-year medical program to become an MD. But, when they finish those 8 years, they also need 2-8 years of residency, depending on their specialty. Family practice doctors spend less time in school than surgeons, but they each complete everything required of them before they get to practice on their own. They also had to take a lot of tests to get to where they are. Doctors had to successfully pass the MCAT in order to even qualify for medical school. Many of them spend months studying and taking their MCAT practice test to ensure they were ready for the real thing.
More than 60% of doctors work overtime hours. Some reported putting in more than 80 hours per week. This high workload isn’t just seeing patients, either. It includes all the paperwork and other regulatory activities they must complete. Doctors often spend more time doing paperwork, recording notes, and meeting with other professionals than they do with their patients. While it may feel like doctor’s rush in and rush out, they often have just as much paperwork to do when they are done seeing their patients.
It’s no secret that college costs a lot of money. The average undergraduate student leaves school with almost $30,000 worth of debt. Add medical school on top of that, and most doctors finish their MD with over $165,000 in total school-related debt. This debt can leave new doctors feeling overwhelmed and overloaded, but fortunately, it can be more quickly paid off when they live a modest lifestyle right out of college. There are also grant programs that will help pay off medical school debt when doctors go work for underprivileged areas.
When the military needs to train doctors how to treat gunshot wounds, they send them to Chicago hospitals to train alongside experienced local doctors. These doctors have the most expertise and can help military doctors learn best practices to help them get the best outcomes for their patients. When military doctors go to war zones, they often treat soldiers with gunshot and other projectile wounds. Training in Chicago gives them the experience they need to do this with excellence.
The average salary for a doctor is around $262,000. This can be significantly more for specialties, or less for general practice doctors in rural areas. While this may seem like a lot of money, much of it is spent in the early years to pay off school debt and get started living and working in a new city. With wise choices early on, doctors can usually end up living very comfortably.
Doctors carry liability insurance as part of their practice. This helps to protect them personally against lawsuits. This liability insurance can run as low as $65 per month to more than $500 a month, depending on their area of practice. Surgeons and OB’s spend more on insurance than pediatricians, for instance, but they all pay something.
Well, almost. Your doctor is one of about 826,000 people who practice medicine in the United States. They have a unique set of skills that enable them to identify appropriate medications, tests, and treatment options for ailments. Their expertise makes them qualified to help you navigate options for your health and health concerns.
Doctors identify and treat illnesses using a variety of tests and modalities. What you didn’t know is that they often come to the profession with a sincere desire to help others. They studied hard and took on a lot of debt, but to them, it was all worth it in the end.