Monday, January 25, 2010

Doctor Salaries? E-bay Pays Better

... at least for one doctor:
Lickteig runs a clothing store on eBay, where she's a "Gold PowerSeller," ranking among the top 1½ percent of merchants on the online marketplace.

The 35-year-old family practitioner says she earned $120,000 last year on eBay, more than she did practicing medicine.
And we wonder why primary care is having such a problem...



Anonymous said...

such a silly comparison. as i am sure you are aware it is very difficult for one to make a living on ebay. you also fail to make the distinction that she is not a full time primary care physician, and do not point out how many hours she spends on her ebay business a week versus being a doctor, for all i know she is a doctor for 3 hours a week and spends 85 hours working on her ebay business. the article and you both also fail to point out that the average primary care physician makes $171,519 a year. i understand that you may be only showing the facts that help support your position but we cannot have a real debate about anything in this country because of it.

CriticalCareRN said...


A "median" income means there are people earning much more and much LESS than that. It does not imply that she would definitely be earning that number. There is no logic to the assumption that she works part time, certainly not based on her salary and the median in her field.

There are MANY career choices that require MUCH less than what it does to be a doctor in this country - and allows a much higher earning potential.

In fact, there is NO career choice in this country that REQUIRES the level of intellect, dedication, motivation, time and cost for education and training, personal sacrifices, and ultimately on the job life and death decisions and legal liability that can be both professionally and personally devastating.

$171,519 median income is too low for those people, not too high.

Lawyers, MBA's, bankers, real estate developers/investors all have MUCH less requirements for their job choice with a MUCH higher earning potential. You can even own a large chain of McDonald's restaurants in this country and earn as much or more than the person with 11+ years of costly education/training (that puts them in their 30's before they start their career earning jobs. YEARS after their professional counterparts. That's less time paying off debt, less time saving for retirement, less time saving for kids college, etc).

You can earn a multiple million dollar salary being a trial lawyer, with only 6 to 7 years of education, and no life and death decision making, no legal liabilities.

It is unfortunate when people assume that we should have lower pay for the very group of people we NEED the MOST to be the BEST. The very group of people we REQUIRE more from than almost all of us are able and/or willing to do ourselves, people think make too much yet have a much lower earning potential than most of their professional counterparts. It is an embarrassment and a shame. Those arguments usually come from people who have NO IDEA what it really takes to do the job of a physician, not to mention get into and through the training process.

No wonder this country, and the entire world, has such a doctor shortage!! People expect more from them than any other group, yet wants to continually devalue those unbelievable efforts that they themselves could not, or would not do.

DrWes said...

Anony 10:01 -

Please read the second to last paragraph of the linked article. It is telling that this doctor felt (like many) that growth opportunities in medicine are going to do nothing but negatively amortize over time. This reaction is under-appreciated by ivory-tower reformers.

It's much more than just about the money; we must put the 'sexy back' in primary care.

Anonymous said...

"And we wonder why primary care is having such a problem . . ."

Actually, I don't think anybody is wondering that. There is just no movement to do anything serious about solving the problem.

Jodi said...

I didn't even notice the link in the original post when I posted my earlier comment. It's a good read.

One of the cardiology groups I know kicked around the idea of pooling money together to open a fast food chain. They're thinking was to build-up that food chain and then exit medicine altogether within the next 5 to 10 years. Don't know if that plan is still active, but I hope not!!

DrWes said...

CriticalCareRN -

I heard those cardiologists were behind this initiative.

(Just kidding) -



Jodi said...

Haha, that's funny. I did tell them they should hand out there cards with every burger they sold. Might as well, right?

And, BTW, I meant "their thinking", not "they're thinking".