When someone makes a comment about rich doctors, I want to punch them.
The median med school tuition for last year according to AAMC is about $40,000. That is just tuition, not including room and board, academic expenses (some schools require laptop purchase), health insurance, or gas money. I think it's safe to tack on an extra $15,000. So that brings the grand total to $55,000 per year for four years. Doing the math: that's $220,000 in debt before you earn your MD. And that doesn't even count any debt from college.
You would think that after accumulating that kind of debt, you'd be able to go out an earn some money. Not so. My residency salary right out of medical school was $40,000 per year. Are you sick yet?
Then you do something insane like go and have a baby during residency. You need a bigger apartment and now a nanny or daycare. Once we had a child, my entire salary after taxes went directly to the nanny. But I accepted it, telling myself it was just temporary while I was in training.
I swore to myself that after I finished residency, I wouldn't worry about money anymore. Then I found a fellowship that I wanted so badly, but I knew the salary was nowhere near what I'd make in the private sector. It was a job I knew I'd love (and I really do), but part of me felt sick accepting it, considering the high cost of living around here.
So here I am, in my 9th year of medical training, still pinching pennies, making less than some of my friends made right out of college. Everyone asks me when I'm going to have a second child, but when I do the math, I simply can't afford it without having a negative monthly balance. I'm a doctor and I can only afford to have one child. Something about that seems a little off to me. People look at me weird when I say it.
I think to myself, "Did I do something wrong? Why am I still struggling to make ends meet?" I could moonlight, but that would involve working extra weekends, when I had vowed to spend more time with my daughter when residency finally ended.
I was at the ice cream store yesterday with my daughter. I was staring at the menu, struggling to decide if I wanted to pay an extra dollar to get the medium instead of the small. The small will be enough, I told myself, it's not worth the extra money. The ice cream is such a rip off. And as I contemplate this, I think to myself, "This is crazy, this is ridiculous, I shouldn't be worried about spending an extra dollar on ice cream... I'm a DOCTOR."
And then I get the small ice cream.