If you like science, it’s not unreasonable to be weighing your options in becoming an engineer versus a doctor. But which is better financially speaking? Stay tuned to find out. Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com. For those who are new here, my name is Dr.Kevin Jubbal. If you want to know the down and dirty ofwhat it’s like to be a doctor,
check out my second channel titled Kevin Jubbal, M.D.Link in the description below. In certain cultures, becoming a doctor isthe highest achievement, followed by becoming an engineer or lawyer as number two. Why is becoming a doctor so highly valuedat number one?
There are a few reasons: First, it’s an incredibly competitive anddifficult path to complete, and the type of work you do is often considered noble. For that reason, being a doctor is highlyprestigious. Second, the financial aspects. Job security is high, because people willalways have health issues and doctors are always in demand.
Additionally, doctors are some of the highestpaid professionals, making low to mid six figures on average. In short, being a doctor is safe. It’s the only profession where if you workhard, you are almost guaranteed to make low to mid-six figures.
Can you make more in other professions? Sure, but going into business or engineeringdoesn’t have that guaranteed level of salary. The range is much broader, meaning you canmake much less or much more than the average physician, but on average you’ll probablybe making less.
Did your parents ever pressure you to becomea doctor? If so, mash that like button and drop a commentbelow. So let’s say you want to get rich aboveall else. You don’t care about job satisfaction, orlifestyle, or your purpose in life. You’re just trying to make it rain.
In that case, going into medicine must bethe best choice, right? After all, it’s the highest paid profession. This is the part where we crunch the numbers. With any analysis, a series of assumptionsmust first be made. On the doctor side, we’ll have two comparisons:primary care and specialist. To become an average primary care doctor,
3you’ll finish college, then spend 4 years in medical school, graduating with an averagedebt of $198,000, and then complete 3-4 years of residency prior to earning your attendingsalary. Based on recent data, that starting salarywill be $223,000. To become the average specialist, you’llagain have to complete 4 years of medical school,
but since becoming a specialist likea plastic surgeon or dermatologist is so insanely competitive, many students take an extra researchyear to bolster their residency application. For that reason, we’ve simplified the analysiswith 5 years of medical school.
You’ll still graduate with an average of$198,000 in debt, but now residency is a bit longer. If you go into orthopedic surgery, it’llbe 5 years, 7 for neurosurgery, 6 for plastics, and 6 for cardiology. For simplicity, we’ve rounded residencyand fellowship to 6 years in length.
The starting salary for specialists is $329,000. On the engineer side, you’ll be startingimmediately after college and be pulling in a starting salary of $100,000, which is actuallyon the lower end of the starting salaries for a computer programmer in San Francisco. However, given the wide range of startingsalaries for engineers,
we’ve set $100,000 as the starting point. Additionally, student loans will accrue interest at2 6%, investments earn 7% per year, and wage growth increases at 3% annually. If you’re confused about the wage growth rate,
understand that inflation is on average 1-2% per year, and salaries usually steadilyincreases over the course of one’s career due to promotions and other factors. In order to reduce extraneous variables, wehave eliminated living expenses and savings ratios, as it’s impossible to accuratelyestimate the average engineer’s versus doctor’s living expenses — cue lifestyle inflation. Therefore, we are going to be looking at onlythe lifetime earning potential.
Do you have a problem with any of these assumptions? Fantastic. Feel free to download the excel spreadsheetI created and plug in your own numbers using your own assumptions, and drop a comment tolet us know about your findings. You can find a link to the spreadsheet down in the descriptionbelow. First, between primary care doctor and specialist,it’s clear that choosing a specialty that earns a high salary is far more advantageousfrom a financial perspective.
Despite spending 1 more year in medical schooland 2 more years in residency, specialists blast past primary care doctors just 8 yearsafter completing their training. Given the high salary, they must also blastpast engineers, right? Not so fast.
Despite a starting salary of more than 3 timesthat of an engineer, specialist doctors only surpass engineers in lifetime earnings atthe age of 45. That’s right, from the age of 22 to 44,engineers are in a more favorable financial position than even specialist physicians.
Primary care doctors don’t catch up to engineersuntil the age of 49, just a little over a decade away from retirement. To most people, this is counterintuitive. It comes down to one often overlooked andunderestimated factor: opportunity cost.
While future doctors are toiling away in medicalschool and residency, engineers are already making six figures. And if you manage to save that money, thepowerful force of compounding comes into effect, accelerating your wealth accumulation. This analysis is far from perfect — andthat’s beside the point.
If you want to adjust the assumptions, feelfree to download the spreadsheet and modify it yourself. No whining in the comments. That being said, you’ll likely find similarresults. The purpose of this analysis was to demonstrate that becoming a physician is not as lucrative as you or your parents may initially think from seeing those salaries.
There is a massive opportunity cost due toover 10 years of training and massive student debt. This is why you hear so many physicians warningyoungsters from going into medicine for the money. On one handd, the training to become a physicianis incredibly challenging,
and the desire to get rich won’t help you push throughin the same way that more personal motives will. But equally important, it just doesn’t make financial sense, unless your idea of financial success is being dirt poor during the bestyears of your life, and being rich only when you’re too old to fully enjoy the wealth.
If you are on the fence about going to medicalschool, my advice is that you spend the extra time making sure it’s the right path foryou. Shadow doctors, gain more clinical experience,and only pursue it if you are truly going into it for the right reasons.
If you need help deciding, I recommend youstart with my video titled “Do Not Go to Medical School (If This is You).” If, on the other hand, you know that becominga doctor is in your future, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether or not you plan on going into somethinghypercompetitive like plastic surgery, it’s in your best interest to be the strongestapplicant that you can be. By crushing my MCAT, having a near perfectcollege GPA, and a rock solid application, I had my pick of top medical schools, withsome even offering to pay my bill. That alone saved me over $200,000. My suggestion is to invest in yourself soyou too can be in the best possible position. Improvements in your grades, test taking skills,and application will only have compounding effects, so you won’t be pigeon holed asyou move forward with your training. Rather, you’ll open additional doors,
andhave your pick at the best opportunities. Trust me, it’s much harder to become anorthopedic surgeon at a leading institution if you aren’t at the top of your game andcrushing it in school. Med School Insiders is innovating and turningthe tutoring and admissions consulting industry upside down.
If you work with us, you’ll always get aphenomenal experience. No hit or miss like you may experience elsewhere. Don’t believe me? Our results speak for themselves. We have industry leading satisfaction scoresand our students’ success is second to none. Visit MedSchoolInsiders.com to see for yourself. Thank you all so much for watching. I’m curious, did your parents pressure youto go into medicine at all? Why or why not? Let us know down in the comments below. Much love to you all, and I will see you guysin that next one.