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Are physicians more concerned today about their financial health in todays health care environment?
Put it this way: Those who are not concerned, will not be in business for long. They'll be punching a clock. They'll be "processing" patients, not "treating" patients. They'll answer to an accountant.
And, I'll bet that's exactly what they dreamed about when they entered medical school, too.
If you look at the average debt accumulated in medical school of over $200-250K which does not include the undergraduate loans, wouldn't you think physicians be concerned about their finances? There is a huge public misconception that all physicians are millionaires. It takes a long time to climb out of debt, own a house, have a family, and grow old.
he American public has little or no interaction with physicians educational colleagues who choose to devote their lives solely to the pursuit of money, investment bankers, corporate attorneys,business executives who make a thousand times more than doctors, yet studied and trained much much less. In NYC in particular the financial discrepancy between the millionaire Wall Street financial people and the struggling non-plastic surgery,non-cosmetic dermatologist doctors invested with the responsibility of saving lives rather than accumulating money is glaring. Our profession is the only one that has complete price fixing by the Federal government for seniors(Medicare) and price fixing for the rest of patients, called managed care. Our expenses can and do go up,but as opposes to every other business in America we cannot raise our prices! Good care takes time and listening topatients, something we are forced to compromise as we get paid less and leading to patient dissatisfaction
The physician-entrepreneur or the physician-investor will fair better than the administrators or rank & file among us.
Two physician examples, Shelly Zinberg, MD who started Caremore & Nifty after Fifty and Laszlo Tauber, MD who owned lots of real estate.
There are always opportunities. Two weeks ago, I had dinner with a friend who began as a coin collector and ended up starting a RE company owning several large commercial buildings. Three months ago, I had a nice meeting an accountant turned mega-mogul who created a residential property company in three states and recently bought a vineyard.
In each case, they discovered a need and a viable solution.
Financial concerns for physicians are not new. Example: I have been studying the works of the American writer John O'Hara, 1905-1970, for the past few months. His father was a very successful surgeon in Pottsville, PA--a town that was recreated as "Gibbsville" in JOH's work which captures in hundreds of stories the lives and language of American upper classes of that time period. However, Dr. O'Hara died suddenly as a relatively young man leaving his widow and children who had grown used to a certain privileged lifestyle financially in the lurch. JOH never was able to attend college and instead went immediately to work as a writer in New York City. The rest as they say was history.
Moral of thstory--physicians have always been just as necessarily concerned about their finances as the rest of the 99%
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