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 of
what 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 is
the highest achievement, followed by becoming an engineer or lawyer as number two. Why is becoming a doctor so highly valued
at number one? There are a few reasons: First, it’s an incredibly competitive and
difficult path to complete, and the type of work you do is often considered noble.
For that reason, being a doctor is highly
prestigious. Second, the financial aspects. Job security is high, because people will
always have health issues and doctors are always in demand. Additionally, doctors are some of the highest
paid professionals, making low to mid six figures on average. In short, being a doctor is safe. It’s the only profession where if you work
hard, you are almost guaranteed to make low to mid-six figures. Can you make more in other professions? Sure, but going into business or engineering
doesn’t have that guaranteed level of salary. The range is much broader, meaning you can
make much less or much more than the average physician, but on average you’ll probably
be making less. Did your parents ever pressure you to become
a doctor? If so, mash that like button and drop a comment
below. So let’s say you want to get rich above
all else. You don’t care about job satisfaction, or
lifestyle, or your purpose in life. You’re just trying to make it rain. In that case, going into medicine must be
the 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 assumptions
must first be made. On the doctor side, we’ll have two comparisons:
primary care and specialist. To become an average primary care doctor,
you’ll finish college, then spend 4 years in medical school, graduating with an average
debt of $198,000, and then complete 3-4 years of residency prior to earning your attending
salary. Based on recent data, that starting salary
will be $223,000. To become the average specialist, you’ll
again have to complete 4 years of medical school, but since becoming a specialist like
a plastic surgeon or dermatologist is so insanely competitive, many students take an extra research
year to bolster their residency application. For that reason, we’ve simplified the analysis
with 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’ll
be 5 years, 7 for neurosurgery, 6 for plastics, and 6 for cardiology. For simplicity, we’ve rounded residency
and fellowship to 6 years in length. The starting salary for specialists is $329,000. On the engineer side, you’ll be starting
immediately after college and be pulling in a starting salary of $100,000, which is actually
on the lower end of the starting salaries for a computer programmer in San Francisco.
However, given the wide range of starting
salaries for engineers, we’ve set $100,000 as the starting point. Additionally, student loans will accrue interest
at 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 steadily
increases over the course of one’s career due to promotions and other factors. In order to reduce extraneous variables, we
have eliminated living expenses and savings ratios, as it’s impossible to accurately
estimate the average engineer’s versus doctor’s living expenses — cue lifestyle inflation.
Therefore, we are going to be looking at only
the lifetime earning potential. Do you have a problem with any of these assumptions? Fantastic. Feel free to download the excel spreadsheet
I created and plug in your own numbers using your own assumptions, and drop a comment to
let us know about your findings. You can find a link to the spreadsheet down in the description
below. First, between primary care doctor and specialist,
it’s clear that choosing a specialty that earns a high salary is far more advantageous
from a financial perspective.
Despite spending 1 more year in medical school
and 2 more years in residency, specialists blast past primary care doctors just 8 years
after completing their training. Given the high salary, they must also blast
past engineers, right? Not so fast. Despite a starting salary of more than 3 times
that of an engineer, specialist doctors only surpass engineers in lifetime earnings at
the 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 engineers
until 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 and
underestimated factor: opportunity cost. While future doctors are toiling away in medical
school and residency, engineers are already making six figures.
And if you manage to save that money, the
powerful force of compounding comes into effect, accelerating your wealth accumulation. This analysis is far from perfect — and
that’s beside the point. If you want to adjust the assumptions, feel
free to download the spreadsheet and modify it yourself. No whining in the comments. That being said, you’ll likely find similar
results. 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 to
over 10 years of training and massive student debt. This is why you hear so many physicians warning
youngsters from going into medicine for the money. On one hand, the training to become a physician
is incredibly challenging, and the desire to get rich won’t help you push through
in 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 best
years 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 medical
school, my advice is that you spend the extra time making sure it’s the right path for
you. 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 you
start with my video titled “Do Not Go to Medical School (If This is You).” If, on the other hand, you know that becoming
a doctor is in your future, you’ve come to the right place. Whether or not you plan on going into something
hypercompetitive like plastic surgery, it’s in your best interest to be the strongest
applicant that you can be. By crushing my MCAT, having a near perfect
college GPA, and a rock solid application, I had my pick of top medical schools, with
some even offering to pay my bill.
That alone saved me over $200,000. My suggestion is to invest in yourself so
you 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 as
you move forward with your training. Rather, you’ll open additional doors, and
have your pick at the best opportunities.
Trust me, it’s much harder to become an
orthopedic surgeon at a leading institution if you aren’t at the top of your game and
crushing it in school. Med School Insiders is innovating and turning
the tutoring and admissions consulting industry upside down. If you work with us, you’ll always get a
phenomenal experience. No hit or miss like you may experience elsewhere. Don’t believe me? Our results speak for themselves. We have industry leading satisfaction scores
and 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 you
to 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 guys
in that next one..