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  • 2008

    In the last big recession, did doctors salaries take a hit at all? I wasn’t even done with undergrad yet. Don’t care too much about markets as I’ve only been an attending for 22 months.

  • #2
    I was a resident and didn’t even know there was a recession . Would see something on news and ignore it .

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    • #3
      I was a new attending and was paying down debt. Did not take a salary hit. Did not hurt docs IMO (other than loss of investment value)

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      • #4
        It probably depends. For EM, a recession typically means more people without health insurance which means more self-pay patients which means more people who aren't paying so collections will be less. If you own the business then this will hurt you, if you're employed then that will be up to your employer.

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        • #5
          Salaries rose throughout the 2006-2010 years for the most part. The COVID Spring 2020 effect was much more pronounced.
          Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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          • #6
            I took a big hit in 2008. The hit I'm taking now is a lot bigger, but I seem to care less. Salary was flat + marginally up through that time. Actually that's true my whole career except for this year.

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            • #7
              The healthcare systems and typically physicians have been recession resistant.
              The reason is consumer demand is basically stable.
              Additionally, for 2008 inflation was not a factor.
              Never heard of hospital shutting 30 percent of their beds, ORs and 30% of staff for decreased demand and competitive pricing.
              Opps, that is wrong. The 2020 pandemic led to administrative decisions, even after vaccines, that changed the landscape. COVID caused a significant change in patient mix, ERs and beds were allocated to COVID needs. Electives suspended, furloughs, early retirements and terminations were huge impacts, basically for one year. Even patients avoided medical care in the pandemic. This was not caused by recession, this was caused by COVID.
              A recession is a drop in GDP. That leads to lower production, not necessarily the same as a stock market correction. I don’t see healthcare being impacted by a recession other than payers mix.
              Those electives and beds are valuable.

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              • #8
                I was fortunate enough, and grateful, to be a military surgeon in 2008. At that time, being a government employee was the most stable job there was. Pay and housing allowance was constant and predictable.

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                • #9
                  Physician pay is not tied to financial crises or general unemployment rates. It is mostly determined by medicare and other supply/demand factors. Although our pay has increased every year, it has not been keeping up with the low rate of inflation for the past few decades. I'd hate to see what several years of 8-9% inflation will do to our pay.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tim View Post
                    The healthcare systems and typically physicians have been recession resistant.
                    The reason is consumer demand is basically stable.
                    Additionally, for 2008 inflation was not a factor.
                    Never heard of hospital shutting 30 percent of their beds, ORs and 30% of staff for decreased demand and competitive pricing.
                    Opps, that is wrong. The 2020 pandemic led to administrative decisions, even after vaccines, that changed the landscape. COVID caused a significant change in patient mix, ERs and beds were allocated to COVID needs. Electives suspended, furloughs, early retirements and terminations were huge impacts, basically for one year. Even patients avoided medical care in the pandemic. This was not caused by recession, this was caused by COVID.
                    A recession is a drop in GDP. That leads to lower production, not necessarily the same as a stock market correction. I don’t see healthcare being impacted by a recession other than payers mix.
                    Those electives and beds are valuable.
                    I also experienced same. 2008 was not something that affected docs (Anesthesia, that I saw) except for their investments (stock, RE).

                    Job was secure. Work was needed and extra work in the OR was available and I was working like crazy paying off student loans (people used to pay those).

                    2020 with covid the hospital took a hit. 2020 doc income was reduced.
                    Last edited by Tangler; 05-12-2022, 02:11 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nephron View Post
                      Physician pay is not tied to financial crises or general unemployment rates. It is mostly determined by medicare and other supply/demand factors. Although our pay has increased every year, it has not been keeping up with the low rate of inflation for the past few decades. I'd hate to see what several years of 8-9% inflation will do to our pay.
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                      wow. This is why most docs now work for "the man"

                      My brothers are general surgeons. They had their own PP group. It was not sustainable. They finished training in late 1990s and by 2012 were working for the hospital.

                      Dogs are not free but are "safe". Wolves and coyotes are "free" but they might get shot, trapped, starve, etc.

                      My brothers love their current gigs but they have become like dogs.......they are at the mercy of the hospital. I think the hospital loves this.

                      I suppose when you become FI you are a little more "Free" but you are still not going to be able to easily make it without being subsidized.

                      With medical school tuition being what it is now.........I don't think I would borrow a lot to become a doc. I would just do some other meaningful work.

                      Frankly, being an electrician or a plumber who fixes stuff and helps people would have probably been fine for me, and I would not have to borrow to do it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nephron View Post
                        Physician pay is not tied to financial crises or general unemployment rates. It is mostly determined by medicare and other supply/demand factors. Although our pay has increased every year, it has not been keeping up with the low rate of inflation for the past few decades. I'd hate to see what several years of 8-9% inflation will do to our pay.
                        Click image for larger version

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Views:	368
Size:	154.9 KB
ID:	334028
                        I always see stats like that yet median psychiatry comp has more than doubled since 2003. Are we the only ones?

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                        • #13
                          I was self-employed in 2008. My investments took a hit but my income did not. Try not to panic. Disruptions in the financial markets will straighten out soon I hope. Try not to over-correct. Shut off the news.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FIREshrink View Post

                            I always see stats like that yet median psychiatry comp has more than doubled since 2003. Are we the only ones?
                            My guess is most people are working harder and seeing more patients.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FIREshrink View Post

                              I always see stats like that yet median psychiatry comp has more than doubled since 2003. Are we the only ones?
                              Well my comp has increased 10000% since 2003 but mostly because I am no longer a part time lifeguard

                              Seriously though FM seems to have done well these past couple of decades.

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