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  • Regretting medicine

    Anyone else tired of medicine and wishing they went into something else? Perhaps it’s because I live in the Bay Area and all my friends are making 400-500k a year at the same age or younger in the tech industry. Lately I’ve been feeling emotionally tired, upset, and just generally disgruntled.

  • #2
    Redpops, that's a pretty deep question for a first post to the forum.

    But to play along: you need some friends busting their humps making 50k (or less) doing manual labor--that might not make you feel less emotionally tired, upset or generally disgruntled, but it sure as heck isn't going to hurt.

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    • #3
      If the basis for your feelings is comparative salary elsewhere I wouldn’t get so worked up over this. Whatever specialty you’re in, if you moved somewhere else you could be making a bigger salary and paying less in living costs.

      It sounds like there may be something more. Consider some deep introspection and find out what is really at play here. Many burnout factors, both external and internal. Control what you can, consider seeking help through your medical group or otherwise.

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      • #4
        It sounds like the comedians old trope of ''one way to look skinny - hang out only with fat people.'' You are comparing yourself to the upper 99th%ile of earners. You are probably easily in the 95th%ile yourself. Taking a big step back, if you make $32,400, you are in the top 1% of earners worldwide. It is all a matter of perspective.  Its not what you make, its what you keep that will make the difference. You get one shot at this life, don't be frustrated by other's success. Nothing says you can't switch careers, make new friends, move to LCOL area, find a better practice that meets your needs.

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        • #5
          I don't want to speak for Redpops but I suspect there's a lot more to this story than just comparing his salary to friends in the tech industry.  Our profession has its advantages but its pitfalls are why many of us are so interested in FI/RE.  Many times I've thought I could have gone into something else where I still could have made a good living without so much BS.

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          • #6
            Redpops, that’s a pretty deep question for a first post to the forum.

            But to play along: No.

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            • #7




              Anyone else tired of medicine and wishing they went into something else? Perhaps it’s because I live in the Bay Area and all my friends are making 400-500k a year at the same age or younger in the tech industry. Lately I’ve been feeling emotionally tired, upset, and just generally disgruntled.
              Click to expand...


              No, if Fatlittlepig didn’t go into medicine, Fatlittlepig wouldn’t have been able to share wisdom on the white coat investor forum.

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              • #8
                comparison is the thief of joy

                if you don't like what you are doing, that is different than observations about other people make same or more for less work.

                however, i was young once and occasionally those thoughts entered my brain (always loved the work, but whether the return was balanced).  in medicine you just have to accept that there are always going to be a lot of people who make an easier buck than you do.  i will say after thirty years, the number of your friends in tech who do as well as you is far smaller than you think.  there are spectacular winners of course.  but many will have limited job security, will have their stock become worthless, and face many other challenges.

                the richest people near me (who earned it rather than inheriting it), earned it through leverage.  they took risks and that are hard to see and were successful and now they hardly 'work' visibly.  it's easy to look at the results rather than the risks or sacrifices along the way.

                you basically have traded some time and energy for really strong job security and significant portability.  seek to understand what is really bothering you.  try to address the parts that you can control.

                best of luck!

                 

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                • #9


                  Perhaps it’s because I live in the Bay Area and all my friends are making 400-500k a year at the same age or younger in the tech industry.
                  Click to expand...


                  This sums up the issue. I am sorry to say but it is self inflicted. You have chosen to stay there and hence you see your salary being low compared to others.

                  The techies there are the 1% of the tech. So don't compare an average physician ( you and I probably) to the top percentile of another sector. And your money does not go far in an area awash with money.

                  You could move to places like Texas or Midwest ( heck, any state other than the North East ) and make more money with lower living costs and live like the king among peasants. You have chosen not to do so. That is your choice.

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                  • #10
                    These self pitying, oh poor me posts coming from a doctor saying other people r making more than me etc are tiresome and annoying. Try being a furloughed federal worker supporting a family on 35K

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                    • #11




                      These self pitying, oh poor me posts coming from a doctor saying other people r making more than me etc are tiresome and annoying. Try being a furloughed federal worker supporting a family on 35K
                      Click to expand...


                      Lol, I was thinking the same thing.  Being sad about your career because you're not as rich as your really rich friends seems like there is something else underneath that is bothering the OP.  Perhaps a career coach would be helpful in this setting.  Best of luck!

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                      • #12




                        These self pitying, oh poor me posts coming from a doctor saying other people r making more than me etc are tiresome and annoying. Try being a furloughed federal worker supporting a family on 35K
                        Click to expand...


                        Good gosh, FLP. I would never have expected a post with empathy for the less well off from you. ?

                        I too could have done an MBA and enter the pharm industry and made tons of money or in any other business sector. But I really consider myself blessed that I have a great job, decent income and am able to serve others by somewhat alleviating their suffering. And that I have money left over in the end that I can distribute to others too.

                        Being happy and at peace with oneself is important in life.

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                        • #13
                          Health and fam. All else doesn’t matter.

                          Someone said it above, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It’s my tagline and what I try to live by.

                          When I see a 20 year old with a Patek 5711, sure I wonder what they did to get that. I would love a Panamera. But in the end I get to go home to a wife and kid and we’re all healthy — totally priceless.

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                          • #14
                            One other thing — I think we’d all be lying to ourselves if we didn’t think this (regret), especially in residency. The same can be said when you’re just starting out as staff. It gets better.

                            Of note, I say this bc we all go through it and it’s very easy to feel isolated or alone in your feelings. Not saying that you are — but students, residents, staff all need to do a better job of helping each other. Physician suicide rates are going up, which I think may be exacerbated by the fact that we have a toxic culture of “suck it up,” high work load with lots of demands, trapped by debt burden.

                            But I just wanted to give an emphasis that feeling the way you do is validated. I just didn’t want to come across as shaming you, since someone out there will ALWAYS have it worse too. Good luck.

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                            • #15




                              These self pitying, oh poor me posts coming from a doctor saying other people r making more than me etc are tiresome and annoying. Try being a furloughed federal worker supporting a family on 35K
                              Click to expand...


                              Agreed, although anyone who has a family on 35k is guilty of PPPP and is looking for trouble.

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