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would you encourage your children to pursue medicine/dentistry?

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  • would you encourage your children to pursue medicine/dentistry?

    this may have come up before but the rather sobering thread on dental income got me thinking... if you had children tomorrow, would you encourage them to pursue medicine/dentistry?

  • #2
    I've encouraged my kids to do whatever they're interested in.  My daughter is a sophomore in college and is considering medicine.  I've told her to do what she thinks she'd enjoy, since she'll be doing it for a long time.  Also, don't go into medicine for the money.  There are easier ways to make money than going through a difficult undergrad program, medical school, and residency.

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    • #3
      Yes. The flexibility once an attending is nearly unmatched and personally I don't think there's many professions where u can make the money u can for part time work..

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      • #4
        Nope. Will undoubtedly steer them away. You must be in a cush place, svalley, to say the flexibility is "unmatched." Certainly all things and situations are relative but I would argue more things in medicine these days are inflexible then they are flexible. Most notably your time.

        With more government involvement and hospital employment, reimbursement will continue to decline, as will physician autonomy, while work hours, tedious paperwork and bureaucracy and the cost of school attendance just to get there will continue to increase. Bad constellation for future employment consideration.

        Certainly I plan to fully support whatever my kids are passionate about or feel is their calling. I just hope it's not medical school or law school.

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        • #5
          This topic comes up whenever/wherever two or more docs congregate.

          I am with DoubleMDs. I do not like the cost-value proposition of the medical career, starting from scratch and moving forward. There are pockets of opportunity, but these seem to get more limited every year. The fact is that everyone wants to pay less for medical services (myself included), and there will be constant downward pressure on earnings. Add the alphabet soup of TLAs and all of the administrative, regulatory, and clerical burden that they spew, and the work environment deteriorates from one day to the next. You really have to love it (medicine) to even tolerate it.

          My high schoolers do not seem inclined to a career in medicine, so it is not as issue for us.

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          • #6
            Single in my mid-30's, it's looking increasingly unlikely that I will procreate; however, if I do, I can't imagine any of my offspring would be motivated to follow my career path.  Three years out of residency, I feel like I am only in it for the paycheck and bennies and trying to find ways to cut back and avoid work however I can.  I feel this way despite escaping exorbitant student loan debt; I'd echo everyone above that cost of education, mid-level competition, clerical burdens seem to just make this a less and less attractive career over time.
            I sometimes have trouble reading private messages on the forum. I can also be contacted at [email protected]

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            • #7
              I don't think I'll push them to medicine but if they wanted to, I'd certainly give them all the help along the way.  I'd really make sure they picked the right fields though and knew the lifestyle of those particular fields.  My private practice path job is about as good as it gets for me.  I can't think of another career where'd I be making this much money by age 31 with this enjoyable and rewarding of a job where I essentially work 8-5 with little call.  A few times a week I'll make a diagnosis that was unsuspected clinically that really makes a difference in treatment and outcomes.  My wife and I will also help them financially through school, so the financial burden of undergrad/medical school will make it more palatable.

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              • #8
                The money around medicine/optometry/dentistry seems to be a significant downside. Cost of education vs salary has made me advise against some optometry decisions already (not even my children). If they werent taking out 2-300k to make 100k i would probably have a different opinion.

                As for my personal children i plan to have plenty saved to fund whatever career they choose. I dont think I will encourage them into any specific path but try to encourage them to find something that they will like for a lifetime.

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                • #9
                  My boys won't be making those decisions for another 10+ years (now 6 & 8) -- we'll have to see what the landscape looks like then.

                  Right now, I wouldn't try to dissuade them from a career in medicine if they are drawn to it, but I wouldn't recommend it highly for the money or prestige as there are easier, lower stress ways of making money, and the prestige ain't what it once was. That being said, a career in medicine has served me well.

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                  • #10
                    Yes, but I'd make sure they understood the expectations. At the very least, I wouldn't purposely dissuade them.

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                    • #11
                      Yes. I would. However, I will tell them to learn skills outside of medicine + money management skills.

                      You are NOT doing medicine/dentistry for the money. Basic tenant every prospective student should know/learn.

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                      • #12
                        After a really horrible patient interaction yesterday, sometimes I really wonder why we do this ...

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                        • #13
                          My kids are also 6 & 8...... my 6 year old daughter wants to be a dentist. I hope that changes. I hope for an easier life for my daughter especially. I hope she chooses a more flexible career path than dentistry so she can have a life before having a family. I know that's sexist to say. If either chooses to follow me and be a dentist I'll help them make it through debt free or with very little debt. I will also practice longer so I can gift them a partnership or help them start a practice. I won't let them be a corporate slave. That's why we work so hard right? So our kids have it easier.
                          My son has no interest in dentistry yet..... he's almost 9 and he wants to be a writer. In this case I hope he follows me....or I will be supporting him forever......
                          There are worse careers than medicine. The issue with my chosen career is that the debt traps you....
                          As I mentioned on another post.... the average dental education costs $400k? Something crazy like that. I wonder if I'd be better off encouraging my kids to do something that only cost a 4 year degree and giving them $400k to start their lives. Especially if compensation continues to decline.
                          We are currently in super-saving mode partially out of fear that compensation will crash. Make hay while the sun shines right?

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                          • #14
                            My 6 yo currently wants to be a dance teacher/babysitter and my 2 yo is still figuring out how to color. My wife and I are both doctors and won't dissuade them from entering medicine but won't encourage it either. If they ask for our opinion many years from now then we'll let them know about the pros/cons of medicine based on our experiences.

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                            • #15
                              .
                              Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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