Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tales from Residency: Income

This is a conversation I wrote down that I had with a senior resident prior to the 2008 elections:

Resident: "Hey, if Obama gets elected, he's going to raise taxes on people with incomes over $250,000."

Me: "Wah wah."

Resident: "That's going to affect doctors."

Me: "I doubt it's going to affect me any time soon."

Resident: "It probably will. It's combined income and starting salary for a physiatrist is $190,000."

Me: "Yeah, except I only want to work part-time, so I don't think I'd get that high."

Resident: "You might."

Me: "Well, if I do, I should shut the hell up because I'll be making $250,000."

14 comments:

  1. Just don't live in Manhattan, and you should be fine.

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  2. I'm pretty sure that senior resident wasn't planning on living in Manhattan.

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  3. In 12 years, I've never come close to that.

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  4. Good for you. Some people are quite out of touch as to what is an embarrassingly good income. I had an attending who would complain about how many hours he worked and how little money he made, then he would drive off in his Maserati after a six hour day. Wah wah wah indeed.

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  5. I'm kind of surprised... I thought a bunch of people would comment saying that $250,000 wasn't as much as I thought it was and not nearly enough to fund a middle class lifestyle.

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  6. The lifestyle issue arises when you're $250,000 in debt from undergrad and med school loans and wind up paying close to $700,000 with interest. :(

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  7. Oh gods, please don't get me started on people who run out to buy the latest computer/phone/gadget and eat in restaurants at least 3 times a week and then tell me how much they're struggling to make ends meet.

    "Really?" I want to say, "Let me just go get my bat. I know a nice neurologist who can use some more business."

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  8. @Moose: Funny, I say the same thing about most of my patients.

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  9. Well, you know it's all relative. I remember my doctoring preceptors got all huffy with me when I suggested that as doctors we were lucky to be able to afford the luxury of having a two earner household and kids in daycare. If you think about it, a lot of families can't afford to keep both parents working if there are multiple kids because their jobs just don't pay well enough.

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  10. My dad gives me the same speech every time there's an election..."you know, those democrats are going to tax anyone who makes over $100,000!"

    Well, dad, I'm a receptionist at a doctor's office and I barely make $30,000 a year and I'm still in debt from my college loans that will never, EVER go away (because I only make $30,000 a year and can't afford to pay off anything more than the interest every month). Pretty sure the tax bracket of those making 6-figures has about as much to do with my life as unicorn farts and leprochans.

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  11. OMDG: I get annoyed when people start in with the "doctors are lucky" bit when any doctor/med student complains about *anything* related to being a doctor. But I don't think you can legitimately complain about making two doctor's salaries and therefore ending up in a higher tax bracket.

    Kate: That's why I honestly don't get why Republicans do so well in elections. I would at least be financially justified in voting Rep, but most people really aren't.

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  12. Fizzy: True, the majority of people aren't financially justified in voting Republican, but most of that majority is less likely to vote than everyone else.

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  13. I'd kill (well, not literally) to make even 100,000 a year. If I'm lucky, I break 10,000 (only ever happened once)...And I'd happily pay taxes on it as well, if it meant paying my rent, bills and eating every month.

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