My PC doc said she'd make as much as a public school teacher???

  1. 0
    I saw my PC doc this morning and she tells me her contract is up with the group she's with and she's not sure if they will renew. They want to cut her salary. She said she's considering (a) nursing and (b) teaching high school. Since those are the two areas I've been focusing on as second career paths and I've done a little teaching, I said something to her about the poor salary. She said that after paying malpractice insurance and other costs, her pay as a physician is similar to that of a public school teacher. And that she wouldn't be doing that much better as a nurse. I didn't want to press for details but how can that be??? One reason (but not the primary one) that nursing is appealing is the salary and marketability. If my salary and marketability are not going to be any better than they would be as a teacher, then I have more thinking to do before spring classes begin.
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    This doesn't even make sense!

    Certainly primary care providers have had some benefits cut due to changes in reimbursement. However, as part of a practice, you are afforded discounts for malpractice insurance.

    I've never heard of a physician (MD or DO) even considering nursing.

    I'm assuming "PC" means primary care??? Or is this a chiropractor?
    cp1024 and MBARNBSN like this.
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    No, she's an M.D. and she's my primary care. I was shocked when she said this. Yes, it's a small practice group and I'm sure she works there because she has regular hours (she's a single mom) but still...
  6. 1
    It might be her take home pay is that mcuh. She might of screwed herself with student loans and that might be where her salary is going.
    grownuprosie likes this.
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    I believe it. Maybe not nationwide or for all types of family/primary care practices or if you are comparing them with private school teachers but I think it would be true much more often than people would think.

    Teacher salaries are more than most people think they are (median nationwide is $53,000) and that doesn't include the usually very generous benefits packages (esp retirement, retiree health insurance, paid days off).

    I'm less sure about physician benefits but read that the retirement segments are much less than teachers usually get and liability insurance is usually paid out of their salaries and has been going up as much as 30% per year.
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    HAHA! My husband and I are teachers. He has been frozen on the salary scale for 3 years at a WHOPPING $35,000 a year. He is a public high school Biology teacher. As for benefits, that's even more laughable......Our health insurance for the family is $850 a month. We don't have health insurance for this reason, we just can't afford it. I live in Arizona.
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    Well, dsb_fam, she would probably make more as a physician than a teacher there because Arizona is among the bottom ten states as far as teacher salaries, esp vs cost of living. But in the ten states with the highest average salaries, teachers average over $60,000 - some average over $70,000. So, assuming the range within any given state is as much location and/or level of education as it is length of service - she could be looking at considerably more than $60 or $70,000 base salary plus the better benefits minus the lower costs of working the job.
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    Physician incomes have been negatively affected by changes in reimbursement over the last two decades. "Medical" doctors (non-surgeons, non-interventionist) have suffered the worst. My own PCP took early retirement this year because she just didn't feel that the income was worth the effort anymore. In many instances, physicians in group practices or clinic environments have their pay tied to productivity schemes - so if they see fewer patients, they may not make much $. And, of course there's the issue of malpractice insurance... can be very high in certain areas or for certain specialties especially if the doc has had any previous claims. Couple this with high student loan payments and it can be very bleak in terms of available income.

    However, I doubt whether that PCP has a clear idea of the salaries of nurses and teachers. Wouldn't surprise me because they (docs) don't actually know that much about our education requirements, day-to-day responsibility, working hours/schedules, etc. They only care if we're not available to help them perform the tasks that they don't want to do - LOL.
  11. 1
    She was probably exaggerating d/t the reimbursement cuts.
    grownuprosie likes this.
  12. 0
    Quote from loriinmd
    I saw my PC doc this morning and she tells me her contract is up with the group she's with and she's not sure if they will renew. They want to cut her salary. She said she's considering (a) nursing and (b) teaching high school. Since those are the two areas I've been focusing on as second career paths and I've done a little teaching, I said something to her about the poor salary. She said that after paying malpractice insurance and other costs, her pay as a physician is similar to that of a public school teacher. And that she wouldn't be doing that much better as a nurse. I didn't want to press for details but how can that be??? One reason (but not the primary one) that nursing is appealing is the salary and marketability. If my salary and marketability are not going to be any better than they would be as a teacher, then I have more thinking to do before spring classes begin.
    Public school teachers in my area make around $42,000 per year for 9 months of work. As a new grad at $24/hr I'll be making about $45,000 for 12 months of work. I'd say the starting salaries are comparable since we all know how much take home work teachers do.

    After student loans, insurance, staffing, and overhead, primary care can be very, very low paying which is why med schools and the govt are always trying to find new ways to convince students to go that direction - most people who do very well in med school and on the boards would pick a much higher paying specialty. Reimbursements are higher there.

    All the MDs in my family encourage me to go the NP route if I want to do primary care. Economically it just makes more sense. Lower cost, lower liability, better hours, and not much less pay that a PCP.


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