If you are not a fan of Grey's Anatomy then you might want to skip this post, but if you are you will be able to relate in a big way.
Before I get into the meat and potatoes of the post, I would like to say that in an age of reality TV, cheesy sitcoms, Law and Orders, and Csi's, "Grey's" has done a brilliant job in developing deep colorful characters and making old stale themes original. The trials tribulations, problems, quirks, inhibitions, desires, and disappointments are scripted so that everyone can relate. It is superbly written and brilliantly casted. It does a great job in demonstrating that sexy comes in all shapes sizes, races, genders and economic class. Just when you thought House was the only twist that can be given to a Hospital show and ER has grown into an old grouchy series of traumas, you get smacked in the puss with Grey's.
The season finale just aired where one of the many sub-plots included the interns taking their board exams. Granted doctors get paid well, but they also hustle more then many other professions. What I respect most about them is that they go through the same trials and tribulations that we do, but they work almost three times as much as the average U.S. worker and as interns often make less. In the midst of a grueling work schedule they are often treated like the pimpled face kid working fries. Just imagine going through Medschool just to get ordered around, work 36 hours shifts and in the wake of all that, study for this seemingly impossible board exam. The penalty for not passing boards is repeating residency which is tantamount to death.
"Aww, that's just TV" , you say? Well here are some real facts:
- Resident physicians work up to 120 hours a week, including 36 hour shifts for several weeks at a time.
- After 24 hours of wakefulness, cognitive function deteriorates to a level equivalent to having a 0.1% blood alcohol level. These doctors would be considered too unsafe to drive; yet they could still treat patients for 12 more hours.
Now that's pressure for that a$$. If you think you are working hard and starting to feel sorry for yourself, just think of the physician. Now you say, "They make $300,000.00 per year, they should work hard". Well not all of them. Here are some interesting facts on salary:
Median net income in US dollars of M.D.s after expenses in 1998, according to the American Medical Association:
All physicians $160,000
Emergency medicine $184,000
General internal medicine $140,000
General/Family practice $130,000
In some cases it's a ton of money and in others not so much. You can be an electrician with his own business and still clock more then a pediatrician. I think you have to love what you do and not just the dough to practice medicine or you won't make it out of Med School.
There are many doctors living check to check, especially when they have to pay off their school loans. The average med-school student graduates with $100,000 of med school loans. That's like graduating school with a small home mortgage, not to mention the 1st year residency average salary of $36,000.00
Raise your glass to the MD also down as the DOC. He or she gets an honorary hustler of the week award.
Click the pic for more good info on the Grey's Season Finale