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View Diary: I feel sorry for health insurance companies. Yes, I said that. Why? This Time report must be read. (228 comments)

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  •  OK (8+ / 0-)

    I guess I asked for it...

    Here are some numbers

    Do doctor's make a lot of money (especially compared to other professions)? Yes. Median annual salary for a physician in the US is $175k and for a surgeon $275k. Nothing to sneeze at, but, as I said not in the millions of dollars range.

    And while, yes, doctors (and nurses) in the US make more in absolute dollars than those in (most) other countries, their pay as a percent of per capita GDP isn't completely out of line with, say, Canada, the UK, or France. (Maybe 15 to 20% higher, but again, not insanely different.)

    Take it easy, but take it.

    by ltsply2 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:10:48 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  'Median' can be very misleading... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1

      If 1,000 doctors make 174,900 and 1 makes 175,000 and 1,000 make 1,000,000, then the median is 175,000.

      But the average will be $587, 244.

      Interestingly, the only stats I can find use median, although there are some mean (average) maps at the bottom of the link - but they are rather vague.

      I also believe these salary statistics don't include 'other' earnings of doctors, such as equity in a practice, profit-sharing at hospitals or practices, fees from labs, etc, etc, etc.

      We'll probably never know for sure, because the doctors aren't eager to publicize the gravy train.

      So we'll just keep paying and paying.

      Cheers.

      Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

      by databob on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:01:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Umm (0+ / 0-)

        That is exactly why you use the median instead of the mean. While it is possible to have the distribution you describe and the effects you describe, it is not likely. It is far more likely to have a situation where 10 people make $100k and 1 makes $1m. Then, the mean is hugely misleading. But then that's why it is useful to present everything. However, given that the distribution of doctor's salaries is almost definitely normal, it shouldn't matter.

        And yes, they are not including all other earnings (though I think profit-sharing at their hospital or personal equity may very well be captured) but again, I think that generally this isn't enough to amount to more than a drop in the bucket.

        Take it easy, but take it.

        by ltsply2 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:36:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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