Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Whiney Baby

Well, our baby is on the way. She is due soon and she looks cute as a button on ultrasound and, at least on paper, unbelievably expensive. All the “preparations” have brought on a grim realization. It seems that I would have been far better off had I played a doctor on TV, learned to dunk early in my life, kick a ball well or maybe even learned to lip-sync and do a well choreographed dance at the same time.

As medical students we were berated by Residents telling us how awful their lives were and to get out now. They all complained about how much they owe (nearly $200,000 on the average) and how little they get paid, most importantly, how much they work. As medical students we pretty much dismissed these complaints, thinking they were just overworked and overstressed.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Now, the weekly bills don’t stop, student loan companies demand their money and the rent is due. I run to work and let my wife deal with the stress but it’s not really fair.

I hate to whine because most people just say “Well, at least you know that in the long run you’ll make money”. Truthfully, I probably will still make more than the Average Joe, but did the Average Joe give away thirteen years of his life to higher education. In addition, unfortunately, that doesn’t even seem to be the case any more.

After four years of college, one year masters, four years of medical school and three to six years of residency most physicians don’t make a whole lot. We pay for overpriced malpractice insurance to protect ourselves from the people we’ve invested our whole lives to help and have now demonized us into monsters with a syringe. We have tremendous educational loans to pay back. We have very high expenses from clothing (they expect that we look like doctors, right?) to office expenditures and our compensation continues to dwindle.

When my little girl finally arrives I will make sure she puts down that book, practices her free kick, grows long blond hair, gets big boobs and learns a hot well choreographed “number”.