Friday, September 09, 2011

Are doctors paid too much?

A recent health affairs study has been asking if doctors are paid too much?

R-'s and many others reaction to the story was that doctors have to be paid more to pay off student loan debt, to which I say, bah. Doctor salaries in the US are roughly twice what they are in other countries. Which means roughly an extra $100,000 a year. or maybe $60,000... after taxes. Doesn't matter how gigantic your student loans are, that's more than enough to pay back those debts in just a few years.

I agree though that doctor salaries alone dont explain healthcare costs. the truth is, nothing by itself does. Everything in the US is more expensive. end of life care is more expensive, but so is non-end of life care. Doctors are more expensive but so are nurses and administrators. Liability is more expensive, but by itself only accounts for a tiny fraction of healthcare costs. In the end there are no easy answers.

Even though the question itself is important since it is probably the only part of the US budget problem that doesn't have an easy solution.
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