I am another MD and although I definetly have had the same thoughts of "Maybe I wouldn't recommend this gig to kids," at the end of the day I would ask all of you other docs what else you would recommend?
The people saying you can make more in business etc is just absolute b.s for 99 percent of most people. The road, ass kissing (probably pound for pound more than we all did in med school and residency, plus it never ends) and other crap to get to anywhere near a position where you are making a non-comission based salary of 200 plus k on a steady basis is really few and far between. It is an endless road of climbing the corporate ladder, doing meaningless work for most if not all of a life and at the end of the day have absolutely NO job stability as well as a HUGE factor nobody is touching on is ability to live ANYWHERE in the damn country.
I agree the Obama system and insurance system is just utter chaos and a sad state. The devaluing of doctors and replacement with mid-level NP's and PA's is just pathetic and the worst part is 99 percent of the public do not know any different. Many actually measure "good care" as how friendly someone is and how much time they spend and therefore PA's and NP's are actually becoming preferable to some. (although as the mid-levels are taking on doctor-like case loads this quality is disapearing and voila, they no longer are friendly and taking time when stuck with loads of patients the horrible doctors were!)
I am blessed, although I came out with a crapload of debt, I operate in a cash pay speciality with no insurance involvement and its lucrative and more protected than most fields but even if it were not and I was working for a 200k a year hospital based employed position, I would still be hard-pressed to truly do anything else that is really going to give you that same income, same flexibility of location and same security of job.
Yes the hospital CEO's are making more than the docs but they are not the norm for a business person. Most bankers, business people and all the financiers are either working in a profession that has no stability, live and die by stock sales and an enormous amount of pressure.
Plus at the end of the day, being an MD is still regarded as the most noble profession and as much as we all hate what we do, helping someone, saving someone and coming to someone in their time of need with a skill only you have is simply priceless and atleast for me is why primarly I went into this field.
So yes, please tell me any other close legitimate alternative to match a 200k/ year job starting at about age 30 with the perks I mentioned. Even lawyers are hard-pressed to find jobs out of school and if they do they are making nothing these days starting and taking a long, hard road to being a partner and breaking the 150k mark with again less flexibility or stability.