Going for Medicine or finance?

JohnA11's picture
Rank: Chimp | 2

I am poised to begin my program at medical school this year in Sweden at Karolinska Institutet, which is a top medical school, and I will complete it after 5,5 years.
I feel dubious about this, primarily because I am disappointed with the salary I will receive and the thought of being stuck in Sweden, in a state owned hospital with weak remunerations doesn't seem quite as appealing as it did 12 months ago, when I embarked toward my goal and made my first stride.

As a Medical Doctor I will receive around the following reimbursements after 5,5 years studies at medical school:

54.000$/year for 2 years
72.000$/year for 5 years
100.000$/year for about 15 years
115.000$/year after that until I retire

This feels very lackluster, since the tax rate in Sweden is about 40% and the VAT is 25%, and the housing here is very expensive along with everything else.

I am contemplating going into finance instead, and I have been thinking about studying at Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) which is a target school in Europe with a high pedigree in finance, where I can get a bachelor + master in finance (total of 5 years). I will have to wait an additional year until I can enter (autumn 2015) but my salary prospect should be a lot better, and I don't have to slave around for the government as a businessman.

I have talked to my relatives about this, and they all think I am doing a mistake going for money. I want to hear Your notion about this. Am I doing the right thing entering Medical school or should I wait an additional year and subsequently pursue finance?

Comments (11)

Jun 16, 2014

What will all the money in the world do for your happiness when you're chained to the wheel of a job that you don't have a passion for?

Medicine is more transportable to the rest of the world than finance, at least if you've got your qualifications in first world market.

    • 1
Jun 16, 2014

You're making a huge mistake going for money. The doctors I know are happy because they want to do it. The finance professionals I know who don't hate their lives want this. Both jobs have their ups and downs and can be tough at times but at the end of the day if you entered ONLY for the money you'll get burnt out very quickly.

If there are many reasons you don't want to be a doctor, and one of them happens to be money, don't do it. But don't just chase a golden rainbow hoping that'll make you happy. Have concrete reasons why you want to go into finance.

Jun 16, 2014

If your primary concern is $$ why wouldn't you just start your own medical practice? OR why would you go through nightmare of medical education? I have no knowledge about the ways in Sweden, however my parents, my inlaws, and my wife are all doctors here in states and not one of them works or even considers working for a hospital. They all love what they do and enjoy every single day running their own practices.

Jun 16, 2014

I should add that i was in a biochemistry program here in states for 2.5 years myself. I was completely miserable and hated everything about it (pressure from parents, obviously). I changed to accounting/finance because that's what i was really good at and enjoyed. Four years in my career now, i do not regret my decision.

Choose a field where you will be able to enjoy your work. If you are an intelligent and hardworking, money will come.

Jun 16, 2014

Will repeat what everyone said here, go with what you like and not the $$. If you don't like your work, you wont like your life no matter how much $$ you make.

Jun 16, 2014

here's the thing, in just about every Western European country (locals like @"Matrick" can correct me if I'm off base, as I'm doing all of this from stories from friends abroad and various Econ classes in UG), the pay for doctors is dramatically lower because the systems are socialized, there's simply less money in that business. it's not the case in the US (though the long term effects of Obamacare remain to be reflected in salaries).

you're not making a mistake by allowing money to enter into your decision making, I believe you can have more than one "passion." sure, I'd love to be a surf instructor, but there's no way to secure a retirement with that kind of a job, and I don't want to work forever. one of my best friends is a MD (medical doctor, not managing director), and he loves fishing. he would be a pro bass fisherman in a heartbeat but you can't make a career out of that (even guys like Bill Dance & Roland Martin are probably only worth a couple mil if that).

if you're about to start your schooling, you may just be getting cold feet and questioning your decision making. here's what I would do if I were in your shoes, if you don't know what expenses look like in the area, research that, ask friends & family, I have no idea but it may turn out that the salaries you listed go a lot further than you imagine. once you get the hang of it, you may be comfortable with a lower standard of living if the salaries don't go that far. if you really get a wild hair, you can exit medicine and try for a biotech ER analyst position. I know my firm keeps a few MDs on staff.

one final thing, and this is not meant to be a slam to your family, I believe your family's comments are a sign of the attitude of Europeans, and there's nothing wrong with that. you are wise to ask for their advice, but advice is not a set of instructions. ultimately, you are free to do whatever you want. listen to their advice, weigh the options, and decide. my family did not want me to do many of the things I'm glad I did. you will find out as you get into your 20's that no family is perfect, but even if their answer is wrong, it's still good to have a source of advice who will never stop loving you.

Best of luck

Jun 16, 2014

Many people on here did what you're thinking about doing -- choosing money over passion -- and regret it. If medicine is truly your passion, then by all means pursue it. It would be a wise choice. Most doctors I know are happy with their lives.

Jun 16, 2014
JohnA11:

54.000$/year for 2 years

I thought my eyes were going to leave their sockets. If that's true the answer should be obvious.

Matrick:

[in reply to Tony Snark"]

Why aren't you blogging for WSO and become the date doctor for WSO? There seems to be demand.

BatMasterson:

[in reply to Tony Snark's dating tip]

Sensible advice.

Jun 16, 2014

OP that looks more like general practitioner pay. Internists can easily make over 300k. The pay for many types of specialists is similar. Anesthesiologists average over 400k based on the numbers I have seen. Cardiologists can make over .5 million a year, even in places with a low cost of living.

Matrick:

[in reply to Tony Snark"]

Why aren't you blogging for WSO and become the date doctor for WSO? There seems to be demand.

BatMasterson:

[in reply to Tony Snark's dating tip]

Sensible advice.

Jun 16, 2014

Going into medicine for the money is definitely not something you're likely to regret. Go for it, champ! Just stay in Sweden please.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

    • 1
Jun 17, 2014
Comment