You read that correctly.
Physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists deserve more pay than doctors.
And a number of them are already making more than many physicians.
The other day I met a PA whose salary is $180,000 working in the emergency department.
That's more than many family practice docs, internal medicine docs, and pediatricians.
Working alongside him are board certified emergency medicine physicians who are making about $250,000.
Is the extra $70,000 worth it to take on the responsibility of a physician? When something bad happens to a patient, it's not the PA that's held responsible.
It's always the doctor who suffers the consequences.
And the docs have to do the nightshifts.
Complicated patient? Punt that to the doctor!
Now don't get me wrong.
There are PAs I've worked with who are absolutely outstanding.
But there are others that are just lazy and suck.
So why do I think these health care practitioners deserve higher pay than physicians?
You see, it's all about marketing.
Physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists have done a phenomenal job of banding together and carving out a niche for themselves.
They have successfully pushed into our domain and have grabbed market share -- and ultimately money -- away from us.
They have conveyed their value and have convinced others to believe the value they provide.
They have spoken loudly to the government, the insurance companies, and to patients, and those groups have not only listened but they've also embraced them.
In the crappy world of Obamacare, with the focus on "quality, affordable" healthcare, they're going to get an even bigger windfall.
And you know what?
They deserve EVERY penny of it.
What have doctors done to combat this?
If you watch the Super Bowl, you'll see two teams fighting tooth and nail to the finish. You won't see one team just give up.
But that's what doctors have done. We haven't even shown up for the game much less play it. And in the rare occurrence where we do show up, we just sit on the sidelines and watch the other team win.
Doctors have done a lousy job of standing up and conveying our value proposition.
We've failed to describe how many years of sacrifice we've gone through to get where we are.
We've failed to show patients and our government leaders who think we make too money about the stress we endure, the long hours we work, the incredible value we provide, the responsbility we take on, and the fact that we're held accountable like no other profession in the country.
We've failed to show them that we deserve MORE pay not less and that we want to see LESS patients not more.
Instead we bend over and accept defeat.
Don't take this the wrong way.
I think doctors SHOULD get paid way more than other health care practitioners for the value we provide.
But we don't DESERVE to because we've failed to persuade society that we're worth it.
And that's the reason why PAs, NPs, and others have become a force which will only get stronger.
How do you start fighting back and getting back in the game?
It starts with getting your finances in order, which you can do by clicking here:
Talk to you again soon.
Setu Mazumdar, MD, CFP®