Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Commentary: Why Doesn't Patient Care Pay the Bills?

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Commentary: Why Doesn't Patient Care Pay the Bills?

Article excerpt

Finances are a big part of our lives. We may have become doctors to help people, but we're also supporting families.

The main job, for most of us, is to take care of patients. That's allegedly what we're most appreciated for, so shouldn't it be what pays the bills?

Patient care is still my bread and butter, but here are some dollar figures to think about:

(The following averages are not any sort of scientific data. They're based on my experiences and phone calls to other neurologists.)

* Speaking for a drug company: $750 per hour.

* Legal work: $400 per hour.

* Clinical trials research: $350 per hour.

* Market research: $250 per hour.

* Actually caring for patients: $100 per hour (real money, not the amounts we charge insurers, knowing we'll never collect them).

I know that many nondoctors will look at the above and say, "$100 per hour sounds great! These docs should shut up and take it!" Those people, however, are not in the position of also having to pay for rent, malpractice insurance, staff salaries, office supplies, and student loans, each at five to six figures per year. …

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