Why Are Doctors Paid So Much?

Why Are Doctors Paid So Much

Being a medical doctor comes with a huge responsibility. You will not only have the responsibility of treating people you haven’t met in your life, saving lives in emergency cases, but handle numerous pressures. What about the harassment from families of the deceased who get the sad news of their relative’s demise from the doctor? Such cases happen a lot across the country. But after these experiences and the stress of going through medical school, most people believe doctors are being overpaid. So here’s the question we will be looking at in this post;

Why are doctors paid so much?

The answer to this question is dicey. That’s because doctors don’t earn more than most professions. One also needs to be a consultant to make a relatively high salary. Having MBBS or post-graduation from a quack institution won’t hike up your pay. However, doctors’ high salary is justifiable. They spend almost 11 years or more of their life studying to better lives. And throughout their time studying, they aren’t paid a dime. So, the amount of hard work and training they go through to be accurate in the discharge of their duties contribute to justifying their high salary. But truth be told, most doctors in some countries earn less than their counterparts in other countries.

Continue reading for more information on the topic regarding doctors’ salaries!

Why Doctors Should Receive Higher Salaries

You may have stumbled upon such arguments one or more times. The truth is most people that argue don’t about doctors’ high pay don’t know what becoming a doctor entails.

At the beginning of this post, I spoke about the enormous responsibilities doctors carry on their shoulders week in, week out. Most doctors even work overtime without being compensated. Let’s not forget that doctors are humans and have financial responsibilities, too.

There is this notion relatives have about their sibling once that person becomes a medical doctor. In the eyes of most of these relatives, once you become a medical doctor, you are made for life!

The thing is not all doctors go home with fat salaries. Most of them don’t. The only prestige they have is the name. Medical doctors are also respected by members of the society a lot. It’s a noble profession, and such is expected anyway.

So, back to the big question, are doctors’ hefty salaries justifiable? Well, let’s assume they receive much. Let’s assume all doctors are receiving fat salaries. The answer to the question would be, yes! It wouldn’t be a bad idea to see doctors the world over being paid fat salaries. They are worth it.

Doctors add value to human lives. Thanks to them, the majority of us are alive today. If not for their knowledge and dedication, most of us would have been snatched away from this earth by certain diseases.

Another thing that justifies their high salary is the number of years they spend studying. Let’s not even mention the numerous examinations they have to write and the high standards of these exams.

A medical doctor could spend more than 15 years of his or her life studying for one purpose. I know many would claim that the goal is to make money. But once you venture into the profession, your utmost priority would be to save lives.

You also need to be in the best frame of mind as a medical doctor when attending to your patients. There’s no room for error. I know doctors are humans, which makes them prone to mistakes. But it is expected that surgical operations or treatments by a doctor should always be error-free. Otherwise, one could lose his or her license to practice medicine.

The thing is doctors add value to life. Life is a precious and valuable gift. Thus, since their responsibility is to protect lives, doctors need to be taken seriously.

I could make references to one or two professions that are paying well. Professionals in such fields even earn higher salaries than most doctors do. Examples include data scientists, petroleum engineers, or even air traffic controllers.

Becoming A Medical Doctor: Steps One Needs To Take

Before we dive further into the hefty pay doctors receive, let’s look at how strenuous and demanding the journey to becoming a doctor is. It’s the same everywhere. What I meant is wannabe doctors in other countries go through the same heat or face a more arduous journey than medical students in the United States do.

A look at the various steps will tell you how time-consuming, energy-sapping, and financially draining the journey to becoming a medical doctor is.

Let’s start with the first step. To become a medical doctor, most schools require interested students to have completed a bachelor’s degree. However, one can choose from a wide variety of majors for the undergraduate program. Nevertheless, it is best to ensure that the course load consists of a sizeable amount of science subjects. This section takes four years to complete.

The next step is to sit for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). It is a compulsory test for all students interested in gaining admission to medical school. The aim of the trial, which is a multiple-choice examination, is to enable the admission committee to figure out if an applicant will be able to succeed in medical school.

After passing your MCAT, next would be to apply to medical school. At this stage, students have the liberty to pick their school of choice. Medical school takes four years to complete. Here, students are rotated between the classroom and clinic, where they get to learn both theoretical and practical aspects of the field to gain on-the-job skills.

However, students don’t graduate from medical school just like that. One has to sit for numerous examinations considered dreadful. In the United States, the examination is called the USLME. The full meaning is; United States Medical License Examination. This examination is also in three parts. The first two parts are written while one is still in medical school.

Another step is for a medical student to progress from medical school to residency program. Based on one’s course of study, the residency program could take between 3 – 8 years. And upon completion of the program, a student needs to sit for the third (final part) of the USLME (United States Medical License Examination).

It’s not easy to pass the USLME. What makes it worse is that most states have a limit a student can attempt to pass this exam. Once you pass this examination, then you can obtain a license to practice as a medical doctor.

So, you can see the rigorous training doctors go through. It takes sacrifices, finances, and focus on becoming a doctor. It would appear as a surprise to you that not everyone that started the journey in medical school finishes.

How Long It Would Take For An Individual To Become A Medical Doctor

Becoming a medical doctor takes quite a long time. It’s one of the few professions whose training takes much time. After completing a bachelor’s degree for four years, one needs to attend medical school for another four years.

After completing the medical school, next is residency, which could take between 3 – 8 years. You could even find most students staying longer because they couldn’t pass their USMLE at once. Most states allow medical students to sit for this professional examination for countless times. But in some states, there’s a limit to the number of times students can retake this professional examination.

How Much Are Medical Doctors Paid?

Now let’s talk figures. We have been discussing the workload and stress the journey to becoming a medical doctor, and working as one, entails.

According to the highly respected Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical doctors are among the highest paying profession in the country. The profession accounts for at least 45 percent of the 20 top paying professions in the United States of America.

Also, know that most physicians and surgeons earn huge salaries. The majority of them earn over $400,000. Nevertheless, several factors help to determine the earning potentials of medical doctors. These include the education the individual has, location, and specialization.


If you are one of those asking, “Why are doctors paid so much,” you need to understand that being a medical doctor is no joke. Imagine spending 15-20 years of your life training for a career, and after obtaining your certificate and securing a job, you are being paid peanuts as salaries. Then there’s the pressure that comes with being a medical doctor. You will even find some putting in extra hours of work most of the time. So, the high pay that doctors receive is justifiable. I think that they should even be earning more money.

You May Like These Articles As Well:

Why Are Psychiatrists Called Shrinks?

What Is A Key Law For Regulating The Healthcare Industry?

Nursing Interventions For Shortage Of Breath: Things You Must Know