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Do most people who study to become doctors or lawyers do it for the money ?

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  • Sep 10th, 2012 7:33 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 25, 2010
987 posts
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Kanada

Do most people who study to become doctors or lawyers do it for the money ?

Do most people who study to become doctors or lawyers do it for the money ?

Is it ok to go back to school for a bachelor in a different field because you feel you're unlikely to reach the 6 figure mark with your current career path ( in IT) ?
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Jun 1, 2012
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Unless one graduates from an ivy league university or any other well respected college, it is unrealistic to expect a six figure salary. Especially in this economy.

Even so, I read many RFD'rs supposedly graduating from top schools, with top grades and making less than 30,000. Some cant even find a job to save their lives.

I certainly never took law to make a six figure salary. I would be content just having a stable job. But thats just me.
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Mar 16, 2004
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SnoopDop wrote:
Sep 4th, 2012 12:06 am
Do most people who study to become doctors or lawyers do it for the money ?

Is it ok to go back to school for a bachelor in a different field because you feel you unlikely to reach the 6 figure mark with your current career path (IT) ?
Why not? I know people that did went back to do a different Bachelor's degree because he wasn't happy with the biomedical field.

For those that become doctors/lawyers for the money, they're doing it for the wrong reasons and also there are many other ways to earn 6 figures.
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Mar 23, 2011
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Doctors maybe not as much, lawyers I can see definately.
Alex
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Nov 22, 2008
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Without passion for the work you do, how long can you last?

I went to a dermatologist who was just so miserable and was such an ***** of a doctor that I never went back.
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Dec 31, 2005
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There definitely are some...

My wife is constantly dealing with kids that are being pushed to Doctor and Lawyer...even if they excel in other field. For the parents it is a combination of prestige and money (the two are often linked).

I do think the OP is making a major error that many make: career based on money: creating the goal based on money.
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Dec 7, 2009
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sherman51 wrote:
Sep 4th, 2012 6:50 am
Doctors maybe not as much, lawyers I can see definately.
I agree, it's strange to lump these two professions together.

While lawyers can be altruistic and fight the good fight, there are many times when lawyers are simply navigating through the legal process for money. Going to trial is a very small portion of what a lawyer does, and some may never step foot in one. Medical doctors, on the other hand, are expected to have empathy and put the care of the patient before the paycheck. Not only does their Hippocratic oath, to which they are bound, stipulate this, but med. board review panels screen candidates who fail to meet the personality requirements for a degree in medicine.
Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.
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Nov 15, 2008
794 posts
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I think anyone who has dollar signs in their eyes better choose something else.

Doctors can make a very good, above average income. Of course, when you factor in all the schooling, residency, long hours (especially during those early years of practice) and crippling debt you will incur to finance all of it (if you are not from a rich family), one wonders if it is really worth it. Plus you have to memorize the phone book and look into orifices.

as for lawyers - average salaries are modest.
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Aug 22, 2009
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blackestnight wrote:
Sep 4th, 2012 2:34 am
Unless one graduates from an ivy league university or any other well respected college, it is unrealistic to expect a six figure salary. Especially in this economy.

Even so, I read many RFD'rs supposedly graduating from top schools, with top grades and making less than 30,000. Some cant even find a job to save their lives.

I certainly never took law to make a six figure salary. I would be content just having a stable job. But thats just me.
You don't have to graduate from an ivy league university to achieve a six-figure salary within 5-10 years of graduating if you're talented and driven. Considering inflation, a six-figure salary really isn't as high as it used to be. Even an OPP officer can make six figures -- after three years on the job, they're already making $83500.

http://www.opp.ca/ecms/index.php?id=98
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Sep 14, 2008
693 posts
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Vancouver
From what I hear from current med school students, a large majority of the people that want to go into med have good intentions and care for people but at some point (either through their schooling or stress at work), the money becomes the thing that motivates them to keep going. But they still seem to be fairly empathetic overall. Of course this doesn't mean pressure from parents to go into the field because of the money wasn't a big factor from the beginning.

Whereas, I've yet to meet one lawyer that had a "good for humankind" view. Similar to accountants, you don't really find lawyers that did it because they felt like they had to give back to the world somehow.
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Aug 22, 2009
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Syne wrote:
Sep 4th, 2012 10:08 am
I agree, it's strange to lump these two professions together.
Yes, it's strange, but for whatever reason these are the two professions that people tend to respect the most (probably because these are the two professions that everyone can relate to). I don't think that doctors and lawyers make as much money as people think they do. According to these numbers from 2005, after paying for overhead, a General Practitioner makes about $155K. While that is no small number, it isn't really all that high relative to the effort and schooling required to get there.
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Jul 8, 2009
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^Yeah I agree with syne, its tough to lump them together because the Med schools and med boards tries to screen out scummy people to an extent, whereas recent developments about allowing students with known past in cheating on test and criminal activity like plagirizing (and its a pattern not a single occurence) to become lawyers
http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/4236/l ... hance.html

You want to know how great lawyers are, go to the law society website and see all the lawyers who are disbarred for stealing clients money. O and even if they get caught and disbarred they can reapply and usually are eventually re-instated.

I don't want to write a lawyers are scum rant. But the med-school has way higher screeners. For one you have to be smart enough to do well in numerous hard courses in science. I can only think of 1 guy from my high school who became a doctor, and he was basically the smartest kid in the school. Lawyers were basically the kids who were not good in neither science nor math but could still pull A's in subjects like social sciences. The bar to get into law school is low, no entrance interview to see if you are just doing it for the money, since it is taken as a given that you are. If you apply to med school at some point you will be asked why you want to be a doctor, and your will get rejected if you don't have a good reason.

I don't think anyone would become a lawyer were it not for the money. If the top 10% of lawyers earned say 60k, I bet law school enrollments would decline by alot. And that is what you see in the US where an excess of lawyers has led to a situattion of falling salaries and declining enrollments at the top end (they know top students have stopped applying because the lsat scores at the top have fallen year over year and the test is adjusted for difficulty). Even in Ontario, the articling crisis with rising tuitions has law students kicking themselves in the head.
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VifferFun wrote:
Sep 4th, 2012 10:43 am
Yes, it's strange, but for whatever reason these are the two professions that people tend to respect the most (probably because these are the two professions that everyone can relate to). I don't think that doctors and lawyers make as much money as people think they do. According to these numbers from 2005, after paying for overhead, a General Practitioner makes about $155K. While that is no small number, it isn't really all that high relative to the effort and schooling required to get there.
People respect lawyers? I thought it ranked down their with criminal, politican (most are lawyers anyways), and used cars salesman.
I agree doctors aren't rolling in dough if they are gp, for some time.
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Nucks wrote:
Sep 4th, 2012 10:42 am
From what I hear from current med school students, a large majority of the people that want to go into med have good intentions and care for people but at some point (either through their schooling or stress at work), the money becomes the thing that motivates them to keep going. But they still seem to be fairly empathetic overall. Of course this doesn't mean pressure from parents to go into the field because of the money wasn't a big factor from the beginning.

Whereas, I've yet to meet one lawyer that had a "good for humankind" view. Similar to accountants, you don't really find lawyers that did it because they felt like they had to give back to the world somehow.
There are a few Lawyers like that in America who have come from hard lives and gone to the toilet tier school. Lawyers who come to mind are the likes of Jose Biaz, who was not exactly rolling in dough, as Casey Anthony had no money. But in Canada, those kinds of lawyers don't exist.
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Jul 11, 2010
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There are so many roads / gauntlets towards becoming a doctor, it's mainly for the prestige/accomplishment/aptitude in science/math. I think the $ is an afterthought.

Lawyer is totally for the $ though.
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