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Is medical education and medical training for US doctors too long? Show more Show less
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Medical professions are typically regarded with great awe and fascination. In most countries, becoming a doctor is the highest form of academic achievement and it is a source of great pride for individuals and their families. In America, it takes anywhere from 11-16 years to become a doctor. Some would argue that such a level of training and education is necessary. They are also fairly compensated for their efforts. Others would disagree by showing how places like India and Europe have significantly fewer training requirements but still produce capable and adept doctors. Why do people have such contrasting views on the topic and why is doctorhood in America so fiercely debated?

No, such a high level of education and training is necessary for top-notch healthcare services. Show more Show less

Doctors have to make decisions every day regarding people's lives. Every surgeon, specialist and primary care doctor needs to have enough training and education to take on this responsibility. This process should not be rushed.
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Doctors are handsomely compensated for their long training and excellent services

Doctors receive some of the highest salaries in America. Some doctors' yearly salaries are higher than people's entire life savings. This money is hard-earned and doctors deserve it for the tremendous sacrifices they make. Their training and education justify the amount of money doctors earn and this process should not be shortened.

The Argument

The average salary for a doctor in the United States is $313,000 per year.[1] This is a 4.6% increase from 2018 and it is projected to increase in the near future. To put this amount in perspective, the average US office worker only makes $31,099. Although it is true that American doctors spend anywhere from 11-16 years on their education and training, they are handsomely paid for their efforts. Doctorhood is one of the most notable and noble professions. This has become quite evident, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Society acknowledges the tremendous personal sacrifices that doctors make in their 20s, the dedication they have towards their profession, and their strength in times of crisis. As a gesture of appreciation, hospitals, taxpayers, and the broader society ensure that doctors are well paid. Their years of training and education are very well rewarded in the long run. There is a general sense of fairness in the process. Society and individuals truly appreciate their efforts and their salary is just a small indication of that. But in order to earn this, doctors must provide high-quality health services which are made possible by their training and education period.

Counter arguments

Doctors receive higher wages than the rest of the country but their financial situations might still be dire. The average amount of debt for a medical student is $201,490.[2] It can take upwards of 10 years for doctors to simply pay off their loans. In addition, most people are in their early or mid-30s when they finally become doctors. Adding family expenses, living costs, student debt, and other costly bills, it becomes evident that doctors are in a state of financial stress. Their large income definitely helps the situation and, over time, doctors are able to live very comfortable lives. But it takes some time to find a steady financial footing. The long years of training with little financial compensation in the meantime doesn't help. To cut down on student debt, the number of years spent in training should be reduced to only what is absolutely necessary in learning to become a doctor. This means most undergrad courses.

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Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://blog.nomadhealth.com/complete-list-of-average-doctor-salaries-by-specialty-locum-tenens/#:~:text=The%20mean%20salary%20of%20a,based%20on%20location%20and%20specialty./source.html
  2. https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/loans/student-loans/average-medical-school-debt#:~:text=The%20average%20medical%20school%20debt%20for%20the%20class%20of%202019,studies%20and%20other%20higher%20education./source.html
This page was last edited on Saturday, 29 Aug 2020 at 03:23 UTC

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