Friday, October 30, 2009

Low Wages For All

This article was brought to my attention by Lawyers Against the Law School Scam -

Such uplifting news. Of course, the news media is always slow to react to such things. This has been the case for years. The Democrats and Republicans (really two prongs of a corporate machine) have sold the average working person down the river for the last 30-40 years. I know quite a few people with Master's degrees and law degrees who are unemployed. I was at my friend's house on Wednesday night, and the guy is pretty much done with medical school; he is now doing his rotations and then he will go back in May for graduation. He will start making about $49,000 a year as a podiatrist. This friend EXCELLED in med school - from the moment he started. As a result, he had his choice of rotations and residencies. Look where that got him!

I know, being a foot doctor is probably not the best decision in the world. But the malpractice insurance is relatively low, you can work in an office and have a regular schedule, you are not on call, and there are only about 300 slots a year in the U.S. In sum, this allows a doctor to have a normal family and personal life. Few med schools offer the program, and they do what they can to ensure that they do not collectively produce more podiatrists than there are available positions. If you go to med school to be one, you will ALMOST CERTAINLY have a paying job as a podiatrist. (This is not the same as law school, because the schools see it as their main priority to keep the cash cow going; this is why they produce 45,000 law grads every year when there are already too many JDs floating around.) This friend has over $220,000 in student debt, BTW.

We are in the early stages of a third world country - declining pay, longer hours, less career opportunities for the most educated part of the populace, less chances for advancement, no secure jobs, etc. I keep telling people who are interested in law school (or even MBA or a Master's of engineering): "Go on the cheap; know exactly what you want from the program/degree; realistically look at the job market for those in your field; and realize that you may earn the degree (and spend the time, money and energy on this pursuit) and end up EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE NOW!!"

For instance, I work with a policy analyst (from another firm) who is dead set on going to law school for a J.D. and Master of Public Policy. The schools she is looking at are not cheap, and she does not want to go to the state school. She is 36 years old, and she is pretty bright. I have told her that she needs to go cheap, and preferably get a full-tuition scholarship. When I told her that she might get the J.D./M.P.P. and end up as a policy analyst working for the same industry making the same amount she is now, she got upset. She has her heart set on this endeavor. I also have a friend who is currently teaching English in Korea. He wants to go to law school in New York City. I have referred him to my blog list and provided other helpful info.

In the final analysis, we simply cannot compete with countries/corporations that pay their employees a crap wage, have deplorable working conditions, and have little to no environmental or human rights provisions/schemes to comply with. "Education is the key" has been our national mantra for the last few decades or so. But the reality is that higher education is simply a business. The professors and university administrators are there to keep up the faith of their customers/students.


  1. Yes, yes, yes....Nando!

    But why do they keep accrediting new law schools? Is it purely because they are such "cash cows?" If so, isn't this scam, like Roe vs. Wade, "on a collision course with itself?"

    How can lawyers in good conscience, who know or have reason to know most of their graduates will NOT find jobs, continue to lure people into law school? Or do the schools really think there are "lots of good lawyer jobs out there if you just try hard enough. Think positive! Be a winner and make it happen!!!"

    I mean the idea of LAYWERS cheating and scamming and misleading people....oh wait, heheh.... :-(

  2. very true....thanks for the post

  3. Podiatrists don't go to medical school. They are not physicians. If you graduate medical school, you will do so with an MD or DO. $50,000 is exceedingly low for starting most people at the medical school I was accepted to will be starting post residency at six figures. Even in academia 50K starting is unheard of.

  4. Actually, Des Moines University offers D.O., D.P.M., and D.P.T. degrees. DPM = Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. It is an osteopathic medical school. A lot of medical schools don't offer this program. Maybe you should tell my friend that podiatrists don't go to medical school.

    Also, my friend just completed his rotation in Salt Lake. He will actually earn $42K per annum for the next three years, while he is in his residency.

    What a great investment, huh? $omehow, this was probably not mentioned in the school's marketing materials.

  5. Um Nando, you are wrong. I will tell you friend that he didn't go to medical school if I have to. He went to podiatry school and is a doctor of podiatry not a doctor of medicine. That's like a dentist insisting they went to medical school when in fact they went to dental school.

    When your friend did his/her rotations, did that include Ob/gyn, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry? If yes, then apologies, but I highly doubt it. At most, your friend did 1st & 2nd year (non-clinical) with the osteopathic medical students (DOs).

    And I'm not sure whether you are aware or not, but any person doing a residency (DO, MD, Harvard med MD grad or Des Moines med DO grad) is going to be making about $40K - 60K during that time.

    It's after you are done with residency that you start to see returns on your investment, podiatrists included.

    That's the difference between law & medicine. Nobody in residency is pulling 6 figures so no medical school is going to pretend like that's a possibility.

  6. To the dense one at 8:30,

    If you want to bang your head against the wall, arguing semantics - go ahead. But you may also want to edit the following Wikipedia page:

    "Des Moines University is a pioneer United States' osteopathic medical college and is located in Des Moines, Iowa."

    Do you see in the text of the article where the school is referred to as an osteopathic medical college and medical school several times? Those applying to these osteopathic schools must take the MCAT, correct? Also, graduates are called doctors, are they not?

    This school specifically requires applicants to submit a valid MCAT score:

    And lastly, what dentist ever claims "I went to medical school"? Again, have fun disputing that this is a medical school.

  7. However, your friend goes to the podiatric medical school not the osteopathic medical school. DPM, we joke at my med school stands for "Didn't Pass MCAT". DPMs couldn't have gotten in to any US medical school and probably wouldn't get into a "Big 4" Caribbean medical schools. They are truly the jokes of the medical world. The fact that you have to "submit a valid MCAT" means nothing. It's an admissions test. If your local CC needed an SAT does that make any better? These people may be called "Doctors", however they certainly never will be considered colleagues or equals. The word "Doctor" also applies to chiropractors and naturopaths. Also you fail to differentiate between the DO and the DPM. DOs are equivalent to MDs and practice in every specialty from family practice to neurosurgery. DPMs do not have the ability in most states to treat above the knee. Also if it were a medical school it would be COCA or LCME accredited the DMU College of Osteopathic medicine is COCA accredited, the College of Podiatric medicine is not. If you don't understand the difference between a DPM and a DO, that's embarassing. Also all of your links are to the medical school. They have an average of a 3.35 overall and 3.24 science gpa and a 23 MCAT for the podiatry school. The osteopathic medicine program has an average of 3.70 overall and 3.66 science gpa with an average 27 MCAT.

  8. Also Nando everyone does a residency, it has had poor pay since the dawn of time. We make our actual money when in practice.

  9. I love when MDs have this moments of clarity (within themselves) that they were put on this earth to be the best and brightest and everyone else in the medical field is below them. Soon they go through rigorous training, which is almost identical to DO, DPM curriculum and then residency. Still feeling mighty and high they go out and get a real job. Mind you Proud MD sir, you will most likely end up in an office waiting for a flu season.
    I've known Neurosurgeons, cardio, anesthesiologist so called high paying specialists had respects for other professions in medical field.
    And you might actually be bright enough to be one of the specialist but with that closet case self entitlement, how far do you think you will go as a MD before you realize that you are just one of many many doctors competing for the same patient pool? In the end of the day you are just like rest of the world. If you even bother to look at trends in medical field, it changes all the time. Dentist used to be a profession some doctors looked down upon. Now? the competition to get in to dental schools US and abroad alike is through the roof.
    I find it immensely enjoyable that you had to chime on the "difference" between DPM and the "real" doctors. Congratulations on your acceptance to a "real" medical school. I am sure you worked very hard to get there unlike everyone else who were dying to get into MD school but couldn't because it is the one and only "real" doctor in medical field.
    I am guessing the nursing staff will just absolutely adore you.

  10. How's your first year in medical school treating you, boy?

  11. First off I don't have a problem with DOs, they're real physicians too. DPMs aren't.

  12. I knew you would come back. :) Look up DO, go ahead and google it. Read how it started. And now google DPM and see how it started. Now think. As you are MD, or you say you are, you should be able to draw a conclusion on your own. So DO wildly deviated from how they started and along the way they were accepted as physicians even though outside of US, the license is useless, you automatically accept them. As you know, the term physician is a mere political term set by politicians and the lobbying groups. DPMs didn't have much political representation as recently. So in the near future, congress announces DPM as a member of "Physicians" and changes insurance payout structure, medicaid, medicare etc, then what? You are gonna leave the country? To the land of real doctors?
    Also instead of bathing yourself with self pride of the chosen individual to be a "real physician", look up what DPMs do after that the MED school that you look down upon. Well well well...what do you know? 3 years of MANDATORY surgical residency in "real" hospitals with guess what? "real physicians" oh no...AND it gets worse, DPMs get paid the SAME just like "real physicians" while in residency. Oh did I mention surgeries? you MDs worship surgeons....Limb salvage, reconstruction, amputation, trauma surgery...oh my. But you? MD or DO? to be in a surgery? ha...good luck. And the worst of all is in your career when you are fully grown up to be a physician you will have to refer your patients to a mere podiatrist who will perform surgery. Why? because you can't. you don't have the surgical expertise to even touch an instrument. You can't just pick up an instrument and start surgery, the hospitals or wherever you want to perform surgery won't let you. By then most podiatrist would have logged countless hours in surgery room. And you know some states in US let podiatrists perform hand surgeries!!! WHAT IN THE WORLD??!! So...hmmm...let's recap. oh you know what? you are smart enough to be a "real physician" so i sincerely hope you get my point. The last parting gift for you. When you become PCP, internist, whatever the POLITICALLY correct term might be, the starting salary is lower than podiatrist!!! OH.MY.GOD!!!!!
    Please do come back if you want to get spanked some more like your mama should have.

  13. @ 6:11,

    That was a thorough spanking! He needed it, too - as an arrogant blowhard. (I do not have the patience to feed him his bottle and rock him to sleep, if the troll returns.) I wonder if he even understands that many U.S. states now permit DPMs to perform surgeries up to the knee. I hope he enjoys scribbling patient notes and referring patients to the supposed "jokes of the medical world."

    Surely, he is aware of the state of the medical industry, and resents the fact that those "beneath" him are performing surgeries and making a better salary than he will. My medical school friends - those in the podiatry program - told me several times that their DO classmates would denigrate them for not being "real doctors." This simply shows that arrogance, "elitism" and pettiness are not confined to law school cretins.

    It is beyond sad that so many base their ENTIRE self-worth on the "prestige" of their position. In the end, they are mere pawns in the grand scheme of things. Thank you for your input on this entry, and for putting this prestige whore in his place.

  14. It kills me to think DO students even have guts to laugh at anyone. At least dentists and podiatrists have niche in medical field. Your friends at podiatry school should ask their DO classmates this question; why did they want to become DO? Why not MD? Oh boy. Let me pull up a chair and enjoy them feeding me standarized answers with confused look on their faces.

  15. Sorry, one more thing. Look at how dentistry started and how it is now. Also plastic surgery in its infancy to what it is now...see a pattern? It doesn't matter what your title is, as long as you excel at what you do. You title will get you only so far.

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  17. Great explanation, thanks for the posting!
    Podiatrist Melbourne

  18. The podiatric "schools" accept nearly everyone b/c they have to stay afloat. remember a little back there were 400 applicants for the 8 schools. yes, 400 apps for 8 schools. they accept practically anyone and accept GRE and DATs scores---business school and dent school rejects. sad. Now they are estatic b/c 900 people (naive/brain washed) are applying to pod school still NOT competitve. who are they NOT accepting??

    ankle and foot medicine is interesting leave it to the MDs/DOs, pods can clip and sell plastic placebo orthotic nonsense to the sheeple

  19. oh...because it's not the training that makes a great doctor but it is the MCAT score that makes a good doctor. Not residency, fellowship, etc. Interesting logic there, kiddo.

  20. Podiatry resident @ SMU here. I would not recommend this field to anyone. Podiatrist posses a very limited license. In practice, this means that podiatry does not offer a good return on investment. Fours years of podiatry school and 3 years of residency and we are lower on the totem pole than PA's and nurse practitioners. No respect. Pay is decreasing every year. That 50k number OP has stated is totally accurate. What he doesnt know is that 50k is what many podiatrist make after residency if they are lucky enough to have a job. Medicare has already kicked us out of Arizona and Nevada which means no pay either. Medicare figures why pay a podiatrist for something a PA or nurse can do cheaper? If you are serious about being a part of the healthcare world, go to medschool, MD or DO IT doesn't matter. Be a PA or nurse, but DO NOT SHORTCHANGE YOURSELF go into podiatry. If one person out there reading this is deterred from podiatry by this message, I consider it a success. I have nothing to gain otherwise and I dont care what the pro podiatry crowd says. I have seen the truth. Good information is hard to come by. Dont take my word for it, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and find out for yourself. God bless.

  21. Podiatry school isn't medical school (though there is nothing wrong with podiatry). Just because a course is attached to a medical school that doesn't mean it is medical school. Harvard has a medical school but that doesn't mean that everyone that has ever been to Harvard has gone to medical school.


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