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Salary

You get thiiiiiiiis much. (You can’t see, but our hands are really far apart.)

It’s good money but you have to remember that you won’t be doing this for pay until you are in your early 30s, at which point you’ll have a ton of med school debt to pay off before you waste – er um – spend money on a Porsche. You are usually more or less an independent contractor, which means that if you get hurt, you’re done. Think: NFL linebacker broken leg done. So you have to save your acorns and can’t really live much of a flashy life until you’ve saved a truly large nut… enough to retire on.

If it was just the money you were after, a job on Wall Street would pay many times more than this one. Top surgeons make over a million bucks a year – which sounds great – except when compared to top Wall Street people or company founders or big company CEOs who make 10 to 100 times as much and don’t have all the gloopy stuff to deal with.

If you remove this from a patient, you may want to call the Ghostbusters.

Also, lest you forget, the Wall Street guys can work productively well into their 70s. But a surgeon? Toast by 60 at the latest. So it is a short brilliant career you seek, one that’s nicely respected living and the million bucks can buy you a whole lot of scalpels.

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