"Are you going to become a doctor to earn money? If you do, then it is the right time to quit now"
That was what my lecturer in Medical school always said to us. We are not getting into this job for good money. We want to serve the community, to help the ill, to make world a better place.
We were trained to have this kind of mentality. Until we grew up and become a doctor ourselves to realise that the bitterness of that statement is really hurtful to ourselves, our family and perhaps our future.
Is it true that this career is not a money making career? Partly true. A resident doctor in US would earn USD 50000 to USD 60000 a year. That's equivalent to RM177280 - RM212736 in Malaysian currency. However in Malaysia, a medical officer will only be paid RM40000-RM50000 a year. The discrepancy is so larger. We can't compare with them, they said. Our country is in a big money problem today.
Being a doctor in Malaysia will get you a decent RM5K clean income every month. Sounds great but to pay for house, tax, car, and that debt you owe when you try to get married or something, bills, student loan, that would deduct your monthly income to a total clean of rm1000- RM1500 per month.
You will survive. You won't starve to death on the street. You will eventually get over it for a month. You will however live a simple life. Stay in a small apartment that you need to pay for 40 years, drive a humble Proton car to work, able to buy lunch in Hospital canteen, once a month eat an fancy dinner with your family then complain on how expensive the food were, buy petrol to bring your daughter to a park on weekend, and once a year buy a ticket to go 'balik kampung' for Hari Raya.
Life would be simple and not as fancy as you thought. When you saw a doctor, you would think, this guy is rich, he is a doctor after all. No.
If a doctor have a big bungalow house or live in condominium, drive sport car or ferrari, wears thousand ringgit watch, and thousand ringgit shoes, that doctor's parent must be rich. Because that's the only way for me to explain on how they get all the money from.
Me and my wife are both medical officer, and we start from scratch. Both of our family was a low income family. When we become doctor, we struggle hard to prove to them that we were earning good. And after a while, we both just exhausted in proving it. We retreat and live a simple life now. Like what I mention above.
Doctor is not a money making career. You work more than 36 hours, yet you still feel suffocated to fulfil your family needs every month. My lecturer told us the right thing. If you want to earn money, don't be a doctor. Be something else. If you have a degree, you will somehow get a respectable income by working less that a doctor in other field.
If you want to serve and to help people, you can be a doctor but expect no gratitude from people. They won't praise you no matter how much you do. They complain most of the time.
And if you want to make a better world, you just can't. No matter who you become, this world will always degrade now matter how (physically right).