Pediatricians seem to be hurting, at least economically.

It has been widely reported that the average pediatrician can expect to earn about $130,000 annually. Many would say this could hardly be defined as“hurting,” since it is vastly more than the average American can expect to earn. However, many factors cause pediatricians to feel financially stressed.

First, there is the loss of potential wages while pursuing education. While most Americans have been working for five to 10 years, pediatricians have been in training. We do not begin to earn until we come out of residency/fellowship at the age of 29-30. Then there is the cost of education. Many pediatricians finish their training carrying debt loads of several hundred thousand dollars or more. Additionally, pediatricians, particularly those in small private practices, have far less opportunity to save in pension plans than many other workers.

A recent report showed that 30% of the...

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