Rin's comments

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  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 19, 12:48pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Folks, in many east Asian nations, people do eat dog. And no, it's not their own dog.


And the Romney dog story has been around for a while.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 20, 4:20am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The only true purpose of a college degree is to fulfill the HR (human resources) barrier of entry, into the white collar world.

Only a dozen years ago, a person with an associates degree could work as a paralegal. Today, that person would need to have a bachelors degree, even if it's in modern basket-weaving or ancient Etruscan bong making.

So what's changed, in the world of clerical work, where the undergraduate degree is the key to getting in the door? Pretty much nothing. It just creates an artificial barrier to justify the existence of personnel depts or the notion that white collar work is socioeconomic class-oriented.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 20, 5:24am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

I think you've pretty much nailed it. A lot of it is a racket of artificial barriers to entry.

Yep, and thus, Thiel's argument is a bit off the mark.

There are only so many Michael Dells or Steve Jobs in the world. For the most part, anyone who isn't a part of a starting circle of biz executives, needs at least one qualification to be 'seen' in an office. If Mark Zuckerberg were to mysteriously have his FB equity be stolen, he wouldn't even be qualified to apply for a job at his former company.

What Thiel should argue for instead, is the elimination of HR depts, nationwide, and have people submit national exam scores, like a combination of SAT IIs/GRE subject tests, in lieu of a college degree, to prove that they're academically qualified to be shuffling paper in an office. People can study on their own, take exams, and submit exam scores for entry level jobs. After a generation, the college degree will in effect, become obsolete for a majority of office workers.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 20, 8:12am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bmwman91 says

Standardized testing is a good idea in principle, but it is so wide open for being gamed that it inevitably becomes sort of worthless.

But isn't the 'Game' ... the whole point?

At this moment, there are certification tests for Oracle D.B.A., Cisco Network Engineer, etc. All folks, in the aforementioned areas, are gaming for those exams. And then, the same goes for the Patent Agent or the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exams.

The issue here is that the majority of the information, needed to score decent on exams, like the SAT2s or the GRE subject tests, are either on the Net (http://academicearth.org, http://ocw.mit.edu, etc) or the public library. Thus, the bubble of paying $80K to $200K for a BA is out the door, in place of something else, which can be done on the cheap.

And so while some "ASS scorers" may overachieve with 666+ with a lot of private tutors but in reality, I don't see that as any different than those, who'd spend 2-4 years prepping for the medical college admissions test (MCAT), which clearly comprises at least ~40% of one's admissions chances to a medical school. The end result is that in place of spending a fortune on college, you can submit a high "ASS", gain an internship, and if you do well at the job, you may even get an offer. And plus, at some point, let's say that "ASS" level is 550+, the higher the number has less predictive ability on how well a person may perform at a job. So all and all, it'll be more like this ... what's your internship record (i.e. research analyst for Motorola, 6 mos) and then, what's you "ASS" average? And that'll be enough of an assessment for a new worker bee.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 20, 8:36am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Vicente says

People want to know you have EXPERIENCE in an area. They have plenty to pick from and don't need your freshly-printed CCNA paper.

Actually ... as time goes by, HR depts want to see a Cert exams, unless the college/grad degree is specifically Computer Science or Electrical Engineering, prior to assessing the experience base.

So it's kinda the same thing

Here's a sample resume ...


5 years as Oracle DBA at Wyeth Pharmaceutical. Managed large schemas, migrated clinical data, integrated clinical and pre-clinical systems.


Certified Oracle DBA (Larry Ellison approved)
BA in Basket-weaving w/ Math & Economics minor

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 20, 8:38am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Rin says

Here's a sample resume ...


5 years as Oracle DBA at Wyeth Pharmaceutical. Managed large schemas, migrated clinical data, integrated clinical and pre-clinical systems.


Certified Oracle DBA (Larry Ellison approved)
BA in Basket-weaving w/ Math & Economics minor

Thus, if the degree is Computer Science, the resume can simply be ...


5 years as Oracle DBA at Wyeth Pharmaceutical. Managed large schemas, migrated clinical data, integrated clinical and pre-clinical systems.


BS Computer Science

Then, the cert matters less

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 23, 7:12am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yes, in summing up the various posts above ... the college degree, BA in { X, Y, Z }, is really for the human resources dept.

In reality, many high schoolers, with a modicum of intelligence, can do at least half the white collar jobs out there. This is possibly one of the greatest *open secrets* out there, which no one wants to acknowledge formerly.

Thus, it's not so much a college bubble but it's more that the majority can't accept that college is worthless, for a vast pool of the educated population. If a person simply wants to attend college, to be 'seen' as being smart, well, that's one thing but to have a college degree, simply because it satisfies an artificial checklist of sorts, is another.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 23, 2:26pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Right now, there's no shortage of applicants to US medical schools. Yes, it's a graduate program in the biosciences but has a protected pipeline to a niche job market, which has both high pay and job security.

Thus, instead of generating science and engineering postdocs, with limited opportunities for working outside the academy as a temp, let's actually revive the real job market for science and engineering graduates, across the board.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 8, 2:53am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

People, here's a little 'open' secret ... medical school, M.D. program, is a graduate school for the biosciences. Yes, the first two years of every M.D. class comprise of masters' level courses for advanced degrees in physiology, biochemistry, etc. That's why the MD-PhD is a condensed joint program because the PhD part is mostly pure research than coursework.

Now, if women were not studying ... ahem ... science, then why are more than 50% of medical school classes comprised of women?

Here's my answer ... doctors earn six figure salaries and more importantly, have near lifetime job security. STEM jobs have low-to-ordinary pay, minimal job security, expected unpaid overtime, & constant threat of offshoring. Instead, I would imagine more practical young women, opting for finance/accounting BS programs and then, an MBA, over any science or engineering program, simply because in terms of salaries and job security, STEM work can't compete.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 8, 3:23am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

thunderlips11 says

A Doctor is a Helping, Social profession that has many aspects that we would consider to be in an archetypical Female wheelhouse.

One interesting question: What is the ratio of female research doctors to practicing doctors?

This is true but consider this ... if the average internal medicine salary dropped from $200K+ to $75K, the chances are that it would be a male dominated field like chemical engineering, tough coursework but with ordinary payoff. Thus, my suspicion is that as opportunities for women grew in the 60s, medical school classes, within a generation, equilibrated to 50/50 Male/Female ratio due to the economic prowess of the profession.

As for research MDs, from my three stints at medical centers, I'd seen less than 15% female MD researchers. And from my personal experiences, every female MD-PhD (top grades/top MCATs/top research pubs) did it to get a free MD, paid for via the fellowship.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 8, 4:21am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Danaseb says

Unless you grow up female you do not know what societies pressures are upon women. Some women rise above it, but regardless of gender four out of five people do not rise above what their upbringing groomed them to be.

I'm going to make one gender bias observation and that's that women understand the nature of power and in modern times, it's about the amount of time studying vis-a-vis economic compensation. In other words, if it isn't an authentic money generator ... don't bother studying it. And here's a great indicator of this phenomena, in Japan, where women are not encouraged to be stock traders, cadre of housewives have become self-made currency experts, some earning 7-8 figures, trading (or advising) from home.

Thus, the archetypical male STEM (non-MBA track) person is more a hobbyist type than one who's geared towards the acquisition of power and wealth. Possibly, the alpha males in this arena have already hit the hedge funds and had left STEM work for good. Others, more risk averse, probably opt for an MBA to stay marketable as a team lead/project manager.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 8, 5:00am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Danaseb says

so even if that was the case it would not remotely justify the lack of women in the sciences

I'd done my undergrad degree in Applied Chemistry & Chemical Engineering. My concentration was more on the chemistry side than process engineering.

In my graduating major of 35, there were 10 women. Of all the women, one went for a PhD at MIT. This person was offered fellowship money from every program she'd applied for including Northwestern, Univ of Illinois, MIT, etc. Thus, it was paid for PhD at America's top school.

The others, I knew 6 of them personally, went to work for a few years and then, went back to school for an MBA. But upon returning to work, they went into sales and marketing, for either the cosmetics or chemical sectors. Not a single women stayed in STEM work.

Thus, I don't buy into any theory that women don't have access to STEM career opportunities like men. They do but decide not to pursue them as a career, for the long term.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 8, 5:21am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

men still go into a profession that is socially stigmatized. Women don't.

Doctors are highly respected. Engineers are not. And it's really sad because being an engineer is as difficult and as useful to society as doctors are.

Women, meaning the ones who are into academic work, see engineering as *the best door* into a business profession. For example, it's easier to get hired from an Applied Chem/Chem Eng program into a Proctor & Gamble internship, then fast track career, where one gets to learn about product development, sales, or marketing strategies but then later, that person can apply to Northwestern or Columbia business schools and laterally move into a director or senior position in marketing or strategy consulting. Why would this person ever stay in R&D?

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 8, 5:39am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

And the reason this fact is brought up in this discussion is because a lot of women have been falsely accusing men of being the real reason that women are not entering STIM.

Yes, I concur with the above.

Right now, most applicants to US graduate (not undergrad, not medical, not business) applied science & engineering programs were either US/Green Card males or international students (both genders).

In my own experience, aside from the MITer in my personal class, other American women, who wanted to go for PhDs in the sciences, have been offered money from very prestigious schools like Univ of Penn, Carnegie-Mellon, Univ of Chicago, etc. In contrast, these programs don't need to recruit American men, as there are already enough US based guys and Intl ones, who'll work for reduced stipends or even have corporate sponsorship.

Danasep has a faux victim status mentality.

As we speak, what's preventing any woman in America from downloading course materials from here: ocw.mit.edu ?

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 8, 6:06am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Here's my theory ... if MD salaries dropped by 50% (70% if surgical specialty), I'd estimate that the MD class would go from 50/50 M/F to 70/30 M/F.

BTW, this won't effect the PA and nursing programs, as many of them are already earning senior engineering salaries.

The smaller pool of male MD students, who'd leave, would opt for Hedge Fund/Trading, Patent/Corporate Law, or top ten b-school, all sort of type A personality-oriented professions with a large payoff & plenty of personal responsibility/ownership.

The vast majority of women would probably leave for nursing, PA, or pharmacy, as those fields are similar enough to being a doctor but pay a salary which is solid and nearly guaranteed.

I don't think as many men will opt for those areas, as their original motivation to be in medicine was in controlling their lives and being a type of "leader in the clinic", than a person who's simply there for a paycheck.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 8, 6:56am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Danaseb, when you're done with your 'Home Alone' bickering with Dan8227, do you have anything to say about the actual career paths of women, who did in fact, study science & engineering, to later pursue careers in business?

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 8, 11:11am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bmwman91 says

More than 90% of the girls that I went to engineering school with are still in engineering now, 5 years after graduating. Only one or two of them went for Master's degrees, and they were both in science/engineering.

The engineering staff in my workplace is maybe 25% women, and they are all 35+.

My fiancee got her degree in MechE and is in technical sales now. She never really liked engineering, but did it anyway since it seemed to have better job prospects than a business degree, and she at least found it interesting.

This is quite a stark contrast to my experience. Albeit, perhaps part of it is that I'm sort of excluding the various Asian diasporas and mainly focusing on American women.

BTW, like a lot of folks, I've also been making a lateral move into finance/trading and what I've noticed is that a lot of women in finance, have strong educational backgrounds, many even tech educations from various science/engineering programs. So I guess I'm kinda bias here, because for one, I don't like being a 'techie', since it's a relatively under appreciated profession vs let's say being a trader.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 8, 12:28pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

thomas.wong1986 says

Now they are complaining because they made a dreadful mistake decades ago... now they want hand outs... give us engineering job

I think they're just complaining for the sake of complaining. No one wants an engineering job; one wants a stock analyst, sales, or consulting gig where one can drop names, ala "I represent Bain, Lazard, etc. Here's my business card; let's discuss some joint prospects."

In academia, folks in the humanities have a 'grass is greener' mentality against those in the biomed or physical sciences because the latter depts tend to attract govt or private sector grants whereas liberal arts is stuck waiting in the queue for some endowment of the arts via Gilded Age foundations like Rockefeller, Carnegie, or Vanderbilt.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 8, 9:55pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bmwman91 says

Personally, you couldn't pay me enough to go work on Wall Street. Nothing about that lifestyle appeals to me, despite the possibility of huge income (it doesn't help that SO many people are clamoring to get into that field in hopes of cashing in, making it very competitive and hard to attain said high incomes). I couldn't care less if tech jobs are under-appreciated. If anything, it helps me to keep a low profile so I can go out & live life! Different strokes for different folks, though.

Just out of curiosity, do you live in NYC? I get that sort of flavor from your perspective on which professions "people want."

I'm still fortunate to not have to live in NYC. But from all my former tech buddies, who're now into finance/trading or even back office ops for banks, they still clamor that Manhattan is still the *place* to be.

I guess one of the key differentiators between the monied professions and STEM is that almost no one talks about taking a lower paying job, after the sort of 'break-in' period whereas in STEM, the idea that bonuses are less than 10% of one's income and that 0-2% raises are normal, is just a part of the work culture. From my own current limited exposure to trading, compensations from $100K to $500K are kinda normal and even expected. And then, everyone wants to be on a dealbook, where earning greater than $500K is completely normal.

If I'm earning $500K, I could be a self-financed engineer, like Maxwell, later on in retirement. I wouldn't have to spend my earning years in a venue where I may see my work move to Asia or South America before I need bi-focals :-)

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 9, 12:38pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bmwman91 says

It seems like everyone would be piling into that field if it was "easy" to make $500k.

Here's the thing ... most persons are not on the team, which generates enough bank (hefty dealbook), so that the bonus pool averages from $100K to $500K, depending upon one's position in the trading company. And some top prop traders earn $1M to $5M per year. Usually, those types tend to later start their own hedge fund. Most companies, however, won't let just anyone touch that kind of money on their own.

In general. many persons are analysts, salespersons, underwriters, etc, earning some $90K to $150K, with a bonus program in place. I'd say that a vast number of Ivy League types are in this category, working the numbers at let's say Morgan & Stanley or one of the other IBs.

So yes, the $500K compensation exists but it's not like everyone can pile into it, like applying for a normal job. This is quite different from let's say the job market for Java programmers, nurses, and construction work.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 10, 12:05am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kevin says

The only people still perpetuating the myth of outsourcing are bitter, under-qualified engineers whining that nobody wants to hire a 50 year programmer

Kevin, age discrimination is real, not an imagined phenomena. This is in many fields, not just engineering.

Also, there are under-qualified 55+ yr old doctors who still have their jobs, despite being 'ordinary' & not the 2nd coming of Marcus Welby (if you recall that show from your parent's youth). The AMA keeps the number of doctors down and it's rather difficult to offshore day-to-day internal medicine & general surgery.

One of the reasons why I'm moving into trading over science/engineering is that the money potential is there, long term, not just in that ages 27 to 45 sweet spot, as in most STEM careers.

One should do science/engineering as a retirement hobby; remember, even Einstein was a Patent Agent.

Would you say I'm bitter? Sure, I'd love to do STEM and be secure till retirement but guess what? I'd instead, prefer to be earning a great & sustainable salary till retirement.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 10, 4:13am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Vicente says

Clean Room Technician: They take them out and shoot them.

Yep, great scene in 'Primer'.

That movie's got two things right, that trading is better than engineering... the daytrading focus of the film, and that engineers have a short shelf life, as the tech had observed.

Too bad they didn't just stick to their original strategy, hiding their positions in the mid to large cap fund stocks. They would have been multi-millionaires within 2 years.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 10, 4:45am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kevin says

We should be concerned about women in STEM because those are the most important occupations for the future.

If they're so important, then why did DuPont send 2K R&D jobs to China? Or Applied Materials?

I had a few prior girlfriends ... one was in a science PhD program at Harvard, another in an engineering PhD program at MIT (FYI, these women weren't my classmates). Guess what happened, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, & Lazard wined and dined 'em to work for them, after graduation. Where was Applied Materials, DuPont, or Motorola during this time? They were happily sitting around, awaiting a flood of applicants, and expecting everyone's backgrounds to be an exact fit to the job descriptions.

The one, who took a STEM job, left w/o completing her PhD, as she'd discovered that the education wasn't all that important in the end, and that the Masters made her look less specialized. After a few years in STEM, she moved into financial services in Manhattan. The other started in management consulting, after completing her PhD, at a near six figure salary. In the end, the consensus was the same, STEM was a joke, the real careers were in finance and/or management consulting.

I'm not worried about women's career choices. If STEM was so great, they'd be in it on their own volition. And none of my tech girlfriends had soldering irons or circuit boards as girls. Like them, I was into drawing and writing short stories but instead of all of us becoming failed novelists, since we know the chances for another Ernest Hemingway or Jane Austen is slim, we decided to find real jobs.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 10, 5:29am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kevin says

So a few shitty companies didn't offer them jobs and you take that as evidence of it not being valued? How about Genentech (biology, chemistry), Apple (EE, materials), Google (comp. sci, mathematics, statistics), or any other company that's actually concerned about science? AM is the only company on your list that still does actual science and engineering these days.

Genentech/Apple/Google get plenty of applicants from all over. And yes, the offshoring in biotech is now underway. The reason why Google is expanding in Cambridge MA is precisely because they've been losing applicants from Harvard/MIT/Tufts to finance careers.

And pharmacists start at $100K+ & they get to keep those jobs for life.

And the one above in management consulting started at $100K. Five years later, as a senior, she was at $175K+ w/ bonus structure. Her billing rate to clients are $250-300/hr, thus, she's quite valuable to her clients. If she makes junior partner, she'll be earning from $200-$350K/yr.

The one who went into financial services ... started at $90K. Then later, upon switching work, moved up to $150K+. She's taking it easy now, and have taken a pay cut to $120K to work 4 days per week. Is that even a possibility in STEM work, where overtime w/o pay is expected?

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 10, 5:33am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kevin says

unemployment in STEM fields are lower than any other sector of the economy.

Well, because a smart person will leave the field for another job. That person is not counted as being unemployed. I know tons of persons who'd started in STEM and are now in health care, finance, consulting, patent law, etc. I'm also now one of them. Since I'm earning a nice salary and have no gaps in employment, my presence or lack of, doesn't get counted.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 10, 5:41am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kevin says

The average salary in financial services is $63,000.

This includes all ancillary services including bank tellers, telephone handlers, and loan managers. Those from top ten schools and engineering programs, do considerably better. In fact, right now, I don't know single person earning $63K in finance, and I'm including Boston, Philly, DC to the list, not just NYC. I was also offered a job above $63K but I didn't take it, as I'm making the transition on my own terms.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 10, 5:57am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Rin says

I don't know single person earning $63K in finance

Ok, I made a mistake ... I know one person, earning $50K in Chicago, working for a Future's Trading house. He works from home, in metro Chicago, and answer calls for pesky traders, who're unhappy with the software and/or slippage parameters. He works Tues to Fri and takes Mondays off. So yes, it's not all roses but guess what, he's in his late 50s and has no complaints about being a telephone clerk. And yeah, if those edgy traders had their calls answered in the Philippines, like for a lot of IT companies, those traders would have a coronary.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 10, 8:14am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

Personally, I think that manufacturing is a 20th century industry and we need to dominate in 21st century industries, but there are plenty of people on this site alone who've argued that manufacturing is needed in America.

Hello Dan,

Instead of being a lone wolf, barking at the wind, and taking arrows from the propagandists about the impending shortage of S&Es or the "permafrost" lack of women, studying quantitative fields, how about simply leaving altogether?

I mean there's no point in waiting around, like a lot of NASA staff or contract members today, waiting for the axe to fall, while listening to the press that there are millions of STEM jobs paying high incomes with lifelong employment prospects.

A decent way to leave, if you're not into the whole finance/trading thing is to take the Patent Agent exam and then, either opt for the govt or a private sector job, supporting the analysis and filing of companies' proprietary properties.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 10, 11:41pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The perpetual shortage of scientists story (I mean mythology) has been around since the NSF paper of 1988. There's already a website which tracks the alleged validity of this notion (http://www.phds.org/the-big-picture/scientist-shortages/)

Also Kevin, if you don't want my anecdotes, here's one from the MIT class survey (http://gecd.mit.edu/sites/default/files/GSS2011.pdf). Realize, MIT is a top tier STEM focused college, not a liberal arts place like Dartmouth or Swarthmore. If you total up the number of recruits from Finance & Management Consulting positions (i.e. Morgan & Stanley, JP Morgan, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Bain, Deloitte, Citigroup), you'll see that those careers make up 40+% of MIT graduates (not attending grad programs). You'll find similar results for the past number of years of surveys. Then, collate that with my personal anecdotes ... if STEM was so great then why is it that even from MIT, an engineering school, as oppose to Wharton or London School of Economics, the monied professions attract a serious volume of candidate placements?

Then, juxtapose that with the fact that women do communicate among one another and the fact that finance and consulting attract so much post-graduation attention, why wouldn't that be the preferred location for female graduates than in being in a dead-end STEM career path? In terms of image, think of working in an executive suite vs slaving under Dilbert's boss.

My conclusion is that there's no problem with women studying the sciences. It's just that they don't have any incentive to stay in it, whereas some guys may stay in it out of a 'labour of love' or the fact that management consulting and the whole faux culture of it, is just too much BS for them.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 11, 4:32am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I'd committed one act of bullying. I'd pushed a kid out of a swing set at the age of 8 & I wasn't egged on by others. Instead, I was in a bad mood that day and wanted to take it out on someone who I thought couldn't fight back.

Well, although he wasn't hurt anymore than the minimal time he'd landed on the ground, I was never happy about that incident since then.

Sorry, but I don't buy excuses from bullies. Either you're an A-hole or you screwed up. That's all there is to it. If I were running for office, I'd admit that I pushed a kid off a swing set and apologize for it. Yes, I Rin, f'ed up that day, many decades ago.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 12, 6:31am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

One more anecdote for both Kevin/Dan ...

I'd spoken with a female MIT grad this morning. She's three years out of college and is working in management consulting. I'd asked her why she chose MC over STEM and this was her response.

During college, she'd interned at Genentech, doing computer support work for one of the analytics groups. When she had her subsequent on-campus interviews with Google, Amazon, and other IT firms, the first thing they'd scrutinized was why she's CO-OPed in biotech vs an IT company. They appeared to spend more time trying to fess out a feasible incompatibility than in ascertaining value in having broad experiences in peer industries.

On the other hand, the MC recruiters like Cap, Deloitte, McKinsey, etc were interested in her background and the projects where she could fit into. In the end, she said that she felt that in STEM, people are 'pigeonholed' or 'typecasted' early in their careers, whereas in MC, most everyone is a generalist upon starting, until they find themselves a niche. Also, unlike STEM, MC management expects that their junior stars will go back to school for an MBA and perhaps return, in a management-to-partner track. There are also major opportunities to seek VP positions at client companies, since MCs tend to be on the strategy/operations side of the house. She didn't have a sense that STEM careers had sort of a career track, people in STEM were sort of seen as a 'helping hand' and then perhaps down the road, that person is then seen as a senior engineer. There didn't seem to be a sense of certainty there.

I guess my point here is that while STEM may not have an overt long term unemployment rate, like let's say for Steel Workers or Machinists, there's actually a reasonably high attrition rate, relative to other lines of work. And without sustaining a population of unemployed STEM folks, sitting around, waiting for their jobs to come back, it won't show up on the standard IEEE or ACM type of reports. People, esp women, simply leave after college or after a few years in, and then, they're just not heard from again.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 12, 7:06am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kevin says

They all have the same basic childhood experiences that the men have. Legos, video games, parental love of science and technology.

My parents simply told me to do my homework or else. I'd become a fan of Star Wars and other Sci-Fi films on my own.

I'd only transitioned from being a history/literature buff to science in high school because it was kinda obvious that one needed a science/math background for college.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 12, 11:53am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

When you apply for graduate school, you have to take the GMAT, the college equivalent of the SAT. The math proportion of the SAT is way dumbed down so that students on the liberal arts track will have a cumulative score equal to students on the STIM path.

Yes Dan, all of the above is true.

Where I was going to make an honorable mention was that a number of pre-professional undergrad programs do require some Calculus. At the same time, the high school SAT Subject Math II (originally named Math Achievement II) does have math all the way till trig. All my programs wanted those Math SAT IIs, some even wanted a recommendation letter from a Math teacher, if I took the AP Calculus section. Thus, despite being a prior history/literature buff, I knew that I needed to do well in the above if I was going to study Applied Chem/Chem Eng later on in college, even as a premed or pre-business type.

Now, with the above said and done, once a person finishes her undergrad requirements for Math at let's Wharton undergrad *finance*, she may never see a Math class again and thus, you're correct, the GMAT is then a walk in the park, before starting B-school. Also, those Calculus credits count, in terms of medical school applications as a part of the overall science (or physical sciences) GPA. And you already know about Patent Agent/Patent law.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 13, 3:55pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

One more site on management consulting salaries (http://careers-in-business.com/consulting/mcsal.htm) There's a huge upside in salaries from not choosing STEM, if one's qualified to be in MC.

When an engineer starts to hit ~$120K, management looks for reasons to downsize and replace one with either a younger person or someone, who'll work for less than a $100K. This has been going on, in STEM related areas, for ages. In contrast, MBA types have been able to sustain high salaries for a large percent of their careers. In fact, I was surprised to see in the web site above that MC Jr Partners were at ~$450K but that makes sense, if you consider that they're part of the team which books the revenue. My ex-GF, from Harvard Univ, always wanted to do the MBA at NYU, after she started work in the city.

I really don't understand why this is a mystery to folks like Kevin. Have you not been around the block in the past few decades? Do you actually know women, with a high level of quantitative education? Or are you mainly speculating?

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 13, 11:22pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kevin, I've lived in the northeast corridor for my entire life, Boston to DC, minus NYC. I've never seen a non-management STEM, in biopharma, in defense, in telecom, in chemicals with a base of $200K. This includes established companies like United Tech, General Electric, Genzyme, Wyeth, Raytheon, Lockheed, MITRE, DuPont, IBM, Unilever, AT&T/LU, Akamai, and a slew of other Fortune 1000s. Are you working for a dotcom enterprise? Because using Google or Facebook, as a primary STEM example, is cherry picking. Or is my list of Fortune 1000s, now suddenly no longer STEM?

The only persons in that starting $200K base category were in tax, underwriting/actuary, trading, medicine, patents, and law. I do know some of them at the above listed companies but those are not STEM careers.

As for MCs, my central argument was why that track was more attractive to women vs STEM. And if MIT, in itself, has a 40+% placement into MC or finance, that's really making a statement. That's not cherry picking, that's an established trend at a top engineering college. Unfortunately, not all schools have their surveys posted or I'd post some more but since I've visited them, I can observe that trend elsewhere on the east coast. Whether or not that individual placement eventually becomes a partner is not here or there; it's the fact that it's a good career choice vs being overspecialized in STEM and if MITers & Harvardians are having that conversation in their 20s, I can only see that women will leave the STEM fields quickly, after they get their degrees. And that's been my experience and thus, I don't worry about women's career choices. Likewise, in another year or so, I can also say that I'd left STEM for greener pastures.

Dan, do you want to add something to this?

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 14, 4:32am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

SiO2 says

So purely financially, getting an MD is not obviously better than engineering.

A lot of that has to do with the whole layoff cycles. If you recall the layoffs in petrochemicals (mid-80s Oil Patch Bust), defense (early 90s), telecom/dotcom (2000s), engineering has a boom/bust quality to it whereas most persons seldom hear of doctors losing their work. And then, many doctors do have the option to work into their mid-60s or longer. So true, the SV in-crowd at Facebook, Google, etc may have high flying careers but for the most part, it appears to the typical female students that engineering work is working under Dilbert's boss in a ratty cubicle.

The one downside to medicine is the student loans. That's really the main sticky point, since those follow one for life.

SiO2 says

I do know a few US-born female engineers, but, they usually end up in sales

Yep, this I've seen, more often than not.

Others go back for health care careers or b-school for management and/or sales executive tracks. And there's nothing wrong with that.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 14, 2:52pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kevin says

Maybe you're incompetent. My company has offices in all three cities you've mentioned, and people in those cities operate in the same pay bands that I do.

I would not consider half of the companies on your list to be STEM, in that science / engineering isn't really what they "do". Some of them used to (DuPont and Unilever).

Engineers and scientists at IBM, Raytheon, Lockheed, etc. all absolutely are able to get salaries comparable to mine with comparable experience levels. My company does pay a bit above average for the industry, but we're talking 10-20%.

Ok Kevin, it seems like we're now in the ad hominem, the "I'm smarter than you category". I was offered a senior position at IBM Global consulting and even my potential manager there was not earning $200K (sans bonus). His boss, however, was earning in that band and he was a regional manager. Realize, in the end, someone has to pay that 'fixed' overhead and $200K is a high 'fixed' operating cost.

In terms of money, I've already earned $500K against $2M dealbook share in two months for a private investment project. This was split among my 3 crew members so I know a thing or two about generating some alpha for my clients. All and all, I see where the money is. And yes, in time, this will grow into a multi-million dollar joint venture, which is why I don't want to take an ordinary job in finance but be more of an entrepreneur.

This is partly why I don't care for STEM careers; finance is where the real money is at and when you're established as a prop trader, the only income ceiling is your will to make it happen.

Kevin says

The fact of the matter is that across *all* science and engineering professions, unemployment has remained consistently well below average, and salaries are significantly higher than other career options with equivalent education and experience.

What's missing is the attrition rate in science and engineering whereas pharmacy, nursing, and medicine have low attrition rates. When a former big wig, like Dow Chemical, decides to close an R&D center, what are those engineers suppose to do? Many are from the ages of 45 to 55 and are specialized to Dow's particular way of doing process engineering? They can't just pack up, move to Houston, and work for BP. BP would rather hire someone, in his early 30s, who's always been in the petrochemical circuit, since graduation. Thus, there's a good deal of typecasting of roles and where folks can move laterally among engineering fields. If you don't believe this, you may want to talk to a few folks working at Home Depot, it may surprise you how many educated older folks work there. On the other hand, in my new area of finance, once you're an alpha generator, provided that you still have *it*, or perhaps more accurately, if your unit still has *it*, you can earn money for as long as you want.

And let's say that for some reason ... I fail in the long run, well, there's always that telephone support job where traders don't want their calls re-routed to another continent. My hope is to be retired, long before I have to do telephone support for irate clients.

Kevin says

Career potential would be close to last in the reasons for women to choose some field besides STEM. I maintain that *culture* is reason #1, and everything else is utterly insignificant.

In all honesty, since I've had intimate relations with several STEM women, I don't believe it's culture per se but a type of combined weighing system where on one hand, MC/Finance seems attractive (executive suites, wearing nice suits, etc), and two, the culture of STEM work seemingly downtrodden, Dilbert-like, and not upwardly mobile. As for the overall culture, American/western society, I'm not as concerned about it because all and all, the key component here is that everyone has some sort of choice in terms of one's education and plausible destiny.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 15, 5:09am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CaptainShuddup says

Rin says

Ok Kevin, it seems like we're now in the ad hominem, the "I'm smarter than you category".

He's a know it all, if he don't know it, then it ain't worth knowing.
We can only dream to achieve such blissful cluelessness.

Well, in all honesty, there are blowhards in all professions and walks of life.

When I'm making $1M/yr or more, in trading, I can come back here and brag about how awesome I am. Here's the problem ... I've grown up a bit and have realized that blowhards don't have much to offer to others. When I hit the 7 figure zone, I'm keeping my earnings to myself. And unlike Kevin, I'll never accuse anyone of being incompetent or a poor person.

The reason why I've posted so much on this topic matter is that for some reason, life experiences has shown me that STEM work is not preferred by women, even women with math, physical or biological sciences background. At the same time, when particularly elitist posts ridiculously high salaries like $200K+ base, they can't juxtapose that against those, who were laid off from the supercollidor project which axed more than 4K physicists. What are those PhD postdocs now suppose to do? Google/Facebook hires less than 2% of applicants; it's actually easier to get into a medical school like Hopkins, Harvard, or Columbia.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 May 19, 5:50pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

REpro says

But compare it to doctor, dentist, plumber or carpenter, all can do sweat work 80 hours per week without a chance to cash out $2M sometimes after 4 years

Of course, the other professions don't have a stake in the mothership, however, esp for dentists, it is possible to live a regular 40+ hour work week, earn a fine salary, and be financially stable for much of one's career.

To earn $2M in 4 years, typically, one needs to be a top prop trader or fund manager in finance. There, there's still a reasonable chance at a high salary, 200K+, even if one doesn't become a rainmaker and earn in the millions. In contrast, there were many 70-80 hour workers in technology who never got more than a standard $50-100K equity payout, after those 4 years in the dungeon.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 7, 6:05am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

doesn't want a totally free market in labor.

Hate to say it but few non-licensed white collar professionals really want unabashed 'free labor'.

Think about it ... US medical schools mostly accept Green Card holders/US Citizens. They also have restricted class sizes and thus, all American graduates get first consideration in residencies. Foreign graduates take a separated out, FGMLE exam, and have to wait in the queue, before starting a US residency. The same goes for the Patent Agent exam, where any BS level science graduate, taking the exam, has to show a US passport or proof of citizenship to be registered. Likewise, ancillary health care services like Pharmacy, Physician's Asst, etc, restrict international credits transfer & who takes the certification exams. Even a smart person, who's got a Masters or PhD in Pharmacology with Toxicology classes, cannot sit for a Pharmacist certification exam, despite knowing the subject matter, without first having been admitted to a PharmD degree in the US or Canada.

For regular science & engineering, however, provided that the foreign school is good (or verifiable), like let's say London Univ, one can usually transfer up to 50% of credits for either a BS or MS in engineering. Also, a large percentage (> 60%) of tech PhD candidates stateside, are international students. Thus, there's always downward pressure on wages, esp in the sciences, because the employers always have a choice of pitting H1-Bs/L1s against Americans/Green Card holders. The open market, in this case, has made the sciences a less attractive proposal, for Americans who don't want to get jerked around by either the academic "postdoc" advisers or the R&D managers.

And likewise, it's tough for international students to work in management consulting or investing banking, within the US (as oppose to their home countries), since many of those stateside employers don't have the ability to sponsor someone for a non-tech position.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 8, 8:36am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

chip_designer says

even if the kid is slow or not very good academically, still going to a school like that, can dramatically improve his/her chances of getting into a university, and guarantee a decent job.

I'd say it would moderately improve his chances. All and all, it's still a combination of a numbers game (GPA/rank & SAT I/II) and extracurriculars/awards. At pressure cooker high schools, it's a lot harder to be a newspaper editor when everyone else wants to put it on one's resume.

At a small town HS, your less talented kid may be the one who starts his school's radio station and at the same time, since many kids at those Podunk HS don't really try hard, he may even be in the top 10-20% of his class.

End result, with a resume like top 10% / ~690 mean SAT per section along with school or no name township radio station founder, leads to admissions to a lot of places [& even some scholarship money if he's in the top 1 to 5 of his class] vs top 40% / ~690 mean SAT per section / active in 4-5 obviously phony activities like { Glee Club / Science Club / Free Tibet society / LaCrosse intramural etc } in some elite 'burb outside of fill-in [Chicago, NYC, Boston, Philly, etc]. Every other suburban kid looks like the latter applicant, trying to depict a socially conscious, well-rounded individual for admission's sakes. These kids tend to get into middle tier private colleges and wind up borrowing money for it. I wouldn't call that a great accomplishment.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 8, 8:46am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Serpentor says

I went to a well known engineering university, and we hard core engineers used to look down of the athletes taking management majors, now I look at my linkedin and all of the former atheletes are VPs and CEOs.

Well, engineering, unlike most other areas of pursuit, eats up a lot of one's time and energy, just in getting the homeworks done. The key here is that graduates of engineering programs are more and more, starting to opt for careers in management consulting or finance, to get out of that tech track, working for the man, ala senior "techie role" for corporate America.

I've appended here, something from another thread on career trajectories ...
here's one from the MIT class survey (http://gecd.mit.edu/sites/default/files/GSS2011.pdf). Realize, MIT is a top tier STEM focused college, not a liberal arts place like Dartmouth or Swarthmore. If you total up the number of recruits from Finance and Management Consulting positions (i.e. Morgan & Stanley, JP Morgan, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Bain, Deloitte, Citigroup), you'll see that those careers make up 40+% of MIT graduates (not attending grad programs). You'll find similar results for the past number of years of surveys.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 9, 5:43am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Serpentor says

chip_designer says

chip_designer says

and most parents want their kids associated with kids of similar family status.

some readers think status is keeping up with the jones. I did not imply that. People of different social classification , if outside work, don't want to mingle together. Talking about the techie/mgmt parents kid with a janitor/gardener/car mechanic parents kids. And this does not happen, so people of similar classification tend to move together, as in fortress neighboorhoods.

There you go again thinking like a immigrant. I'm guessing indian based on your focus on social classes. Friends for your kids (or yourself) should depend on the person not their economic background.

There you go, thinking like an old-fashion midwesterner :-) !

And yes, I concur with you. From my experience, the whole socioeconomic caste thinking is alive and well, all over elite suburbias, from Boston to DC. The immigrant mindset, from Asia to eastern Europe, hasn't made it any better. Instead, it's now a multi-ethnic polarity (WASPy, Jewish, eastern European, east Asian, south Asian) neurosis. The thing here is that it's not a useful thing, as many soon discover, those neighbors really don't stay friends with you, as soon as you either lose your job or have to re-located elsewhere. My closest friends, after all these years, are more from the low to regular income backgrounds from semi-rural (western MA, Maine, VT) regions or ordinary towns around the cities. I seldom speak to the wannabe nouveau riche "Greenwich CT-to-Scarsdale NY" Gucci/Louis Vitton glutch, outside of work related conferences.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 13, 2:11pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Hello, instead of all this bickering about high schools, if your kids are so hell bent on getting straight A's and scoring a perfect MCAT/LSAT/GRE/GMAT for professional schools, how about simply doing homeschooling ... get a GED, and take college classes, as continuing ed students, and then transferring those credits later, as a junior into another college?

On the east coast, here's Harvard's night program in Cambridge MA


And Univ of Penn in Philly PA ...


The above programs also offer bachelors and masters degree, if transferring into a traditional class isn't important. Harvard's extension program is the cheapest and is the only program in MA, nearest to the state college tuition rate.

Good students from the above programs can also get into places like Johns Hopkins Medical School or the Univ of Chicago Law School, since I figured most of the parents posting here are mostly concerned about grad program placement.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 13, 11:06pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Serpentor says

They lose the experience of interacting with other kids and learning interpersonal skills. How do they deal with bullies? Lead the soccer team to victory? Talk to girls? Go to the prom?

As you know, this whole topic is about the competitive parents who all want their kids to attend medical or top 20 law schools. The best way to do this is to save the money for those programs than in feeding private prep schools and undergrad residential programs.

And I think you know a couple of things ... adults sue each other. The schoolyard bully, after the age of 18, faces assault/battery charges. Thus, the best a bully can hope for is to be an A-hole at work as oppose to a thug on the streets. As for soccer & such, there's the Boys/Girls scouts and they can meet kids from all different townships, not just the primary neighborhood. After seeing the issues w/ teen pregnancy and then, sexual harassment suits in the workplace, I'm not sure that 'talking to girls' is all that necessary; talking to adults, at a place like Harvard Extension, may be safer. Chances are that they'll already be married.

And finally, here's the real way to have fun. After one's gotten those credits for such & such undergrad program, do a one year program at Univ of London & pick one of the easier programs. Then, for that year ... go to the West End pubs, with your mates, and drink to your heart's content. All the actual studying for exams happens in the final weeks at London Univ.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 14, 12:10am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Serpentor says

They lose the experience of interacting with other kids and learning interpersonal skills.

I believe that after K-through-6, the kids have learned everything they need to know. The Jr high to high school, esp for these phony suburban cul de-sac communities, doesn't add anymore to their overall experiences. Semi-rural communities, however, are a different story.

I already know of a few parents, who took their kids out of the system after this point. None of them are screwed up and they seem to be well balanced and ready to either start college or an apprenticeship, if they go the trade way.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 14, 3:45am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Serpentor says

Some of the longest lasting friendships start out in HS.

My longest lasting friendships were from high schools, outside of the snob town which my parents moved into (believing all the half-truths which folks here on this board are spewing) when I was 10-11. And the majority of them were from college, and many of those folks were from more rural a/o semi-rural communities.

Do you really think they'll already know how to deal with members of the opposite sex by Jr high?

I did quite well with the opposite gender, when they weren't interested in how my parents *compared* to theirs. Thus, once again, I did well with other community/region GFs. I knew a number of 'girls' (early childhood, you know ... 4 squares, biking, playing pranks, house, etc) before I moved into the snob town and then, once I started getting out, circa age 15, in other regions, once again, not related to my particular high school per se. I was involved in martial arts, music, and I'd worked in places where I interacted with kids from other towns nearby.

Thus, I don't place value on high school, itself. It's too insular of an environment and folks there were extremely judgmental of one another due to socioeconomic factors & keeping up with the Jones, Chans, Rosenthals, Patels, & Y'mosians (I think that covers a majority of the nouveau riche ethnic enclaves there).

And how many couples can afford to stay home and not work living in the Bay Area?

No argument there.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 14, 4:08am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

B.A.C.A.H. says


Are you a parent?

Sorry to disappoint, but I'm only an uncle. My niece, however, has decided to stick to her high school. Here's why ... she's active in the drama club and thus, has an area of passion. She's not in high school, just to pass time for college, like many others. She's highly focused and is able to juggle her time between extracurriculars and school work. Her mom, my sister, is stay-at-home, and works with her quite a bit on her stuff. They don't live in a snob community.

My friends/relatives, who're homeschooling, are doing it because their kids were not challenged by junior HS or freshman yr HS and these are kids, who'll most likely be either in an apprenticeship (electrician, machinist) or professional school (pharmacy, medicine, law), down the road. For them, they were not inspired by the activities found in the school system, unlike my niece, who'd found her niche there.

So while I can't vouch for everyone, I think given the way parents (who spend a fortune to live in XYZ community) think, I'm not sure if following the piped piper path of the elite townships is best for one's child to be a self-actualized adult. I find these kids who play on the 'Save Darfur' and other pseudo-social consciousness themes to be hokey and basically resume padders. This was also apparent in the whole school paper editorship competition, which once again, also appears to be a collection of phonies. And in terms of sports, really, how many captains of intramural LaCrosse do we really need?

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 14, 4:51am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

SFace says

Sounds like a plan, but how the heck do you get from point A to point C realisticly. Homeschooling a teenager in a social world?

For now, it's all work in motion. The current plan, which my friend (former college classmate/workmate) and I are doing, is finding what his daughter loves to do. So far, it looks like sailing, martial arts, and playing an instrument are in her list of things. Let's see how this turns out during the following year.

Then, once an activity or series of such are identified, then to do them, outside of the walls of the town's junior high or high school. This is the key piece; if your kids can associate with others, of like mind/interests, in your metropolitan area (not just your town), then you have a situation where the *need to belong* is removed from having to belong to XYZ HS and then, comparing themselves to others there. This is the way to break peer pressure, otherwise, like I see in a lot of kids, they get withdrawn and then you get all that awful stuff on facebook school pages.

Realize this ... the courses at Harvard Extension are at night. Each class is dense and covers a week's worth of material. If your kids don't have an interest, during the day, it won't work out. The idea is that homeschooling should liberate one's time and energy, from the monotony of high school politicking, while providing opportunities to accumulate college credits and recommendation letters for a future vocation and/or professional school placement.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 14, 12:07pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Serpentor says

Real competitive sports don't happen until HS

If you know that your kids are NCAA material, then it's pretty obvious that you need to send them to a division 1 sports program, to maximize their chances for recruitment.

For the rest of us, however, many of us will be playing b-ball at the YMCA so why not just get your kids over there, to start with.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 17, 6:13am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

clambo says

Here is the wife of a clueless billionaire who is a twerp.

Give the dude a break. He married the first girl, who gave him the time of day in college. It's not the first time, nor the last, for such an occurrence.

But at the same time, if I could have done it again, I would have married a slightly 'less' hot gal, from college, who turned out to be a great woman, later in life. We live and we learn.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 19, 1:50am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

elliemae says

It didn't mention how he's paid for the degrees, it would be interesting to know if I'm paying for his education.

I think we paid for his first bachelors. Afterwards, he probably had to get his own source of funding, since he wasn't in a PhD program with an RA-ship.

In all honesty, I personally believe that this person is afraid of the real world and is only able to find comfort in the daily routine of being a student.

I can't completely discount that, unless of course, he's doing it to get the reduced student health insurance cost of being a lifelong student.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 19, 4:16am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

As I'd stated in another thread, this is an HR (human resources) barrier of entry, into the white collar world. The idea is to create a concept of class, BA holder vs non-BA holder, so that everyone in an office setting appears to be *proper*, whatever that might mean.

Only a decade ago, paralegals had associates degree (2 yrs post-high school). Today, they're expected to have a BA, even if it's in basket weaving or Ancient Etruscan bong making, so that they can be "seen" around lawyers and their clients. I guess they really learned a lot of 'legalize' during those final two years of college :-)

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 19, 4:32am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

PockyClipsNow says

At least the big accredited universities are 'real schools'.

Real or not real, the fact of the matter is that little changed in the last ten years (in terms of legal writing), which now forces all new paralegals to have a BA vs an associate's degree. The bachelors degree has simply become an HR barrier of entry, which forces many persons, who didn't choose the electrician, HVAC, or auto mechanic path, into some college program.

The degree, in itself, is unnecessary for so many white collar jobs, including some sales/support for even engineering work, that it's a pity that it's become mandatory by cultural forces alone.

I remember a CEO, of a former firm, bragging that even the receptionist at our company was a college graduate. WTF? Who cares.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jun 29, 1:32am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Basically, either medical tourism will bloom or, the US doctors and hospitals won't be able to make the mint that they have had, for the past 3 decades.

If NASA can lay off 4K engineers, along with any other company/institute which offshores R&D, I don't see why we can't re-train these fellows to be physician's assistants in record time. The idea here is that medical professionals have some high intelligence which the "layperson" doesn't but they can't convince me that a bunch of scientists & engineers, esp those postdocs earning $36-41K, can't fill the gaps in health care delivery at lower overhead salaries.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 1, 4:23am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

America was a leader in the software industry, but we gave it all away to China and India and a few other third world nations in exchange for slave labor. America could have been the leader of the 21st century because of its dominance in software and information infrastructure.

Sad but true.

The only glimmer of hope is that corporate America had overemphasized the India-Bangalore Inc, as the primary IT destination, and as a result, have recently discovered that Bangalore is little more than a body shop than a place of quality and value-added services. But I emphasize, this is only a temporary setback.

Where India failed (due to a series of cultural issues & I don't expect 'em to be solved), China, Vietnam, Malaysia, & Philippines can succeed and they will, given the fact that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by becoming east Asian tech leaders much like South Korea & Taiwan in firmware, during the 80s/90s.

Right now, the US is the leader in corn & soybean production. Perhaps coal and then later, shale. Thus, it's a Monsanto & Co empire, not too dissimilar to a third world nation's portfolio of commodities conglomerates and low paid worker bees.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 5, 6:31am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

wthrfrk80 says

True, but Libertarians believe that humans are "basically good" and thus government is unnessesary. "The market" will take care of everything!

Libertarians, I believe, think that today's free market, doesn't equate to the ones of the 19th century robber barons ala Upton Sinclair novels. That's where the optimism comes from.

The problem, however, is that the typical big US corporation goes for the lowest hanging fruit (see any Dilbert clip) and relies a lot on govt spending (defense or universities) for pure science and engineering research until there's a freebie in the public domain, a.k.a. *peace time* dividend, waiting to get patents, and then, the commercial sectors can jump in and make a profit.

At the same time, for the most part, the exchange of goods/services has been happening since the dawn of history. Thus, I don't see where Libertarians have a new angle on an age old story of commerce. All and all, not every newly minted businessman has success to capital and the holders of capital: VCs, private equity, hedge funds, rich people, etc, still make a lot of the decisions regarding who gets to grow his enterprise and who still works for the man.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 9, 2:17pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ruki says

Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association

I'm calling BS on the above. Doctors, for the most part, are just a bunch of students who play the game to get A's and admittance to medical school. They are not that adaptable to finding jobs, outside of a profession which is sort of *unionized* by limiting seats to medical programs. I doubt that many doctors can find a six figure salary outside of medicine. In other words, by nature, they're not CEOs or hedge fund types.

They did not go through the mega rounds of layoffs like nuclear engineers in the early 80s, defense/aerospace engineers in the 90s, and telecom in the 00s. Plus, the average engineer has never earned $150K/yr+, as a general internal medicine person, sending his patients off to specialists, while prescribing little more than Tylenol with Codeine for muscle pain or some medicated eye drops for pink eye. Engineers earning $150K/yr or above are usually managers or specialists in their fields of specialization. The medical specialists, like neurosurgeons, earn $500K/yr. Thus, there's little for doctors to really complain about aside the fact that perhaps now, they may actually have to worry about patients than their wallets.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 10, 12:31am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

BoomAndBustCycle says

If you are $300K in medical student loan debt... You aren't changing your profession because of ObamaCare. You aren't qualified to make enough in any other job to pay your student loans.

Thank you, I think the naysayers are believers in MDs being the 'best of the best', whereas their biggest talents are in memorizing facts, taking easier sections of quantitative physics/organic chem in college (vs engineers or PhDs) to beef up the GPA to A-, and getting a 30+ on the MCAT.

I'll believe MDs will leave when I start to see MD resumes, in bulk, at my company, instead of folks with MS/PhDs from biochem to applied physics.

elliemae says

half of all doctors graduated in the lower 50% of their class.

In American medical schools, outside of Johns Hopkins, they use Honors/Pass/Fail and thus, by default, the average medical graduate is a C- to B student. Honors graduates tend to get any residency they want like surgery at Mayo, Baylor, or Hopkins.

From my prior undergrad college, ppl who got internships at biotech to financial companies had from 3.3 to 4.0 GPAs. Anyone would wasn't on the B+ line was limited in career opportunities out of school.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 10, 12:49am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

BoomAndBustCycle says

Along the lines of saying raising taxes on the rich will cause them to fire workers and lower wages. Sure this might happen in the short term.. But doing this is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Well, this is different because most workers are not in a licensed/protected field like medicine. Right now, given offshoring trends, within a decade, anyone who isn't an actuarial fellow, may never find an entry level job in the field again. For medicine, the offshoring in mainly for diagnostic radiology and for folks, who opt for medical tourism in Asia or Latin America. Thus stateside, the demands for doctors will always be there.

I'd taken some practice MCATs and have scored in the 33-34 zone, so all and all, I may actually become a doctor in retirement (if the hedge fund plan stagnates) and if I don't get into my cheaper in-state program, then I'll look to eastern Europe so that I could start work later w/o any loans.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 10, 3:34am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

New renter says

Rin says

From my prior undergrad college, ppl who got internships at biotech to financial companies had from 3.3 to 4.0 GPAs. Anyone would wasn't on the B+ line was limited in career opportunities out of school.

No, they just go into management and end up making more than their more studious counterparts.

You tell me, who's the smarter one...

Touche' :-) !

Management has clearly won that battle.

The smart ones, from science/engineering, who want to have a monied (or semi-secure) profession, later go for Patent Law, Management Consulting, Hedge Fund/Trading, or Medicine.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 10, 3:39am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

New renter says

Its OK Bear, just take a few thousand H1Bs and call me in 20 years

Well, here's the scoop, the AMA has funneled all Internationals, including American nationals who'd studied in the Caribbean or eastern Europe, through a stateside residency. Thus, in the end, the AMA controls the headcount. The advantage which the American has is that he's not in a queue for a work visa. He can go to Romania for ~$10-12K/yr and come back home debt free and start working, provided that he does well on the foreign medical licensing boards.

In other words, for an American MD recipient, a clinical internal medicine residency in Podunk/Rural town USA (ala Caribou Maine, Nome Alaska, etc) is always available provided one can pass those exams.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 10, 4:20am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

headcount is the amount of money medicare and the states are willing to pony up to finance very expensive residency slots, the AMA is not involved.

Yes, the AMA is not a Paymaster, I got that, however, they do the final certification. If they feel that going from let's say 36K slots to 48K slots, in a given stretch of time is detrimental, they'll make up some BS story and not certify those programs under the guise of public health protection.

A long time back, Univ of Miami provided 2 year MDs to those with PhDs in the biosciences, with the caveat that those smart persons had fulfilled many of their prerequisites in alternate graduate coursework. The end result was that those PhDs->to->MDs outscored the regular MD class on the USMLE exams. Political pressure from the AMA made Miami close the program after the 80s. It took a lot of time for folks like ourselves to even piece together why top scorers were being barred from becoming doctors but it made sense, leaving a track record of high board scores undermines the false notion that sanctioned MD classes were composed of *stellar* persons whereas stellar candidates were actually found in other science/engineering programs where resume padding wasn't the M.O. du jour.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 10, 5:28am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

The five ACGME sponsors are the AMA, the Assn. of American Medical Colleges, the American Board of Medical Specialties, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and the American Hospital Assn. Each sponsor has four representatives on the 25-member ACGME board

That's still a collusion.

bob2356 says

MD/PHD program is not at all uncommon and is offered by may medical schools today. I looked on the U of Miami web site, it's still offered there.

It's not the MD/PhD program. It was a separated program, back in the 70s/80s, where folks from other science PhD programs in the nation could do medical school in 2 years. It's been closed since then.


These were actually some top notch talent, coming out of the regular sciences.

I knew a PhD chemical engineer, who tried for this program in the 90s but was told to only apply for the 4 year MD program, as it wasn't available since then.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 10, 6:23am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

I think the hospitals, doctors, and specialty boards would probably have to be involved somehow

Of course they'll be involved but a small group, less than 30, doesn't help the public, who needs more trained doctors than fewer.

You misunderstood my other question. Where did you get all the information about the Miami program being closed down for having their students outscoring other people? Pretty strong stuff, can I read about it somewhere or do I just have to take your word for it?

Well, where would that information be, aside from the anecdotes of PhDs in the program or from other adjacent programs, during the time period? Those USMLE board scores aren't on a website for all of us to review. If you read the nih link, you'll see that that group was rather accomplished. From there, you can start emailing alumni and ask 'em specifically about why a program of such talent was discontinued. I think you'll find that my rants aren't so paranoid.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 10, 6:53am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

I don't see how a PHD could have the back round to skip 2 years of the current medical school curriculum.

Here's the coursework of the 1st two years of medical school ...


That coursework isn't considered a big deal by folks who already study/work 65 to 100 hours per week.

If I'd done a full biochemical engineering series of electives vs applied chemistry, my last two years of undergrad would have had Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Microbiology in addition to Transport Phenomena, Reactor Design w/Kinetics, and Spectroscopy. But I was doing some part-time research/CO-OP, so I'd conserved my energy for that instead of knocking myself out.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 11, 3:46pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

zzyzzx says

And we are supposed to thank them profusely for getting well when they don't screw up. I visited SF General's Emergency. I was charged $250 for nurse's opinion which was, "I don't know". That took all of 5 minutes after a three hour wait. I was given a second opinion for anothe $250 even though I was told that it was same consultation, the second opinion was that I shouldn't be concerned, it was simply water in my knee. Grand total $500.

Thanks for the honesty. For all intensive purposes, ask yourself this one question, if doctors weren't guaranteed near full employment at six figures, what percent of them would choose medical school over let's say teaching, engineering, or business?

I recall a bunch of stupid emergency room visits of $500 to $2K, for stupid things like catching a cold to getting a few stitches for gashes.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 12, 2:40am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Peter P says

There are better/easier ways to make more money. Doctors are pretty much limited to a 6-figure salary.

But is this really true? If your greatest talent is in getting A-'s in biology or a 30 MCAT, does that mean that you'll be successful in business, actuary, engineering, trading, or some other field?

I think the difference between medicine and most other fields is that for most occupations, book learning doesn't cut the mustard. During the telecom/IT bust, many folks with high GPAs from liberal arts to basic sciences to applied sciences lost their jobs at places like Lucent, Global Crossing, L3, etc. True, some re-trained and found work elsewhere, but were they all able to stay marketable and earn a "six figure" salary wherever they went? Likewise, can a typical A- student manage a futures/forex deal book for a large portfolio?

And realize, premeds always try to take courses, with the highest distribution of A's. I've seldom seen 'em in Thermodynamics, Quantum Mechanics, or even Organic Chem for Majors (or Engineering Honors/Chem Engin).

I think where doctors could succeed easily may be in Patent Agent work, where passing exams makes your career for the most part. I would have said Actuary, ten years ago, but today, a lot of entry level work there is offshored.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 12, 1:52pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

ATK says

good PPO plans don't even fully cost treatments, diagnosis anymore

Out of pocket expenses keep going up, despite coverage.

At some point in time, medical tourism to Cuba, Costa Rica, or Thailand may be the only way to get adequate treatment for a reasonable cost.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 12, 2:00pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Randy H says

83% of mornings I consider shutting off my alarm clock and just going back to sleep, too.

Yep, especially given the type of BS, MBA types exert upon white collar professionals.

If my *finance/hedge fund* goals don't pan out, I'll be attending medical school [ since I can score in the mid-30s on the MCAT ] at either my in-state univ (much lower cost than a private one) or I'll be in eastern Europe at $10K-$12K/yr. I can pay for that out of pocket w/o any loans.

And unlike a lot of other professions, doctors do have control on their hours. Not everyone needs to be a *no life* workaholic like House M.D. or someone on Chicago Hope. If one has no loans, one can work for 28-32 hours/week at $100K/yr. As a profession for an older person, I can take that vs having to report to a stupid newly minted MBA for 40-50 hours/week at a corporate job and face age discrimination once I hit my 50s.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 13, 4:24am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

You claim the miami phd>md's scored so much higher than regular md's on their usmle's that they embarrassed the ama into killing the program to save face for the regular md's. So where did you this information on the usmle scores if it's not available? Anecdotes?

One, I never said *I* studied 65-100 hours per week. *Those* are other PhDs, I have an undergrad degree alone. Perhaps you need to work on your own reading comprehension before taking the MCAT Verbal section.

And adding less than 200 residencies isn't helping the public.

Bob, when will you understand something ... I'm in my 30s, the program was terminated when I was a teenager. Thus, before the internet (gopher doesn't count here), before when everyone blogged about everything, the only information was from other PhDs and academics. The AAMC will only retain board score averages of entire graduating classes, not select groups within the class.

And yes, one was a former professor at U Maryland Medical Center, another was a former professor at Penn State. The both had worked with alumni, who'd gotten both a PhD from elsewhere (see Penn, Carnegie-Mellon, Hopkins, etc) and a 2yr MD from Miami. These students were highly accomplished (remember what I said about regular doctors, there's nothing very impressive at a ~30 MCAT score average
{my own scoring range is 33-34} [ back then it was ~160 but the scoring changed in the 90s ] ) but yet, when push came to shove, Miami closed that program. When asked, back then, Miami skirted giving public responses but a few in the adcoms did blurt out that there was political pressure to keep the MD program at 4 years, since overachieving PhDs were getting higher board scores but spending less time in medical school.

Since you think that I'm a liar then so be it. I know you have some high impression of a group of persons who take grade inflated classes, pad their resumes with activities like 'Heath Advisory Co-Sub-Chairperson', etc, then be my guest and give MDs all the credit and power that they don't deserve over our society.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 13, 6:15am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Well, Buffet likes to straddle political issues w/o coming out with more concrete solutions.

I guess if B.O.'s plan fully goes into action, then many of Berkshire Hathaway's companies can actually pay the federal penalty and not offer any plan to any employees, since it would ultimately cost less and everyone can buy one at their local state exchange.

In the end, medicine will be socialized and the govt, a single payer.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 13, 8:17am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Single payer wouldn't be all bad. Insurance would be socialized, but the providers would still be private. There would be only one big insurer -- the gov't -- and medical prices would not be allowed to be both hidden and infinitely high, like they are now.

In five years, the state of Vermont is going this way. They're going to be the 1st single payer state. Let's see how they turn out but I'm suspecting that initially, they may lose some staff at places like Burlington or Rutland, however, over time it'll probably equilibrate, since ultimately, the big dollars in medical care will start to dwindle nationwide.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 14, 2:20pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I think the key is is that historically, those who'd brought their properties from 1960 till 2001, and paid it off, now, can take a reverse mortgage, and spend it during their final years, instead of selling and moving to a nursing home. That's in effect, using the primary home as an asset.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 15, 4:58am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

So MD's take "grade inflated classes", "pad their resumes" (actually doctors have CV's), while Ph's never play politics or game their resume? Right, sure. Not in my world. Why so much anger? Did an md sleep with your sister or something?

A lot of my angst comes from my own undergrad experiences. And no, a premed didn't sleep with an ex-GF and believe me, I wished that my sister had marry a med or dental student over the salesman who she landed in the end. Oh well.

I was one of those persons who'd believed in education first, GPA second. I took the tougher Chem Engin and Applied Chem courses, which gave very few A's (if any) but a lot more B+'s. My premed counterparts, mostly majored in Biology, Biochem, etc took courses where it was clear that the most important aspect of the course or section was to be straight in the middle of the A- to A scoring range. On the whole, I pretty much studied a lot for a 3.6+ GPA and had to balance that with CO-OP/internships, getting a paper published, doing a tutoring program, and playing some sports. In other words, if I'd played the premed game, I wouldn't have taken courses like O-Chem/P-Chem [for Engineering Majors], Thermo, Reactor Design/Kinetics, and Transport Phen, and could have raised that GPA to 3.8-3.9 and with a 34 MCAT, may have a shot at a seat at a Johns Hopkins or Washington Univ medical center. Also, I was disgusted by these pre-healthcare societies where every other person made himself a committee co-chairperson or some other glamorous role, which indicated a type of faux leadership quality. There was a guy, an old classmate of mine, who drove a bus (yes, he was a bus driver), and then, re-engineered that role into "Transportation Initiative - Director" because in place of driving that bus within 200 ft of school Health Services Clinic, he parked himself at the 50 ft mark.

But you're correct, a lot of PhDs, esp once they enter the postdoc world, become very political and have their own agenda, usually related to funding and publication rights. So yes, perhaps the plethora of academics, wanting an MD to enhance their profile in a clinical funding rat race, did give that Miami cancellation a bad name and thus, the *urban legend* of it, being against true academic talent has been in the woodwork ever since. I'll give you that.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 15, 6:34am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

bob2356 says

still this worked up about what happened in college then maybe a serious evaluation of your current life is in order

I look at it like this ... the past and present are connected. A lot of engineering types (myself included) thought that society valued us, only to find huge legions of technology sectors offshored from chem process eng to electronic firmware and then, IT. Today, I'm transitioning into trading, in an entrepreneurial manner, which is the first time I'd seen MD-like wages in my life. But like a lot of folks, who'd believed in society's goodness, I'm rather upset that one can make anywhere from $200K into the millions by flipping futures and currency trades. Thus, I'll make this transition for the sake of becoming independently wealthy so that I don't end up like the current crop of NASA engineers, well educated but highly specialized and thus, unmarketable in their 50s, once their programs get cancelled. But will I ever like this line of work ? No, I despise it and I don't see it bettering humanity in any way.

But thanks for the Henley reference but realize this, many of 'em (a few are relatives) re-located to Thailand or the Philippines because they could never re-adapt to American society, after the Vietnam war.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 15, 11:21pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Vicente says

"old hand" that kept suspecting my niece of having bulimia or some kind of other girl-psychology disorder because she would have terrible bouts of vomitting. Finally seen by a "youngster" who diagnosed her with Crohn's Disease in short order.

Also realize this, the old timer is shielded from losing his job via a code of silence among MDs. I recall this exact situation where a family member, with type 2 diabetes, was misdiagnosed with various infections when the problem was obvious to someone, who wasn't simply looking for a blanket one size fits all type of diagnosis. Well, when everything was said and done, those MDs later tried to say that the soon-to-be diabetes diagnosis was in the queue, when it wasn't the whole time. Thus, no potential liability suit was in the cards.

If the cadre of engineers maintained the above level of incompetence, for ages at a time, and it was observed by others in the private sector, at least a few of them would lose their jobs.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 17, 8:34am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Gogogan says

Why bother working in this system?

Here's the thing ... people still go to *medical professionals* for their opinions. Nowadays, however, it's become one's friendly chiropractor or nutritionist, instead of one's GP doctor. And why's that? One, a general internal medicine MD sees you for ~5 mins and basically either gives you an Rx or sends you to a specialist. Your neighborhood chiropractor may in fact, give you a massage, some electric muscle stim/ultrasound (for pain relief), and your nutritionist may be concerned for the lack of chlorophyll in your overall diet. And here's why ... those other fellows earn ~$80/hr, see 3 patients in an hour, vs 12 patients per hour at a regular doctor's office. The end result is that chiropractors or nutritionists earn $60-$100K/yr (after overhead expenses), that's a regular science/engineering type of salary than the $180-$280K/yr that ordinary non-specialist MDs earn for doing minimal service for their patients.

So the fact of the matter is that MDs could, in fact, take a lower pay, and provide better services like other ancillary types, however, in reality, they'd genuinely entered medicine for the money. In fact, even the smart engineers I knew, who'd left research & development (or production) to become doctors later, did it for one, the job security, and two, to double or triple (if surgeon) the pay. And these weren't the resume padders either.

Where my chiropractor is intrigued by a frozen shoulder, my GP would rather just cover it with a codeine prescription and tell me to use the other arm for the following month. I can afford to see my chiropractor regularly (lower cost with or without insurance co-pay) for muscle and skeletal issues and as a result, have no ailments. Thus, over time, he's gained my trust and confidence. My GP doctor, however, will never be more than an @sshole to me, who earns $220K/yr for doing squat.

  Rin   ignore (3)   2012 Jul 17, 9:27am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Gogogan says

So, what if we modify your situation slightly:
What you're looking for is someone who is NOT primarily motivated by the market who will use their judgement to render the absolute best treatment option available for your personal short-term and long-term needs. You are effectively looking for a 'fatherly' or "avuncular" figure to do what's best for you. Someone who doesn't care about the money.

Well, my comment above addresses that. That person is gone or quickly disappearing. I have no idea if paying that person more or less would make much difference. Would your parents care more or less if you paid them?

IMO, that person, the older brother figure, seldom enters medicine, meaning MD program, to start with. I believe that Patch Adams (Robin William's character) is an outlying data point.

The ancillary folks I've become friends with over the years: Chiropractors, Nutritionist, Acupuncturists, etc, all know that if they decided to be a Patent Attorney or Actuary, that they could have made more money. (BTW, many of these folks did make Dean's List at their respective colleges; they're not the so-called bottom of the barrel crowd). Now here's the catch, they like the work they do and the contributions they make, while at the same time, be able to pay their bills and put food on the table. They couldn't imagine a life of simply pushing paper and mainly interacting with people, as billable business clients for a paycheck (or big E-O-Y bonus).

Medicine, however, attracts types with less savory personalities. For instance, a person who fights for every A- or A grade out there, many times, looking for shortcuts wherever possible. This is classically known as a GPA *gunner* mentality. Then, there are the Marines persona but with a know-it-all motif who strive for not only awards, like Marksman of the Year, Triathlon Champ, yada, yada, but live to see other people under their dominion. These are your alpha male cardiac surgeons. Then, they are the 'bus drivers' (see the example of my former classmate above, post 49), who basically make up tall tales of their leadership and heroism to win approval. I think among the above crowd is an overlap with the current crop of investment bankers because the end goal is a high salary along with a big ego.

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