Can doctors be millionaires?

"Doctors don't become millionaires anymore"

WIESLOCH. Medical students apparently know exactly what they will get into later in the medical profession. The challenges ahead are also clear. When it comes to shaping one's personal future, however, ideas are very different.

This can be seen in a discussion about the future of the medical profession among the scholarship holders of the "Medical Excellence" program of the financial service provider MLP in Wiesloch. The cooperation partner of the scholarship program is the publishing house Springer Medizin, to which the "Ärzte Zeitung" belongs.

IGeL is no longer about the new Porsche

Many of the scholarship holders have the feeling that the patient is increasingly becoming a customer and that self-pay benefits are increasing. This is also Benjamin Weinkauf's assessment. The student from Heidelberg sees the reason why self-pay benefits are increasing primarily in the low earnings of the resident doctors.

The student has learned that for a long time now, self-pay services are no longer about a new Porsche, as it might once have been, but about the existence of the doctor. "A doctor in the country often earns as much as the master bricklayer around the corner," says Weinkauf.

Sarah Merkel from Mainz is also of the opinion that the patient is increasingly becoming a customer and that this is related to the increase in IGeL offers. She sees a danger for the medical profession in the fact that this turns the doctor into a seller.

It becomes clear that the students want to help people and not sell them. Christian Beescho from Hamburg, who is involved in professional policy in addition to his studies, is of the opinion that the increasing number of IGeL offers will damage the medical profession in the future. The discussion of the past few weeks has left its mark.

Anne Magdalene Reineck, who received the special "family doctor" grant, also sees a change in patients: "I notice that the demands of patients on the doctor are increasing." The patient often already knows exactly what he wants when he comes to the practice.

"It would therefore not be bad if the patient also knew what the medical treatment would cost," said Reineck.

Young physicians see themselves as team players

When it comes to their own later payment, the students don't complain much. "It was already clear to me before I started studying that doctors would no longer be millionaires," says Julia Sasse from Berlin. She thinks doctors whine at a high level.

"We'll all have a good starting salary." Mohammed Sharityar, who studies in Tübingen, is of the opinion that "besides all the whining", doctors should see "the great thing" in their job. "I like to work and also a lot."

Beescho agrees, but points out that being a doctor is also normal hard work - and that you should be paid accordingly. The students only complain to the PFY. "I'm ready to make sacrifices, but work 12 hours a day and you don't get a cent for it, I don't think that's justified," says Reineck.

Lack of predictability as a problem in the medical profession

But the money is not the most important thing for the students. For most of the scholarship holders, the first priority is the compatibility of family and work. "The work-life balance has to be right," says Maximilian Friedrich.

Above all, Beescho sees the lack of predictability as a problem in the medical profession. One reason for this is that there are too few doctors in Germany. Many also believe that the availability of part-time positions is still very limited.

Professor Dominik Parsch, chief physician at Baumann-Klinik Orthopädie at Karl-Olga-Krankenhaus Stuttgart and member of the advisory board of "Medical Excellence" is optimistic: "That will change in the future and adapt to needs."

Few dream of having their own practice: only Ulrike Förster from Heidelberg would later like to work in her own practice in the countryside. She comes from Upper Lusatia and is still very attached to her homeland.

"I've already seen what it is like when people in rural areas need help and there are no doctors around," she says. That's why she wants to go back. Some of the students, on the other hand, see a perspective for themselves in a group practice. "I don't want to work as a lone fighter in a practice," says Friedrich, "but rather in a team with colleagues."