What does the public think about doctors? I had an interesting conversation the other day with one of Mrs Happy's old bosses when she worked in the kitchen of a local nursing home during her teenage years. She was with a younger gentleman. I assume it was her grown son. We ran in to her eating breakfast at a restaurant. I was shocked by the perception he had of all physicians being rich.
Woman: Hello Mrs Happy. I haven't seen you in years. How are you doing?
Mrs Happy: I'm doing great. This is my husband Happy.
Woman: Nice to meet you. You look great Mrs Happy. Where are you working these days?
Mrs Happy: I'm not currently working.
Woman: That's great. Oh, how wonderful. That must be really nice.
Happy: Actually, Mrs Happy likes to work.
Woman's grown Up Son: What do you do Happy?
Happy: I'm a physician.
Woman's Grown Up Son: Oh, wow. You'll get there. Congratulations.
Woman's Son: You'll get there. It won't be long.
Happy: I don't understand.
Woman's Son: You know. Before long you'll be driving your Lamborghini.
Happy: Lamborghini? It's just not like that anymore. Doctors don't make the kind of money they used to. I'll live a comfortable life, but I won't be driving a Lamborghini.
This is the public opinion of doctors. We all drive around in Lamborghinis. I'm not sure what the definition of rich is, but most doctors aren't driving around in Lamborghinis and traveling the world in yachts. Where does this rich opinion of doctors come from? Perhaps to the lay public, rich is anyone that makes more money than them. I suppose if you use that definition, just about everyone with a college or post graduate college degree making more than $60,000 a year is rich.
I'd say I live a comfortable life, but not rich by any means. It's all relative. You compare yourself with what you know. The neighbors down the street might seem rich to you if they drive a nicer car than you. But that neighbor might feel the same way about their cousin in Cleveland who always seems to have the newest toys and gadgets. If you are always comparing your life to those around you, you will never feel rich. When in fact being rich has nothing to do with driving Lamborghinis. It's more about deciding granite vs quartz in your kitchen counter tops. This original Happy Hospitalist medical humor card sums up the discussion quite nicely.
"ER nurse: We need an admitting diagnosis for that Medicaid patient, doctor. Doctor: How 'bout 'Failure to contribute to my Lamborghini'."
This post was contains humor that may only be understood by some healthcare professionals. Read at your own risk.