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Q: comparing doctor and lawyer salries ( No Answer,   3 Comments )
Subject: comparing doctor and lawyer salries
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: researcher13-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 28 Jul 2005 19:04 PDT
Expires: 27 Aug 2005 19:04 PDT
Question ID: 549227
Who has a higher annual salary in the US - surgeons or lawyers?

I am not interested in the average or median salaries. I am talking of
the people who are at the absolute top of their games - top surgeons
or lawyers in top law firms.

There are some sites I found which list surgeons above lawyers, but
then again this was based on average salaries.

I would if possible like figures for top players in each of these
professions. Even better would be an explanation for why one
profession makes more money than the other (an example would be :- top
lawyers make more because they are partners in their firms ... etc.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: comparing doctor and lawyer salries
From: myoarin-ga on 29 Jul 2005 04:14 PDT
This article explains much of what you ask  - but not the statistics:

Perhaps you did not realize it, but these to professions are related
not just by income.
There are lawyers who specialize in contingency work (no fixed fee,
just a share of the settlement if successful), and many of them
concentrate on medical mal-practice suits.  The article suggests that
these are the highest earning lawyers.  And as you suggest, senior
partners share in the income of their firms, also a reason mentioned
for high income.
These cases don't usually bancrupt the surgeon because he has
insurance, but expensive, $200,000 premium/year mentioned for Miami
neurosurgeons.  That cuts into their net income, but of course boosts
their fees.

Ah, here is a nice site that talks about lawyers' (plaintiffs') earnings:

The first listings on the following site indicate that surgeons can do quite well:

This one includes the following quotation:
"Our highest-income single physician is a multi-million dollar surgeon
whose patients come to him from all around the world."

I am convinced that the best lawyers earn more than the best surgeons,
and I hope you are too.

Someone maybe chuckling that I couldn't tickle the information out of
the Beureau of Labor Statistics site.
Subject: Re: comparing doctor and lawyer salries
From: khephri-ga on 29 Jul 2005 08:37 PDT
While the gist of the above comment makes sense, I do not agree that
?The best lawyers make more than the best doctors?.  How about
instead, "The highest paid lawyers make more than the highest paid

Some of the really high earners that I have come across are not really
the best at their profession; they are just really good at selling
themselves and they put maximizing their income before everything
else.  In order to maximize their income, they create a perception
that they are the best at their profession, but sometimes perception
and reality are very, very different.

In contrast, none of the best lawyers or surgeons that I know is a
true top-earner.  Certainly, if you work as a public defender, DA, or
for a non-profit, your income will not match the income of lawyers who
win major contingency cases for product liability or medical
malpractice.  Yes, some of these public service jobs are stepping
stones to big-buck firms or public office, but that is not the sole
motivation.  Surgeons who work for Universities and government
hospitals have historically earned much less than their colleagues in
private practice, but are they inferior?  Without question they are
inferior at one thing: they are inferior at maximizing their income.

When I go to see a lawyer, I want insightful legal advice about what
is best for me.  I do not want someone to see me as nothing more than
potential billable hours or a fat contingency fee.  When I go to see a
surgeon, I want someone who has keen clinical insight, has excellent
technical skills, and places a high priority on my welfare.  I do not
want someone who decides what to do based on which treatment will have
a higher reimbursement.

If personal income were truly the be-all, end-all measure of quality,
then Bernie Ebbers, Dennis Kozlowski, and Jeffrey Skilling would still
be running WorldCom, Tycho, and Enron.
Subject: Re: comparing doctor and lawyer salries
From: dmrmv-ga on 29 Jul 2005 12:59 PDT
Mom, is that you?

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