It can be fun to imagine what it is like to become a surgeon. From afar, surgeons seem to enjoy saving people at the hospital while earning hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
With such a lofty salary, one can dream of buying cars, mansions, and investments. How wonderful it is to become a surgeon! But reality bites when you indeed see what surgeons experience and go through.
Since their initial years in medical schools, surgeons know what they would endure in the years to come. They would strain their brains with reading, rigorously work in long hospital shifts, sacrifice their time for themselves, and barely sleep.
Surgeons give up so much, yet their risk of failing is astoundingly high. Because of this, High depression, burnout, and suicide rates plague the surgical field. Despite the facade of luxury their career brings, surgeons are people too.
Members of the surgical industry invest their very lives in their careers. As they select their specialty, surgeons must balance their expected salary and work hours.
Ultimately, these factors may determine the surgeons’ future work-life balance. This dilemma is not only a matter of comfort or ease. Their careers rest on how the lifestyle that they have.
A single injury or disease that breaks their hands and senses can ruin the surgeons’ lives. Infections and accidents can put all of their investments to waste.
Therefore, surgeons carefully assess how they will live while practising surgery. They also estimate how satisfied they will be with their future income. Most importantly, they want to balance work with their personal lives and relationships.
Surgeons can have different standards on specialties that can give them the best lifestyle. These include working for few hours or receiving high salaries.
Some consider less burdensome work hours as the basis of a good lifestyle. A research letter released in the Journal of the American Medical Association sheds light on this matter.
These are the surgeons who work for fewer hours on average compared to their colleagues:
- Plastic and reconstructive surgeons. Since they primarily handle elective surgeries, they tend to spend less time at the hospital. Moreover, many of their patients set appointments for their cosmetic surgeries, making their specialty less urgent than the others.
- Pediatric surgeons. They have to be on-call should a child (or any patient) be rushed into the emergency room. But many of such cases can be handled first by general surgeons. Their specialty allows them to have shorter shifts depending on the hospital’s leniency.
On the contrary, vascular surgeons and thoracic surgeons spend the most hours on average at the hospital.
Higher salaries can mean more cash to spend on vacations, leisure activities, and wealthy living. For those who consider salary as a measurement for a good lifestyle, here are the surgeons with the highest compensation in Australia:
- Neurosurgeons. They are at the top of all Australian workers, with over $570,000 of income annually.
- Ophthalmic surgeons. They earn over $550,000 every year.
- Thoracic surgeons. Given how common heart diseases are, thoracic surgeons are in demand. They receive over $450,000 per annum.
Every surgeon has a unique personality and set of priorities. Becoming pediatric surgeons or plastic and reconstructive surgeons can be a good choice for those who value having more spare time.
But surgeons who match a pleasant lifestyle with higher salaries might enjoy becoming neurosurgeons, ophthalmic surgeons, or thoracic surgeons. After all, in the end, they will have more cash to spend.