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Conversations: How Much To Walk Away?

I asked my cousin (and if you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that my cousin is also a classmate of mine) this question, “If someone were to pay you to leave medical school, and you could never come back, how much money would it have to be?”

She thought for a while, and, instead of answering me with a straight answer, she asked me how much it would take for me to walk away.

I quickly replied, “$100 million.”

I’m not sure if she laughed or chuckled. My memory is a bit hazy on that part. But she said she’d probably do it for a “little less.” But upon pressing her about what “a little less” meant, I think she said $50 million. She did say, however, that she’d probably always wonder “What if?’ about staying in medical school.

Ideally someone would offer me $100 million to take and I could stay in medical school too. But if the condition was that I walk away and never return to med school… Well, I don’t think I’d have any qualms about that.

Does that make me any less of a medical student? Does it reflect poorly on me?

I wonder because I asked another classmate the same question. Her reply was a lighting-fast, “You couldn’t pay me to leave. You’d have to kick me out.”

Her answer left me speechless. Well kind of… I did manage to say, “Oh… that’s cool.”

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  • http://continuu.net/ Nate

    Perhaps it is something to worry about. Then perhaps it isn’t.
    Maybe you just feel as if having $100 million would be perfect. Additionally, you could pursue a different career that you know you’d love. For me, I’d demand $500 million, and I’d pursue a career as a cellist.
    Could you imagine not being able to go back to medical school? Not becoming a medical practitioner? I’ve only finished my 1st semester of college, and I’m scared of those questions!

  • http://continuu.net Nate

    Perhaps it is something to worry about. Then perhaps it isn’t.
    Maybe you just feel as if having $100 million would be perfect. Additionally, you could pursue a different career that you know you’d love. For me, I’d demand $500 million, and I’d pursue a career as a cellist.
    Could you imagine not being able to go back to medical school? Not becoming a medical practitioner? I’ve only finished my 1st semester of college, and I’m scared of those questions!

  • http://www.JeffreyMD.com/ Jeff W

    Actually I think I could imagine not being able to come back to medical school and doing something totally unrelated to medicine.

    I’m not one of the people who grew up dreaming about a career in medicine. I actually started college as a computer engineering major (I didn’t switch majors until midway through my second year). 

  • http://www.JeffreyMD.com Jeff W

    Actually I think I could imagine not being able to come back to medical school and doing something totally unrelated to medicine.

    I’m not one of the people who grew up dreaming about a career in medicine. I actually started college as a computer engineering major (I didn’t switch majors until midway through my second year). 
  • http://fdmd.blogspot.com/ FD

    Interesting post. Regarding your answer, in reality, would you really leave medical school for that amount of money?

    Though your answer, for me, implied that it is impossible for you to be paid to leave med school.

    Perhaps, she was asked the same question before.

  • http://fdmd.blogspot.com FD

    Interesting post. Regarding your answer, in reality, would you really leave medical school for that amount of money?

    Though your answer, for me, implied that it is impossible for you to be paid to leave med school.

    Perhaps, she was asked the same question before.

  • http://www.JeffreyMD.com/ Jeff W

    Without a doubt. If leaving medical school was the one and only condition for receiving $100 million in cash, I would take it in a heartbeat.

    I think that even the most altruistic would be tempted. Because when managed well, $100 million (even under the direction of one person) can be used to do good for more people than one doctor.

    I realize that the scenario is highly unlikely. I mean, who would pay someone that much for dropping out? So in a sense, there is no money any sane person would pay me that could make me drop out.

  • http://www.JeffreyMD.com Jeff W

    Without a doubt. If leaving medical school was the one and only condition for receiving $100 million in cash, I would take it in a heartbeat.

    I think that even the most altruistic would be tempted. Because when managed well, $100 million (even under the direction of one person) can be used to do good for more people than one doctor.

    I realize that the scenario is highly unlikely. I mean, who would pay someone that much for dropping out? So in a sense, there is no money any sane person would pay me that could make me drop out.
  • http://www.medaholic.com/ medaholic

    For me, $100 million is a good incentive. And I don’t think it makes you a bad person for leaving a career of medicine for money.

    Money can be used to do a lot of good things. Can you imagine the influence you can have with that? You can fund scientific research or provide humanitarian aid to the world’s poorest.

    As a front line clinical doctor, you might at most deal with 500,000-1,000,000ppl. But with 100million, your influence and potential to do good is much higher.

  • http://www.medaholic.com medaholic

    For me, $100 million is a good incentive. And I don’t think it makes you a bad person for leaving a career of medicine for money.

    Money can be used to do a lot of good things. Can you imagine the influence you can have with that? You can fund scientific research or provide humanitarian aid to the world’s poorest.

    As a front line clinical doctor, you might at most deal with 500,000-1,000,000ppl. But with 100million, your influence and potential to do good is much higher.