Why do we rare hear of heroic cardiothoracic surgeon saving the life of patient with AAA rupture but we hear about doctor scandals with such as a M.D. overdosing from medication or another swindling cancer patients out of their living days and life?

Why do Hollywood celebrities in skimpy clothes make way more money than similarly attractive female doctors, NP, nurses?

Why do NBA players get so many fans and makes millions than doctors with equal caliber physical and mental stamina and prowess?

Since when do patients and the rest of the society turn against their very own health-care providers?


While we unfortunately get bad press as health care providers due to a few rotten apples, which happen in every walk of life/line of profession, I want to speak up for us and reveal some facts perhaps unknown to the non-white-coats.


  1. We chose medicine though it clearly is not the path of least resistance.

When I look around me, I am astounded by those surround me in medicine, from technologists, nurses, NP’s, PA’s, residents, fellows, to attending physicians. Any of them would be incredibly successful and wealthy if they had chosen a better paid career, NBA players, Hollywood, modeling, business.

With the exception to a few nerdy-looking people like myself, there are an overwhelming amount of good looking gals and guys in the health care profession.  Just scroll through the Staff/resident/fellow pictures at UA/BUMC, I’d say there are few girls who would have made it big in Hollywood if they chose so.

Ironically, the play doctors in Popular TV show “Scrubs” are much better compensated financially & socially than real docs and nurses. Yet look at these Hollywood material girls training and working so hard to be real doctors, working 80-100 hours weekly through their golden 20’s or 30’s, 4 of these years in medical school, paying 50k/year tuition for the privilege to work every day that ends in day.

Another example, have you ever wonder about the neurosurgeon who just finished a 18 hour surgery? Such physical stamina could fuel success and excellence in any line of sports. How about the work ethic of health care providers? Anyone with the dedication to study or work 16+ hours/ day and sustain this intensity for 10-20 years would have easily made it as a CEO of any fortune 500 company.

Turning down opportunities such as NBA players, Hollywood celebrities, or fortune 500 CEO’s, we strive and struggle our way to put on our white coats and to serve fellow human beings. We too are human, and we too need love and support.

We care about the well-being of another individual beyond our loved ones and ourselves. We pay our way, finically, physically, mentally, psychologically, socially, and relationally, for the privilege to serve.

  1. We make inhuman sacrifices.

Look around us, how many marriages, relationships are broken as someone go through their medical training, from medical school to residency, well into attending physician stages. The amount of stress from all fronts, physical fatigue, mental exhaustion, financial stress (with 300-400k of student loans snowballing at 7%), shaken confidence (from being tested/evaluated repeatedly in small and large intervals), is simply inhumane.

Now why would you treat the natural bleeding hearts of our society (those who care enough a stranger to serve them and to carry the weight of someone else’s life or death on his/her shoulders) with such inhumane demands and expect nothing less than bedside manner and stellar test scores?

Something’s ought to give.

Unfortunately, for those of us who chose to put another human being’s wellbeing above our own needs, we are taken for granted.  We are expected to not crumble like any other human being would under extreme pressure and run the code and bring an acutely dying patient back from the cold arms of death.

  1. We are tested and charged in every way possible.

When we signed up for medicine, we signed for a lifelong privilege to be tested, evaluated, and examined into our 80’s if we choose to practice until then. From pre-SAT, MCAT, DAT, PCAT, to USMLE step I/II/III, general medicine boards, specialty medicine boards, to interval recertification/licensure exams. We are the most tested profession on earth. What’s worse, the people who made the laws to test us throughout our entire career are not health care professionals. This makes little sense to me. Additionally, these examinations are incredibly expensive.

USMLE Examination Fees 2017


Step 1 $605* Three month eligibility periods beginning November 1, 2016 – January 31, 2017 and ending October 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017
Step 2 CK $605*
Step 1 and 2CK $70 Eligibility Period Extension (requests received starting January 1, 2017)
Step 2 CS $1,280 For completed applications received starting January 1, 2017.



2015 & 2016 Fee Schedules

COMLEX-USA Cognitive Evaluation July 1, 2015 –
June 30, 2016
July 1, 2016 –
June 30, 2017
COMLEX-USA Level 1 $590 $615
COMLEX-USA Level 2 Cognitive Evaluation $590 $615
COMLEX-USA Level 3 $800 $835
(Exam fee is determined by the registration date)






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