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Psychiatrist's wages?

Are consultants paid too much for what THEY actually do at c£100k/year?

  • Yes

    Votes: 19 70.4%
  • No

    Votes: 8 29.6%

  • Total voters
    27
Rorschach

Rorschach

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I was on the bus yesterday, and I got to thinking about what psychiatrists are paid. Personally I have thought in the past that psychiatrists are guilty of biological reductionism. To be honest I now think that if they reduce mental illness to biology, then we should reduce them to the dealing with that biology, including a subsequent considerable drop in their wages!!!

Nearly all the constructive input into my mental health, and thus any real healing I have received, has been from nursing staff, and yet they get paid a fraction of the wages of shrinks. Having pursued a BSc with a considerable biosciences component including neurobiology, I doubt that the average SHO has a better grasp of the subject than I, and certainly a £70-100k consultant's knowledge would be far less than a PhD student on a £16k stipend who might go on to earn in the region of £30-40k. No doubt they would argue that they do more than merely address neurobiology, but there's the irony; clinicians often spend all their time poo pooing (or at least completely disregarding) the statements of patients in regard to socioeconomic, psychological, and micro-political concerns, then justify their wage packets by arguing they address precisely these factors. In fact much of the real treatment for psychiatric patients is rendered by CPNs, RMNs, Care Assistants, Social Workers, 'Lay' Therapists and Workers. It times where the state has to tighten its belt, when cuts must be made, I can think of no better place to start than with psychiatrists. They would no doubt wish to be compared with other grades and consultants across the NHS, but let us not forget that very many of these have a wide skill base, often including surgical skill (and I'm not arguing for more psychosurgery before they get any ideas!!!). Its time that we turn around the description of psychiatry as biologically reductionist, and reduce both their job description (to cover what they can or will ACTUALLY do) with an associated drop in wages. Some might argue that with lower wages in the discipline talent would be drained away from psychiatry, having met much of the 'talent' I'd argue that this might be no bad thing.


After all how much should somebody be paid for holding the metaphorical keys to the meds cabinet?

I'm interested in hearing people's thoughts on this?
 
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Rorschach

Rorschach

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Interesting, somebody voted they think they're worth their money; care to back up your vote with qualification?

If we consider that it is projected that after recovery by 2012, the average price of a house will be around £226,000. Even if we take psychiatrists as being of above average importance to society (let's say for arguments sake double the average) and that they pay a third of their wages in NI and Tax, then we are left with a standard consultant psychiatrists home being worth c£500k, with a yearly wage after tax of c£66k (and ignoring private practice or 'consultancy'). That would mean they would be able, not counting their ability to gain multiple properties, mortages and related incomes, to buy outright a half a million pound home in around 12 years with a remaining wage of c24k (after tax!!!) a year for that 12 year period.

Given that the average person's mortgage is around 25 years, and given that we have already calculated that their home would be worth twice as much, are we also meant to swallow that it would also take them half the time for pay for a house valued at double the (average) value???

I would think that considering their education, training, and position, a capped salary from the public purse for their biomedical intervention should be fairly set at c£50k?
 
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A

Apotheosis

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I would think that considering their education, training, and position, a capped salary from the public purse for their biomedical intervention should be fairly set at c£50k?
Personally I think that they should all be sacked, held account for all the damage they have caused - & bio-medical psychiatry abolished. If we have to keep them - then a 25k cap is reasonable - it's sickening what they get paid - for lets have it right - being drug dealers - they are no different to someone serving up heroin; worse if anything.
 
shaun3210

shaun3210

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It was me who voted no :) If it’s an easy life on the gravy train being a consultant psychiatrist why is there a shortage?

http://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/showthread.php?t=5590

Off course some are rubbish but there are others who are worth every penny! Rather than pointing the finger at consultants I think those who set policy and spending need looking at more closely first.
 
Rorschach

Rorschach

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Personally I think that they should all be sacked, held account for all the damage they have caused - & bio-medical psychiatry abolished. If we have to keep them - then a 25k cap is reasonable - it's sickening what they get paid - for lets have it right - being drug dealers - they are no different to someone serving up heroin; worse if anything.
But let's not forget they do serve a dual function for society, which is visible by subtext, even if it is not delineated during their 'therapeutic' interventions or useful in the copy for their trade. They work jointly for the Department of Health and the Ministry of Justice, tho' of course this is veiled by their wages being paid by the Department of Health. Given we (i.e. patients and survivors) are more than aware of the efficacy of their therapeutic interventions, and where the real credit for people managing recovery of mental health lies, I think that 50k a year for throwing pills at people and associated juridical duties for the state seems fair; how much does a wing governor receive in the prison service?
 
Rorschach

Rorschach

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It was me who voted no :) If it’s an easy life on the gravy train being a consultant psychiatrist why is there a shortage?

http://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/showthread.php?t=5590

Off course some are rubbish but there are others who are worth every penny! Rather than pointing the finger at consultants I think those who set policy and spending need looking at more closely first.
To be honest, let's hope it becomes a real drought. That way the system will be altered through need without patients having to attempt to address ideology.

As to their being a drought, it was recently pointed out to me by an ex RMN who was presenting her findings after conducting a PhD back within the system (i.e. on an ICU), that the jural features of the job have created an existential crisis for staff; poor dears. The sooner that psychiatry is reduced to prescribing medication in support of the real healers, and perhaps 'wards' clearly delineated as those under the jurisdiction of the department of health or the ministry of justice, the better. The most complicated requirement of a move toward this bipartite system would be the mechanism and criteria to move back and forth between DoH and MoJ institutions.

The current system merely add to the binds patients have experienced during their lives, subsequent 'treatment', and recovery.
 
intelgal

intelgal

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Hiya,


I ve voted that its is right for them to be paid this much.Maybe I am skwed by the fact that I have had very positive experiences with them but we ve got to remember there are bad Heart drs, orthopeadic drs, Peadiatric etc etc

They are ultimaltly responsible and accountable for there actions by not only there patients but there profession and the law. I think its a massive resposnsibilty. They only thing I diagree with is the difference in pay that junior SHOs get (F1's as they are called now) and consultant level. Registrars get a raw deal and work very long hours often longer than junior drs hours.
 
Rorschach

Rorschach

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But let's not forget they do serve a dual function for society, which is visible by subtext, even if it is not delineated during their 'therapeutic' interventions or useful in the copy for their trade. They work jointly for the Department of Health and the Ministry of Justice, tho' of course this is veiled by their wages being paid by the Department of Health. Given we (i.e. patients and survivors) are more than aware of the efficacy of their therapeutic interventions, and where the real credit for people managing recovery of mental health lies, I think that 50k a year for throwing pills at people and associated juridical duties for the state seems fair; how much does a wing governor receive in the prison service?
Pay grades in Prison service as follows...

Governor 1 – £60,010 to £62,143 (spinal points 279 to 286)
Governor 2 – £54,312 to £55,684 (spinal points 259 to 264)
Governor 3 – £46,763 to £48,184 (spinal points 229 to 235)
Governor 4 – £39,276 to £41,281(spinal points 194 to 204)
Governor 5 – £33,986 to £36,993 (spinal points 165 to 182)
Principal officer – £26,884 to £35,546 (spinal points 118 to 174)
Senior officer – £25,449 to £33,149 (spinal points 107 to 160)
Prison officer – £16,739 to £30,914 (spinal points 23 to 146)

I think given the number of patients 'processed' on a weekly basis through the different statuses (i.e. forensic, formal, informal, outpatient) and thus the consultant's commitment, Scale 3 would be appropriate; as I said up to the £50k mark?
 
shaun3210

shaun3210

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To be honest, let's hope it becomes a real drought. That way the system will be altered through need without patients having to attempt to address ideology.

As to their being a drought, it was recently pointed out to me by an ex RMN who was presenting her findings after conducting a PhD back within the system (i.e. on an ICU), that the jural features of the job have created an existential crisis for staff; poor dears. The sooner that psychiatry is reduced to prescribing medication in support of the real healers, and perhaps 'wards' clearly delineated as those under the jurisdiction of the department of health or the ministry of justice, the better. The most complicated requirement of a move toward this bipartite system would be the mechanism and criteria to move back and forth between DoH and MoJ institutions.

The current system merely add to the binds patients have experienced during their lives, subsequent 'treatment', and recovery.
What about all those who get caught up in this drought transition period you talk about? are they acceptable casualties for the greater good?

Ministry of justice looking after MH? Sounds like you’re after totalitarian type solution for MH?

Bit insulted the best you can find to compare a consultant psych with is a prison Governor, but it fits with the question I asked above.
 
Rorschach

Rorschach

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Hiya,


I ve voted that its is right for them to be paid this much.Maybe I am skwed by the fact that I have had very positive experiences with them but we ve got to remember there are bad Heart drs, orthopeadic drs, Peadiatric etc etc

They are ultimaltly responsible and accountable for there actions by not only there patients but there profession and the law. I think its a massive resposnsibilty. They only thing I diagree with is the difference in pay that junior SHOs get (F1's as they are called now) and consultant level. Registrars get a raw deal and work very long hours often longer than junior drs hours.
Ok, I understand you feel they've helped you, and obviously feel endebted to them, but a couple of points. If anything your debt is to society, they've paid for your treatment, paid the shrink, paid for the meds, paid for any other therapy. Less of the deference to doctors, they're over paid civil servants and let's not forget it.

For me to understand why you think they're worth £100k, perhaps you'd like to analyse what you get paid if you currently work, and if you don't work at the moment, what you got paid in your last job? Obviously I don't expect you to give me a figure, but there are many many people who are basically overvalued mostly by themselves (and I'm speaking in financial renumeration terms, not worth in a humanist sense), and manage to convince broader society to buy into the illusion.

I blogged a while ago that when it comes to overvalued markets and subsequent credit crunch, the concept of overvalued 'labour' (i.e. 'I'm worth a £100k/year') is of significant relevance. Where did the overvalued market appear from? You work it out.

As to other doctors being overpaid, or my points about overvalue generally, this site broadly deals with mental health and by extension its provision, so I think discussion of psychiatrist pay certainly isn't a holy cow, and as the 'clients' we're not the only people considering it (see previous link to RMN/Manager blog).
 
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Rorschach

Rorschach

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What about all those who get caught up in this drought transition period you talk about? are they acceptable casualties for the greater good?
The system would continue fairly similarly. I'd imagine the power allocated to some nurses for prescribing medication would be extended, and as they are the people on the ground, I'd personally trust them to be able to run the system. They basically do already.

Ministry of justice looking after MH? Sounds like you’re after totalitarian type solution for MH?
It might have escaped your attention that the MoJ (and previously the Home Office) are intrinsically linked to the MH system, and certainly with the MHA under whose remit it operates. What I would propose isn't that the MoJ take up sole responsibility for MH services, rather come out of the shadows. That those deemed as 'a danger to themselves' or more broadly 'ill' be treated by the DoH and an updated and more therapeutic MHA seems logical, while those with the added 'danger to others' be treated in a forensic setting; some would argue this already exists defacto, but I would argue for clear delineation and different legislation for the two systems. Obviously people would have cause (through actual behaviour or rehabilitation) to cross from one system to the other, but I see no functional purpose for housing the solely mentally ill with the mentally ill who have also been categorised as a threat to others. Having passed through every available psychiatric status I think I have enough experience to propose this bipartite system.

Bit insulted the best you can find to compare a consultant psych with is a prison Governor, but it fits with the question I asked above.
Insulted, why? Are you a consultant, or just extraordinarily empathetic?
 
A

Apotheosis

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It might have escaped your attention that the MoJ (and previously the Home Office) are intrinsically linked to the MH system, and certainly with the MHA under whose remit it operates. What I would propose isn't that the MoJ take up sole responsibility for MH services, rather come out of the shadows. That those deemed as 'a danger to themselves' or more broadly 'ill' be treated by the DoH and an updated and more therapeutic MHA seems logical, while those with the added 'danger to others' be treated in a forensic setting; some would argue this already exists defacto, but I would argue for clear delineation and different legislation for the two systems. Obviously people would have cause (through actual behaviour or rehabilitation) to cross from one system to the other, but I see no functional purpose for housing the solely mentally ill with the mentally ill who have also been categorised as a threat to others. Having passed through every available psychiatric status I think I have enough experience to propose this bipartite system.
That's a very good point.
 
shaun3210

shaun3210

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Insulted, why? Are you a consultant, or just extraordinarily empathetic?
I have been under the care of consultant psych, but never under a prison governor and I intend to keep it that way! comparing the 2 is like apple and oranges and IMO not a valid comparison.

With the way people with MH issues are viewed and made to feel by sociality as a whole, perhaps not the best choice for the comparison.
 
A

Apotheosis

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With the way people with MH issues are viewed and made to feel by sociality as a whole, perhaps not the best choice for the comparison.
Held/incarcerated against my will; for over a year in total; & yet had committed no crime. Forced meds & treatment against my will - I think that there is ample comparison.
 
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