Discussion: Medical Education as an Investment

Thanks Crow. I was going to ask nightwatchman few questions about both Bond and non-standard entrance.

My son did very bad at UCAT last year and he got about 60%. According to himself, he did awful on his atar as well, but I think the results of 98.7% should give him a chance to have a try at both Bond this year (and maybe next year as well) and non-standard entrance next year if he get much better scores at UCAT this year. I have few questions to ask as below.

1. I think it is much harder for him to get into medical school via non-standard entrance next year than to get into Bond this year/next year. Do you agree? If he is lucky to get into Bond this year, should he still try to get the BEST scores at UCAT again this year, or should he forget about UCAT altogether? I ask this question because he now has time to study UCAT, and I'm not sure if it is worth it.

2. How easy is it for a graduate from Bond medicine to find a job in Sydney/Melbourne/Canberra? We lived in Brisbane before and currently live in Canberra. It is fine if he can find a job in Brisbane, but I have heard that the pay for a GP is less fantastic in Qld. Do you agree?

Many thanks for your responses in advance!
 

Crow

Medical Student
Emeritus Staff
1. I think it is much harder for him to get into medical school via non-standard entrance next year than to get into Bond this year/next year. Do you agree? If he is lucky to get into Bond this year, should he still try to get the BEST scores at UCAT again this year, or should he forget about UCAT altogether? I ask this question because he now has time to study UCAT, and I'm not sure if it is worth it.
Why do you think this? The non-standard applicants at Bond are in the same applicant pool as the school-leavers. It won't be any easier/harder for your son to get into Bond as a non-standard applicant given he will still be competing against the same applicant pool with essentially the same selection criteria (he may have GPA taken into consideration as well once he has started tertiary study - you can look at the criteria used to assess academic score on the Bond website). If he gets into Bond he can still resit UCAT and apply to some of the other medical schools that accept non-standard applications, yes - that's up to you whether you'd like to do that or not, personally avoiding 400k to go to another school in a CSP position would definitely be worth it for me.
2. How easy is it for a graduate from Bond medicine to find a job in Sydney/Melbourne/Canberra? We lived in Brisbane before and currently live in Canberra. It is fine if he can find a job in Brisbane, but I have heard that the pay for a GP is less fantastic in Qld. Do you agree?
There's a lot to unpack here and I think you will both benefit from doing your own research. A Bond graduate (much like any interstate graduate) is unlikely to get an internship position in a major interstate city but it will be easier to move states after this time. There is plenty of information on this on the forum (as well as the PagingDr forum) so I recommend reading around. I can't speak to GP pay but I suspect this comes down to the practices of the GP and whether they are a practice owner, how well established they are etc etc rather than the state they are practicing in.
 
Thanks Crow. Your insights about the the application pool are of great help. Much appreciated about it!

You said:-
It won't be any easier/harder for your son to get into Bond as a non-standard applicant given he will still be competing against the same applicant pool with essentially the same selection criteria.

Those are wonderful insights!

I disagree with you about your tips about saving money from dropping out of Bond and taking on non-standard entrance though. From a parent's point of view, it may save me some money in the short run, but from a family's point of view, it does not save any money in the long run. Further more, it costs at least 1-2 years in time, and time is money. No matter at which age a doctor starts the practice, he/she usually finishes the career at the same retirement age. From an investor's point of view, it is not a bad investment buying the last 2 working years of a person's life for only $400,000 at current value, given most old doctors in their late 60s earn more than $200k a year today.

I think I will have a discussion with my son and would suggest to him that he might need to prepare for UCAT just in case if he doesn't get an offer from Bond this year. Thanks again! Best regards, Jack
 

LMG!

MBBS IV
Administrator
Thanks Crow. Your insights about the the application pool are of great help. Much appreciated about it!

You said:-
It won't be any easier/harder for your son to get into Bond as a non-standard applicant given he will still be competing against the same applicant pool with essentially the same selection criteria.

Those are wonderful insights!

I disagree with you about your tips about saving money from dropping out of Bond and taking on non-standard entrance though. From a parent's point of view, it may save me some money in the short run, but from a family's point of view, it does not save any money in the long run. Further more, it costs at least 1-2 years in time, and time is money. No matter at which age a doctor starts the practice, he/she usually finishes the career at the same retirement age. From an investor's point of view, it is not a bad investment buying the last 2 working years of a person's life for only $400,000 at current value, given most old doctors in their late 60s earn more than $200k a year today.

I think I will have a discussion with my son and would suggest to him that he might need to prepare for UCAT just in case if he doesn't get an offer from Bond this year. Thanks again! Best regards, Jack

The financial commitment for Bond University is simply incomprehensible for some (many?) applicants. Waiting a year and trying for a CSP to ‘save’ $400k is common practice, tbh. We fairly consistently have a few successful Bond applicants who ultimately turn down their offers due to the upfront costs. The extra year or two of practice is meaningless for many at this point in their lives. Hence Crow’s “it would be worth it for me” reply, I’d say. I can confirm it would also be worth it for me, too.

If this is not the case for your family, and the financial commitment is immediately achievable, then Bond may be feasible option for your son.
 
The financial commitment for Bond University is simply incomprehensible for some (many?) applicants. Waiting a year and trying for a CSP to ‘save’ $400k is common practice, tbh. We fairly consistently have a few successful Bond applicants who ultimately turn down their offers due to the upfront costs. The extra year or two of practice is meaningless for many at this point in their lives. Hence Crow’s “it would be worth it for me” reply, I’d say. I can confirm it would also be worth it for me, too.

If this is not the case for your family, and the financial commitment is immediately achievable, then Bond may be feasible option for your son.

Agreed LMG! Neither his mum nor I earn more than what an experienced GP earns, and money certainly does not grow on trees for us. What I was talking about is if parents like us have $400k to invest on a child's education, I would choose to spend the money to buy 2+ years but not one year of my child's medicine education. So for my son, if he is lucky to get an offer from Bond this year, I would encourage him to try non-standard entrance if he can graduate from that medical school in five years but not 6-7 years time. Crow is right. I need to do more research on those non-standard entrance unis.
 

ucatboy

MD II
Valued Member
I disagree with you about your tips about saving money from dropping out of Bond and taking on non-standard entrance though. From a parent's point of view, it may save me some money in the short run, but from a family's point of view, it does not save any money in the long run. Further more, it costs at least 1-2 years in time, and time is money. No matter at which age a doctor starts the practice, he/she usually finishes the career at the same retirement age. From an investor's point of view, it is not a bad investment buying the last 2 working years of a person's life for only $400,000 at current value, given most old doctors in their late 60s earn more than $200k a year today.
You raise an interesting point about how regardless of what age someone starts earning money as a doctor, they will retire at the same age, thus a delayed entry into the workforce will potentially reduce their "money-making potential". However, I think you might have overlooked the fact that the $400,000 you have spare doesn't just have to be "invested" in tuition at Bond, but there are many other avenues of investment, many of which give far greater returns. So even by purely thinking about your situation in monetary terms (which I don't recommend), you might not actually come out on top by choosing Bond.

For the purposes of simplicity, we'll assume that inflation is zero indefinitely and so is wage growth. We'll also give your son the benefit of the doubt and say he's earning $300,000 a year (inflation-adjusted) in the last two years of his career. This means that by spending $400,000 right now, he'll be able to make back 2 x $300,000 = $600,000 in 50 years' time (or thereabouts). This sounds like a great return at first glance (50%!), but then you realise this is over a period of 50 years. That's a rate of return of 0.814% every year, and even worse, you can't "touch" the money for fifty years (which is when you finally earn your $600,000 back). I'm no investor but someone asking me for $400,000 in the present day and promising $600,000 back (inflation-adjusted and all) in 50 years' time doesn't sound like a good investment at all.

What if you invested that $400,000 in the S&P 500 ETF instead? This source gives an average annual return of 10%, but we have to remove inflation from the equation first which takes that figure down to about 7%. You'll find that in 50 years' time that $400,000 will be $400,000 x 1.07^50 = $11,782,810 (adjusted for inflation). I'm sure your son will be an excellent doctor, but I'm less sure about whether he'll make close to $6,000,000 a year in the final two years of his career - maybe he will, we can't be sure.

What I'm trying to show is that purely thinking about your son's admission into Bond as an investment doesn't make sense as there are many, many more lucrative ways to invest your money. I only gave an index fund as an example, but there are so many other ways you could invest your money - property, a business, the list goes on. If given the option between Bond university and a non-standard CSP, I would pick the non-standard CSP any day, even if it adds two extra years to my medical school journey. If you really want to invest in your son, make him attend a non-standard uni then put the $400,000 you were going to spend on Bond into an index fund instead, he'll thank you for the $12 million in 50 years' time :p
 
Last edited by a moderator:
You raise an interesting point about how regardless of what age someone starts earning money as a doctor, they will retire at the same age, thus a delayed entry into the workforce will potentially reduce their "monkey-making potential". However, I think you might have overlooked the fact that the $400,000 you have spare doesn't just have to be "invested" in tuition at Bond, but there are many other avenues of investment, many of which give far greater returns. So even by purely thinking about your situation in monetary terms, you might not actually come out on top by choosing Bond.

For the purposes of simplicity, we'll assume that inflation is zero indefinitely and so is wage growth. We'll also give your son the benefit of the doubt and say he's earning $300,000 a year (inflation-adjusted) in the last two years of his career. This means that by spending $400,000 right now, he'll be able to make back 2 x $300,000 = $600,000 in 50 years' time (or thereabouts). This sounds like a great return at first glance (50%!), but then you realise this is over a period of 50 years. That's a rate of return of 0.814% every year, and even worse, you can't "touch" the money for fifty years (which is when you finally earn your $600,000 back). I'm no investor but someone asking me for $400,000 in the present day and giving me back $600,000 (inflation-adjusted and all) in 50 years' time doesn't sound like a good investment at all.

What if you invested that $400,000 in the S&P 500 ETF instead? This source gives an average annual return of 10%, but we have to remove inflation from the equation first which takes that figure down to about 7%. You'll find that in 50 years' time that $400,000 will be $4000,000 x 1.07^50 = $11,782,810 (adjusted for inflation). I'm sure your son will be an excellent doctor, but I'm less sure about whether he'll make close to $6,000,000 a year in the final two years of his career - maybe he will, we can't be sure.

What I'm trying to show is that purely thinking about your son's admission into Bond as an investment doesn't make sense as there are many, many more lucrative ways to invest your money. I only gave an index fund as an example, but there are so many other ways you could invest your money - property, a business, the list goes on. If given the option between Bond university and a non-standard CSP, I would pick the non-standard CSP any day, even if it adds two extra years to my medical school journey. If you really want to invest in your son, make him attend a non-standard uni then put the $400,000 you were going to spend on Bond into an index fund instead, he'll thank you for the $12 million in 50 years' time :p
Hi Ucatboy, that's interesting analysis. In a nutshell, I agree with your analysis but I do not agree with your premises of the arguments. If I only have $400k to invest, investing in Bond medicine education may not have the best ROI, as you've well demonstrated, so in that case I have to choose very carefully. But for few reasons as below - 1) earning more money is neither my son nor his parents' life goal, and my son has other career paths (nothing is easy in life though) for him to earn much more than a doctor or a specialist, but he still chooses medicine for various reasons. Having said that, I don't think it is impossible for him to earn $12-20m in his whole career as a doctor as well as an investor; 2) we do not only have $400k, and in the long run, it is small amount of money in our eyes (please think about diversified portfolio); 3)we come from a culture in that we believe investments in education and self-education are the best of all;4)even if medicine education is a luxury item, we want to buy it - I don't think your premises of the arguments suit our situation.

I hope I get to do private messaging after posting those few replies :)
 

A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
What I was talking about is if parents like us have $400k to invest on a child's education
If it's any consolation you'll only have to finance your son $250k. The other $150k can be put on FEE-HELP for him to pay once he starts earning.
(I'm not including living expenses since they'd be similar compared to doing CSP)
 
If it's any consolation you'll only have to finance your son $250k. The other $150k can be put on FEE-HELP for him to pay once he starts earning.
(I'm not including living expenses since they'd be similar compared to doing CSP)
Thanks A1 . That was the argument I used to convince his mum 😃
 

ucatboy

MD II
Valued Member
Hi Ucatboy, that's interesting analysis. In a nutshell, I agree with your analysis but I do not agree with your premises of the arguments. If I only have $400k to invest, investing in Bond medicine education may not have the best ROI, as you've well demonstrated, so in that case I have to choose very carefully. But for few reasons as below - 1) earning more money is neither my son nor his parents' life goal, and my son has other career paths (nothing is easy in life though) for him to earn much more than a doctor or a specialist, but he still chooses medicine for various reasons. Having said that, I don't think it is impossible for him to earn $12-20m in his whole career as a doctor as well as an investor; 2) we do not only have $400k, and in the long run, it is small amount of money in our eyes (please think about diversified portfolio); 3)we come from a culture in that we believe investments in education and self-education are the best of all;4)even if medicine education is a luxury item, we want to buy it - I don't think your premises of the arguments suit our situation.

I hope I get to do private messaging after posting those few replies :)
I understand where you're coming from but I think you may have misinterpreted my argument (or I may have misinterpreted yours before that). From your initial post, I got the impression that even if your son were to attend Bond and receive an offer to study at UNSW, JCU, Newcastle, WSU next year, you would decline such an offer because doing so would delay your son's graduation by 1-2 years. To be clear, I am not comparing studying medicine at Bond versus not studying medicine at all - this is a very complex subject with too many variables, and the fact that many people compete for a place at Bond every year shows that it is a investment many deem worthing of making. What I have not heard however, in both my history on this site and talking to people I know, is someone declining their Commonwealth-supported place in favour of a place at Bond. Was that essentially what you were suggesting? If you interpreted my previous post as comparing Bond medicine versus non-medicine, I apologise for that, that was not my intention.

1) earning more money is neither my son nor his parents' life goal
I understand that, although your initial post seemed to give me the impression that you were purely thinking about the situation in monetary terms i.e. how much extra money will your son make if he graduates two years earlier, unhindered by a first-year transfer from Bond medicine into a non-standard uni.

Having said that, I don't think it is impossible for him to earn $12-20m in his whole career as a doctor as well as an investor
I assume you're referencing the $12 million figure in my post, but I think you've misunderstood the outcomes of the two choices (staying in Bond or dropping out of Bond in favour of a non-standard uni).

Choice 1: Stay in Bond, pay $400,000, graduate two years earlier than choice 2 and earn $12-20m over his lifetime
Choice 2: Drop out of Bond for a non-standard uni, graduate two years later than choice 1 and still earn roughly $12-20m over his lifetime - he'll be a doctor just like in choice 1 after all, albeit two years later.

I therefore think it's irrelevant that he'll make $12-20m in his whole career because he'll make that much either way, maybe marginally less if he takes choice 2 because as you said, he's got two years less to do so. But remember, he can invest the $400,000 he saved from dropping out of Bond into anything he wants really, which is where I got my $12m figure from. So really the outcomes of the two choices look like this:

Choice 1: $12-20m - $400,000 (staying in Bond) = $11.6-19.6m
Choice 2: $12-20m - $600,000 (last two years of salary sacrificed) + 12,000,000 (from investing the saved $400,000) = $23.4-31.4m.

3)we come from a culture in that we believe investments in education and self-education are the best of all;
As someone who comes from a culture with similar values, I totally understand that. But in this situation, your son will receive an accredited medical education either way (one will of course take longer), so I don't think this argument justifies choosing Bond over a non-standard medicine course.

even if medicine education is a luxury item, we want to buy it - I don't think your premises of the arguments suit our situation.
I'm sure many would agree it's a luxury item, but its price varies - you could either pay $400,000 by staying at Bond or $60,000 by transferring to a non-standard uni. Both amount to essentially the same thing - a medical degree. Saying medicine is a luxury item doesn't mean you should be paying top dollar when you could get the same thing for many times less.


Maybe this is all a big misunderstanding but I remain firm in my stance that if your son receives an offer to study medicine at a non-standard university in his first year at Bond, he should take it.
 
Last edited:
Thanks ucatboy , I think we are on the same page. I agree that my son should try non Standard entrance even if he is extremely lucky to get into Bond this year. Whether he wants to stay with Bond if he is extremely lucky again to get accepted by another medical school the next year is totally his decision. You never know what happens next in your life. He may get a girlfriend in Bond. Who knows. :)
 
We've heard reports of students' Ferraris parked at Bond, maybe you should set aside a contingency budget for that too :D
That would be his friend's and not his. Coming from a middle class family, he does not have any luxurious items except for luxurious educations. He will be on his own after graduation, I promise.
 

LMG!

MBBS IV
Administrator
Thanks ucatboy , I think we are on the same page. I agree that my son should try non Standard entrance even if he is extremely lucky to get into Bond this year. Whether he wants to stay with Bond if he is extremely lucky again to get accepted by another medical school the next year is totally his decision. You never know what happens next in your life. He may get a girlfriend in Bond. Who knows. :)

Oof, it’s “totally his decision” to spend $400k - first year tuition of your money and it would be okay to do this purely on the basis of getting a girlfriend. You are a very generous parent!
 
Thanks Crow for moving the posts here. I would like to provide some updates from my son.

First of all, my son did IB and he got the results (41) yesterday. I did not know the option of non standard entrance is available for him until today.

He decides to take UCAT test again this year. He does not plan ahead on non standard entrance until he gets good UCAT scores.

He will apply for Bond medicine.

He will go to ANU to study IT and he would be happy even he does not get into medicine eventually.

I thank everyone for your kindly inputs.
 

forevafrensbear

Regular Member
Opportunity cost.

There are also careers that would be a better 'investment' fiscally than medicine.

The sacrifices required at a work-life balance level are real.

Then again, is it any different in a top tier law firm or Investment Bank?
 
Opportunity cost.

There are also careers that would be a better 'investment' fiscally than medicine.

The sacrifices required at a work-life balance level are real.

Then again, is it any different in a top tier law firm or Investment Bank?
Totally agreed. That was exactly what I was thinking on the monetary aspects of career choosing for my son. Of course everyone is different, and there are many other things in life that are more important than money. I looked at my son's future career from an investor's lens, and I can see a few career paths that beat medicine in monetary terms, and those including top tier law firms, top consultancy firms, Investment Banks, Internet companies and startups. The one good thing about medicine career, in monetary terms, is that it offers comfortable and stable living with which you can borrow a lot of money from bank to invest. The one bad thing about medicine career, in monetary terms again, is that you most likely will not own your own successful companies and be a multi-hundred-millionaire. My son has friends who were born to multi-hundred-millionaires and billionaires and he knows that he won't be rich in life, and he is comfortable in having a happy life instead.
 
Top