Header from Fyr til Fyr 60k. Photo by Moses Løvstad

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Is this job for real?

Perhaps you would like to know what it is like to work as a doctor in Denmark. Perhaps you wouldn't. Anyway, here are my impressions so far.


First of all, the Danish doctors I have met (except perhaps SR) can agree on one thing: they'd never get their training elsewhere. Residents here work no more than 37 hours a week. Compare this to 80 hours a week in the US. and around 60 in many other Western nations. Though, training may take more years, it doesn't seem to be of an inferior quality. And the pay in Denmark is more than in the US (or around the same when you take out taxes... but remember we don't need to pay for health care on top of that). In addition, there are 5 weeks of vacation here. And 1 "family week" off. These are all paid. Oh and then there are 10 educational days. Plus there are many national holidays that one doesn't work unless they are on call.


Take this month for example. In April, I have 3 days of introduction and then work a total of 14 days! And no call (yet). Again, is this job for real?


Plus patients and doctors don't have to worry about lack of health care. And almost every infection here still responds to penicillin. And we get to wear these tight, white scrubs and a short sleaved white coat. Okay, this isn't me. But you get the idea... Is this a health care utopia?


Oh, and if one is so happy at work that they feel compelled to make yet another baby in a call room, you get a year of paid time off.


Running Song of the Day: Happy up here by Röyksopp.

7 comments:

Danni said...

Surely there's a catch!

oz said...

The catch is that taxes are very high in Denmark - 63% of your income if you make more than 360,000 Danish kroner, or about $64,000. Many young people have moved out of Denmark because of this. Nearby London is often jokingly referred to among Danes as a Danish town because so many of them live there.

Abbie said...

So is one "so" happy? Is this a hint about something? :)

sea legs girl said...

Dear Oz,

I end up with about exactly the same pay here as in the US (after taxes are taken out) and I work less than half the amount.

I'm not as familiar with the British system. I know one doctor who moved over there from Denmark, but then moved back. I have heard that the hours there are much longer for doctors.But you are right about taxes being higher in Denmark than the UK (which would be a plus for many high-paying fields).

And just to update your stats, the Danish tax system recently changed. One now has to make over $70,000 to pay the high tax rate (topskat).

Michelle said...

Well, it does sound divine.

My hubby just found out that his job is being eliminated, effective June 1, so we're on the hunt for new employment. It is a very depressing time for us. I just want to move out of California (although I think Denmark is a bit far away, lol).

JKL said...

Are you trying to make us all jealous? lol How do we move to Denmark if we don't have a nice Danish husband?

Carrie said...

Just wanted to let you know that I've been following your blog for some time now and find you inspirational! It's wonderful to know that whenever my husband and I decide to have a baby that there are other people who have exercised through the pregnancy and delivered a healthy happy child :) Thank you for continuing to update us 'readers' on your very interesting life :)