Forgive me if I oversimplify. I am a simple man.
There appears to be a backlash, directed against 'whinging doctors'. Mostly, as far as I can tell, from medical students, and other non-doctors.
So; currently doctors feel over-worked, and under-valued. There appears to be a campaign in the media to portray us as overpaid, and underworked.
When we complain, the response appears to be that we don't know how good we have it, and should put up, shut up or fuck off.
As far as I can see.
So... I do feel undervalued, and increasingly asked to work to conform to targets rather than what is necessarily best practice.
Do I feel underpaid? Well, I get good money, make no bones about it. Although, I earn less now than I did three years ago. So in real terms I have taken a pay cut in the region of 6 - 8 % over 3 years.
But; if I complain, I'm told I shouldn't because I have it better than many others, or am seen as ungrateful. This is after all a vocation, so I must be altruistic and compassionate, working only for the love of it.
I feel undervalued because I see other professions earning shitloads. My cousin earns as much, if not slightly more than I do, working for a mobile phone company. I'm not sure anyone tells him he is overpaid, or not working hard enough.
GPs and Hospital Consultants have done very well of late, but it is no more than they deserve, as far as I can tell. Their rise has come from the Govt deciding to pay them for work rendered. It's hardly their fault if it turns out they actually work quite hard...
Comparisons to other professions, are, in my opinion lacking in validity. Are we special? Maybe. I consider it an honour, and a provelage to be a Doctor. There is nothing better than treating patients. Nothing. But nothing else offers the highs and lows. We know things you don't, but then loads of people know stuff I don't. However, I think the responsibility we take on is greater. Which is why we get so very roasted when we get it wrong.
And they think it's fine.
We're never really off duty. Have you ever heard the Captain of an aircraft ask if there's a lawyer on board? When the call goes out "is there a doctor in the house?", they sure as hell don't mean someone with a PhD...
Am I worth more, or less, than someone who sells mobile phones?
And will your answer be different when I'm thrombolysing your coronary thrombus, or treating your child's meningitis?
I don't want to be treated differently, but I sure as hell don't appreciate people telling me I can't vent.