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Question on Medical School and Wage Potential for Earning to Give

No I do not like working with people. I would aim for surgery or radiology for this reason.

While the stereotypical surgeon may be gruff/demanding/efficient/decisive, most surgeons are required to work in and even lead teams. The profession selects for aggressiveness and confidence, not for loners (though there are obviously some in any profession). Medical training prior to specialization will be exceptionally challenging if you dislike working with people.

Pathology might be a medical specialty where you were able to indulge your love of biology while working in relative solitude, but that's a pretty narrow slice of the pie to target. Per your concerns about ROI, radiology is probably the medical specialty in the US most likely to deflate in the next several years, given that wages are exceptionally high and that there are few material barriers preventing radiographs from being read by physicians in other time zones, or even other countries.

Humans are utility monsters

Or, in the opposite case, declaring that your once-over the text has revealed what believers "really" believe.

So very much this.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97

Good points, all. Fiendfyre seems robust.

I might counter that most combat magic, even the adult sort, seems to be line-of-sight, which is a huge handicap. It also seems to be very inaccurate. If Harry & Co can literally dodge Deatheaters on foot and brooms, supersonic jets and HALO insertions are going to be really hard to target. Not to mention artillery shells in flight. And Wizards seem weirdly resistant to (biased against?) using magical heavy weapons or fire team tactics. They have a real duelist mentality.

But the ability to erase from time does really trump. I concede.

What should a college student do to maximize future earnings for effective altruism?

You don't actually need a specific major to go to med school. You just need the pre-reqs, a pretty straightforward sequence of mostly-science that you can cram inside most majors. Bio majors are usually the easiest way to do this.

As I mention elsewhere in the thread, med school is usually debt-funded and costs you earning years in your twenties. And your per-hour income is sometimes surprisingly low.

What should a college student do to maximize future earnings for effective altruism?

still isn't obvious

Not sure what to say. There's finance and there's finance. HYPS and maybe two or three others have pipelines for pushing kids to the banks and hedge funds at the very top. And yes, I mean undergrad. The fourth or fifth of each class that goes into finance isn't doing it to sell mutual funds in mid-sized cities. Many bail after a few years, but those who stay in can easily become millionaires, and some do it before their former classmates in med school finish their residencies.

What should a college student do to maximize future earnings for effective altruism?

ETA: you're right that it's bogus to compare top-of-the-line finance to average physician. I should have said "The average Stanford-educated physician makes far less over his lifetime than he could applying the same horsepower and hours worked to, say, finance."

What should a college student do to maximize future earnings for effective altruism?

OP is going to Stanford, so a career at GS, Deutsche Bank, JPM, or Bridgewater is a realistic possiblity in a way it simply isn't at 99.9% of schools.

What should a college student do to maximize future earnings for effective altruism?

Edit to add: WRT networking, it's kind of a suitcase word. Lots of people talk about it. I am sceptical that public speaking and improv classes are the best places to meet the best networking prospects, though they might be excellent for meeting interesting people. Athletes typically do better than the mean at Stanford-type schools in terms of career earnings, despite lower HS GPAs and test scores. If you're not currently a recruited athlete, you might still be able to walk on to the crew team or ultimate team.

What should a college student do to maximize future earnings for effective altruism?

If you're interested in maximizing income, I would rule out pre-med. It's sub-optimal preparation for any career except medicine, and medicine is sub-optimal for income. A few reasons:

Salaries are essentially capped by reimbursement rates and man-hours. The best surgeon in the world isn't going to make more than a few million a year doing elective surgeries twelve hours a day year round.

The things that generate the most income for rich people with MD's, patents and start-ups and C-suite gigs, don't require the MD credential. There are better stepladders. The possible exception is medical celebrity, but the odds of you being the next Dr. Oz are extremely low.

The average physician makes far less over his lifetime than he could applying the same horsepower and hours worked to, say, finance. It's a fairly straightforward back-of-the-envelope calculation. In addition to losing seven to ten years of income after college (residency only pays a little above living wages) and possibly incurring $250K in student debt when money means the most due to time-value, you'll graduate into a market absolutely determined (for very understandable reasons) to bend the healthcare cost curve down and pay doctors less. American doctors are currently paid much, much better than doctors almost everywhere else in the world, due in large part to guild-like protections, and this cannot continue indefinitely. Globalization's already lined up to crush radiology and elective surgery, two of the better-remunerated fields, and IBM would very much like to put oncologists everywhere out of a job. Another half-dozen specialties are in turf battles against mid-level providers like nurses.

All that said, I highly recommend medicine. Just not for optimized philanthropy.

To what degree do you model people as agents?

This is plausible to me, too. I've had very productive friends with very different rhythms.

But I suspect far more people believe they operate best staying up late and sleeping late than actually do. There's a reason day shifts frequently outperform night shifts given the same equipment. And we know a lot of people suffer health-wise on night shift.

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