Medicine has been the best paid major profession* for as long as I can remember, conferring prestige as well as high income, although those formerly distinct rewards have tended to become synonymous. Since we all fear for our lives and for our health, and medicine requires years of study and preparation, the high level of compensation seems justified. Yet how many of us would want to do what they do? Specialization brings greater income but who would want to spend their days, weeks and years probing one unhealthy rectum after another, or examining a steady stream of oozing skin rashes?
Surgery can be as bloody as working in a butcher shop but your bad cuts may end up as litigation rather than sausage. (*among major professions I exclude pro sports figures, hedge fund managers, bank CEOs, heads of Mafia families, politicians, and oligarchs, who combine to make up a numerically insignificant privileged class)