The health chasco: dentists, podiatrists or physios, among the least earning graduates

Thousands of students listened to the Lychee in that of "you who deserve a prince, a dentist" and enlisted in the degree of dentistry, only to find, four years later, that their average income is 14,795 euros, most have to become autonomous to work and the world doesn't seem kinder, more human, less weird.

Five years ago, the General Secretariat of Universities sent several researchers in search of young people who had completed their university studies in the 2013-2014 academic year. In 2018 they contacted them again to find out how they had done in their first steps In the laboral world. If they were working or unemployed, if they were self-employed and most importantly, how much money were they earning?

The results now appear in the study 'Labor insertion of university graduates', recently made public by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. It is not surprising that doctors or engineers who graduated four years ago are today the best paid, but the biggest surprises appear at the bottom of the list. Those who earn less money today are not – as is often believed – those who studied careers in letters, but health: the contribution base of podiatrists, speech therapists, dentists and physiotherapists ranges between 12,000 and 15,000 euros per year.

At the other extreme, who five years ago graduated in Medicine, Aeronautical or Nautical Engineering and Maritime Transport quietly exceed 32,000 euros a year before reaching thirty.

The reasons for this salary 'abuse' to careers that have to do with health are varied. Some have their base in the relentless production of new graduates for a system that cannot assimilate them.

When the study was completed, the annual number of new dentists in Spain was 1,600, a year later there are 1,750 who leave the faculty with the degree in Dentistry under the arm. "When dentistry was organized from medicine and with the specialty of stomatology, it took us perfectly eight or nine years finish the studies ", explains Óscar Castro Reino, president of the General Council of Dentists of Spain." When in 1986 the career of Dentistry arose and we no longer had to study Medicine, this went down to five years. "

Unlike surgeons, doctors or nurses who work primarily in public health, dentists work primarily in private. A few years ago, almost everyone tried to set up their own clinic, but for a 22-year-old mileurist this is not too realistic. "We are the country in Europe where people go to the dentist less, only 46% of the population usually does it: there are plenty of dentists and we lack patients," says Castro Reino.

Therefore, today only 60% of young dentists are autonomous. Where does the other party work?

Taking advantage of this context, labor alternatives have flourished in recent years for both a graduate dentist: marquistas clinics, franchises or insurance companies. "This has resulted in part-time work conditions or false self-employed workers," explains this stomatologist, who has a dental clinic in Murcia.

The correlation does not imply causation, but, in general, the professional careers with which more money is earned today in Spain have something in common: there are few women. In the case of dentists, the percentage has grown in recent years, up to 60%, but sadly at the same time that the contribution base fell.

Where are the squares?

Ana Salvador is one of the 554 people who finished the degree in Speech Therapy in 2014 and today faithfully represents the reality of their profession, another of the worst paid for a graduate under 30 in Spain, with a contribution base of 14,467 euros gross, only above the 12,935 that the new podiatrists are receiving on average.

Salvador has set up his own speech therapy clinic in Paracuellos del Jarama. "Like almost everyone, we have to be autonomous or, speaking badly and soon, you eat your boogers," he explains. He started working in a rehabilitation company where directly they told him to become autonomous to count on her. That is, autonomous autonomous. "I have contact with people from my promotion and the same happens to the vast majority."

Like almost everyone, we have to be autonomous or, speaking badly and soon, you eat the boogers

Dedicating to this, the only way to get an indefinite contract in Spain is currently through the Early Care centers. "The problem is that these types of agreements are quite deficient, they are also hired part-time and charging 600 euros," explains Salvador, who is also a member of the Professional Association of Speech Therapists of the Community of Madrid.

And as in other cases of health professions, the big problem is the bottleneck generated by public health. If a speech therapist opens a clinic, they will probably end up attending only children, since adult patients (for example, with brain damage) who require them usually go through the few speech therapists working in public hospitals which, being usually collapsed, refer these patients to clinics with which they have an agreement.

"In the entire Community of Madrid there are currently 37 speech therapists in Public Health, and of them only one has a place"Salvador points out. The rest of his teammates are at the expense of oppositions that were convened, for the first and only time, in 2014 but never held.

This is the new health, there are many more women than decades ago, but at the same time more self-employed, less indefinite and lower wages. Until now, the paradigm of post-university precariousness was the careers of Humanities, which still take the palm in number of Social Security affiliates.

In summary, after studying a degree such as Fine Arts or Law is hard to find work, but after studying some of these health sciences the difficult thing is to find a well paid job.