In my medical year there was a student who had been in the RAF in World War II. After the war he worked for Beaverbrook and the Express newspapers and went on to become a publisher. He studied medicine, while a publisher, and then came the crunch. To be a publisher or a doctor? On the first day of house jobs he inadvertently drove his Jaguar into the consultant's reserved parking spot, which caused no amusement. To add to his disquiet he found that his salary of £35 per month, after income tax, and then surtax on top, only paid for his pipe tobacco and refreshments. The rest of us were less egregious and embarked upon life with even less fiscal fun. A bottle of Woodpecker Cider on Saturday night was nirvana. Was this really the reward for all that education? (Most specialists had at least 28 years of formal education: from starting at age four to leaving postgraduate school.) Like many before me, particularly Edinburgh graduates, I crossed the high seas, at the age of 32. My naval forebears would have been surprised that it took so long, especially my father, who went to sea at 14 in World War I. There were many surprises, not least of which was that of money. In a career sojourn, from the UK to Australia and finally Canada, over 18 months, there was a tenfold increase in income.
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