Full disclosure, I am a critical care physician (4 yrs college, 4yrs med school, 3 yrs IM residency, 3 years critical care)
How much do you think the average doctor gets for prescribing an opioid? Doctors aren't pharmacies. Doctors aren't pharmaceutical companies. Doctors aren't insurance companies.
This is a really rough estimate......
Look long and hard look at this reimbursement schedule (also look at how poorly Medicaid pays). Pay attention to these 2:
Office Visit, Initial, New Patient Level 2 - $75 for ~20 minutes
Offiice Visit, Established Patient Level 2 - $45 or ~20 minutes
So 3 patients/hour x 8 hours//day
Lets say half the patients you see are these types of visits, and of those, half are a mix of new and establishes (never is, most are established)
1.5 patients/hour x 8 hours = 12 patients daily
6 will be established 6*75= $450
6 will be new. 6*45= $270
The other 12 patients? Maybe you can see 12 really sick (6 established, 6 new)
6 * 200 = $1200
6 * 150 = $900
Hopefully your day would be filled with more complex patients, but it doesn't really matter. A new "complex" patient that you spend 60 minutes with will get you $200 reimbursement. So this person, for internal medicine, who went to college for 4 years, medical school for 4 years, then 3 years for residency is getting patient by Medicare (and likely your insurance company) $200 to spend an hour with you. Unless you like in rural America, you probably wont get a lawyer to sit with you for that price (I put that link in there because I did all my training at the #1 hospital in the US, but docs aren't reimbursed like that) for an hour.
So a really good day you can make $2820. Or about $700,000 revenue /yr. Now start to subtract your staff, and the time writing notes and billing queries (insurance companies are always trying to undersell how sick someone is, docs are trying to make their patients look sicker etc..), rent, EMR costs, malpractice (about 15000/yr), blah blah.....
For me, I do critical care. I bill a "99291" code for spending up to 74 minutes bringing your nearly dead loved one pack to life. The reimbursement is $239. Really? It is pretty much the same amount as sitting and talking to your elderly loved on who has 4 or 5 outpatient medical problems.
The dirty secret in medicine is right now if you want to make money as a doctor you need to specialize and do procedures. Even with volume, the numbers still add up 1 60 minute visit gets you the same reimbursement as 3 20 minute visits. That is the only way to "make money" in the ways that are often thought about in the sense of doctors make money.
If anything I hope this shows you that after 11+ (minimum) years of training, doctors are definitely not overcompensated and if anything you can make the argument that compared to other, essentially lesser trainer specialities (lawyer, engineers etc...) their "hourly" rate is undervalued. That is not even taking into account that most doctors are graduating with $200,000 or $300,000 of student loan debt.