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    Why doctors have bigger houses than lawyers

    It's not so fashionable these days to talk about The Ten Commandments, but this ancient tome contains a lot of reasonable guidance regarding appropriate conduct.

    Engaging in certain behaviors, like killing, stealing, and coveting the goods and wife of one's neighbor are often frowned upon in polite society, and at the least might cause your neighbor to think twice before inviting you over to his Super Bowl party.

    Related: Legal tips to avoid a lawsuit from knocking on your door

    So I felt bad about catching myself being somewhat envious that my neighbor, a very successful attorney, had a home that was much nicer than mine. In addition, he had a vacation home in Florida much nicer than my home.

    As if that wasn't enough, he has yet a third vacation home, at a ski resort in the Rockies, also much nicer than my one home. By comparison to my lawyer friend, I was a poor guy.

    Related: Why market timing does not work

    I didn't even know that the statistics say it should be the other way around. According to a recent Washington Post report entitled "One weird reason why doctors buy bigger homes than lawyers," physicians tend to purchase more expensive homes than similarly paid members of other professions.

    Why?

    Peter J. McDonnell, MD
    He is director of The Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and chief medical editor of ...

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