Medicine for Money Part 1: how much do doctors make?

It depends whom you ask. It also depends on choice of specialty, practice modality (private practice vs. academic vs. other options and combinations), and whether you practice in a rural or an urban area. We’ll start with some data from an MGMA survey…I would link it but the link I had a year ago is now expired. The sample size was over 60,000 but I don’t remember anything else about the survey. This bit just compares median incomes for each specialty in “academic” practices vs. “other” practices.

———————————–Academic———-Other—-
All Primary Care:————$158,218———$191,401
Family Practice—————$164,469———$183,999
Internal Medicine————$161,916———$197,080
Pediatrics———————-$141,869———$191,401
All Specialists——————$235,587———$325,916
Anesthesiology—————-$300,000———$423,507
Cardiology: Invasive———-$295,050———$481,878
Cardiology: Noninvasive——$240,781———$421,377
Emergency Medicine———-$223,385———$262,475
Endocrinology—————–$157,000———not reported
Gastroenterology————-$247,646———$465,509
Hematology/Oncology——$212,897———$368,991
Infectious Disease———–$159,502——-not reported
Maternal/Fetal Medicine—–$296,933——-not reported
Neonatal Medicine————-$208,762——-not reported
Nephrology———————-$183,093——-not reported
Neurology————————-$160,000———$237,918
Obstetrics/Gynecology——$214,677———$282,645
Ophthalmology——————$233,460———$338,208
Orthopedic Surgery————$400,335———$496,264
Otorhinolaryngology————$275,000———$370,534
Pathology: Anatomic———–$214,557——-not reported
Psychiatry———————–$164,537———$193,205
Pulmonary Medicine———–$183,475———$288,279
Radiology: Diagnostic———$350,000———$478,824
Rheumatology—————–$166,767——-not reported
Surgery: General—————–$280,121———$336,084
Urology—————————-not reported———$390,678

All Nonphysician Providers————————-$94,441
CRNA—————————————————-$150,000
Nurse Practitioner————————————$85,706
Optometrist——————————————–$134,656
Physician’s Assistant (Surgical)—————–$101,000
Physician’s Assistant (Primary Care)————$89,021
Psychologist—————————————–$91,433

All of the pretty graphs below are from a physician income survey done by Medscape. You can still go directly to their site to check out the methodology, etc. All of this should serve to get the point across that physicians have a tremendous range of incomes, and that there is still overlap between physician income brackets and other health professions.

Pretty Graphs From Medscape

I had heard that physicians in smaller towns earn more. The explanation I got from a family medicine resident was that, at least for salaried physicians, the pay had to be better in more rural areas as an incentive to go somewhere you wouldn’t want to live elsewhere. Regardless of the reason:

Regrading hours worked per week, and breakdown between patient care and other activities:

There’s a lot more info in the study about other compensation factors. You’ll need a Medscape account to view it, and if you don’t already have one I highly suggest you check it out ASAP. It is a great resource.
http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/compensation/2011?src=ptalk&viewreporttext

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3 Comments on “Medicine for Money Part 1: how much do doctors make?”

  1. […] Part 1 of this series, How much do doctors make?, we saw a wide variety of figures. A career in medicine neither guarantees nor limits you to an […]

  2. […] Part 1 of this series, How much do doctors make?, we saw a wide variety of figures. A career in medicine neither guarantees nor limits you to an […]


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