Author

Greg Kelly
Greg Kelly
Columnist
Greg Kelly, the son and grandson of medical doctors, writes on the financial knowledge he's gleaned from physicians in his personal life and from while he was the editor of Physician's Money Digest from 1994-2005.

How Physicians' Salaries Compare to 24 Prominent People


$100 bills“It's not your salary that makes you rich, it's your spending habits.”
—Charles A. Jaffe

The matter of compensation for America’s physician is a complicated one. “Always remember, medicine is a business,” my physician-dad use to tell me. And if it is, as dad says, then doctors are entitled to be well paid for the remarkable work they do every day. But really they’re not. About half think they’re underpaid.
 
However, a new report from The Medicus Firm shows that most physician specialty salaries are growing. Here are their numbers for doctor’s annual pay in 2014:
 
Orthopedic surgery, $499,000; Cardiology, $443,000; Gastroenterology, $424,000; Urology, $416,000; Radiology, $403,000; Oncology, $402,000; Anesthesiology, $371,000; General surgery, $349,000; Obstetrics/Gynecology, $285,000; Emergency medicine, $275,000; Neurology, $270,000; Hospitalist, $249,000; Internal medicine, $239,000; Psychiatry, $225,000; Family medicine, $208,000; and Pediatrics, $199,000.
 
Just one specialty experienced a decline (general surgery, down 1.1%). The specialties that grew the most were neurology (6.7%), emergency medicine (6.6%), cardiology (5.2%) and pediatrics (4.2%). Primary care doctors were up an average of about 3.5% last year.
 
The pay for most physicians is very good, no question, but if you take into account the full measure of what they do (constantly saving and improving life) then their payday should really be unmatched. Can’t say that it is—especially when compared to the other list. But life is unfair (that’s another doctor-dadism).
 
The lowest paid doctor on the Medicus list is still in the $200,000 neighborhood. But it takes a whole lot to get there, MDs say. Most doctors begin their careers with a mountain of education debt and typically start practice later due to intense medical training time.
 


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