The mean annual salary of a MD physician specialist is $175,011 in the US, and $272,000 for surgeons. However, because of commodity inflation, increasing negligent costs, steep price rise of rental, the annual salary range of a physician varies and is not rising as fast as other professional pay.
1. Physician Salary: Broad Category and Specialties
a. Medical Malpractice Premium
b.US Income Tax 2013
c. Median Salary of Other Health Care Providers
2. Physicians Salary by Country
3.Annual Mean Salary of Physicians by State and Specialty
4.Physician Salary: Rural vs City
5.Is Physician Salary Declining ?
6.Physician Salary in 1988 Survey
Becoming a Physician
In the United States, one has to go through four years of undergraduate courses leading to BS or BA degree, four years of Medical school to earn MD degree, three years of residency(for most branch) and two years of fellowship( for specialization). For more details go here.
The first step is getting into medical school. Besides high GPA , MCAT score and other factors, you need money. By the time a student starts residency training, which is when he first starts making money( see note below), he accumulates a debt of approximately $250000. This includes the loan he receives for undergraduate degree and medical school.While four years of Bachelor degree costs around $50000, four years of medical school tuition fee is almost four times that amount costing approx $50000 per annum. Thus the entry level physicians earnings also goes into paying for student loan debt.
Note: Some medical school aspirant take time off to work as Medical Assistant after high school diploma.The median annual salary of medical assistants in 2010 was $28,860.Some other work after their bachelor degree in health/research field before getting admission into a Medical School.
1.Physician Salary: Broad Category and Specialties Ranked by Wages, Sept 2011
The graph below shows median starting salary of physicians of various specialties as of Sept 2011.
The graph below shows physician salary following six years of practice as of Sept 2011.
Specialties ranking based on salary at the start and then following six years of experience varies. Some specialties have a higher rise in salary with experience then others.
Satisfaction level in Physicians of Different Specialties
Dermatologist report highest overall satisfaction level whereas primary care physicians report the lowest. In general, satisfaction level depends on compensation and weekly work hours. However, it is interesting to note that infectious disease specialists, psychiatrists and pediatricians report relatively higher satisfaction level despite lower salary( see black arrows in the following graph).
Regression analysis showed that overall satisfaction level in physicians correlates positively with salary ( r=0.44, p <0.05) whereas negatively with weekly work hours(r= -0.42, p< 0.05)( see the graph below).
The higher the salary the greater the tax. Here is a sample tax rate for married couples filing jointly.
Healthcare cost is increasingly becoming a concern in the United States. In the early years, the concept of health insurance took root as a means of reducing the burden of healthcare cost on an individual. It worked well but overtime health insurance policies have become so costly that many people are not even able to afford it. Hospitals are looking for ways to improve quality and cost of healthcare. As a result, physicians with management skills are being increasingly hired in leadership positions. Several dual-degree programs of MD-MBA has cropped up in various institutions. Many physicians with an interest in administration are also going for MBA programs. However,there are physician executives who do not have a MBA degree. So what effect an MBA has on a physician executive salary?
Here is a graph that gives some insight:
Median Salary of other Health Care Providers(2010, in decreasing order)
Physician assistant $86,410
Registered Nurse $64,690
|Dentists(independent private practitioner who owned all or part of his or her practice)||$192,680|
|Dentists Specialists(independent private practitioner who owned all or part of his or her practice)||$305,820|
|Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Salary||$351,404|
1. Anesthesiologist Salaries by State
2. Family and General Practitioner Salaries by State
3.General Internist Salaries by State
4.Obstetricians and Gynecologists Salaries by State
5.Pediatricians, General Salaries by State
6.Psychiatrists Salaries by State
7.Surgeons Salaries by State
Average Physician Incomes in Urban and Rural Areas, Unadjusted and Adjusted for Local Cost of Living, 2003
Is Physician Salary Declining ?
This graph speaks volumes about the declining physician salaries.
Thus, we see Real Salary(when salary is adjusted for inflation) of Physician is declining. Nominal salary( when not adjusted for inflation) is on the rise as with any other occupation. Take a look at the following graph-
It could be noted that Radiology, Gastroenterology, and even General Surgery were not as well payed as they are now. Also Psychiatrist were making more than an Internist.
- Leigh JP, Tancredi D, Jerant A, Kravitz RL (October 2010). “Physician wages across specialties: informing the physician reimbursement debate”. Arch. Intern. Med. 170 (19): 1728–34. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.350. PMID 20975019.
- Malpractice Insurance Premium http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/-1/case-for-mlr.pdf
- MD/MBA Salary cejkaexecutivesearch.com/Comp201l
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Physicians and Surgeons, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm (visited April 14, 2012).
- 2010 Survey of Dental Practice – Income from the Private Practice of Dentistry. Item code: SDPI-2010/SDPI-2010D Available as a free download to ADA members.
- Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010.U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291061.htm. Last Modified Date: May 17, 2011 Accessed on: Sep 14, 2011
- Reschovsky JD, Staiti AB.Physician incomes in rural and urban America.Issue Brief Cent Stud Health Syst Change. 2005 Jan;(92):1-4. (PMID:15675029)
- Physician Income : The Decade in Review by Carol K. Kane, PhD and Horst Loeblich ( pdf)
- Health Care Financing Administration, Physicians’ Practice Cost and Income Survey (PPCIS), 1988. Note: Nonfederal patient care physicians. Income from medical practice after expenses and before taxes. Self employed physicians include physicians employcd by another physician.
- Pope GC, Schneider JE.Trends in physician income. Health Aff (Millwood). 1992 Spring;11(1):181-93.
- 2011-2012 Physician Salary Survey here