For most of us, the college degree and career we choose are a result of our passion for a subject and its long-term monetary compensation. Similar to other careers, such as lawyers, engineers, and MBAs, specializing in a particular medical field earns you more because of the unique knowledge you acquire in school and residency. The highest paid doctors are usually specialists, where the median income is nearly 2 times more than primary-care physicians, or $385,000 versus $215,000.
Unfortunately, it seems gender can also play a role. Recent research suggests that a doctor’s sex may make a greater difference in pay than a doctor’s specialization. Female doctors were found to make 40% less than male doctors, although the difference shrinks to 23% when comparing female and male primary care physicians. The study theorizes that it may be due to female doctors spending more time with patients, and thus not billing as many customers. I, personally, believe that this factor of higher quality care may contribute to a portion of the inequality in pay but a majority can still be attributed to the disproportionate salaries men and women receive across all professions.
To most Americans, doctors are considered to be among the highest paid professions, as is demonstrated by our list of top paid doctors below; however, only 11% of doctors consider themselves rich. The problem? 45% of medical professionals agree their incomes are high, but due to excessive debts and expenses, they don’t feel rich. A few factors that may be contributing to this feeling include $300,000 in average medical student debt, higher professional liability (malpractice) insurance costs, and the pressure to live the life of a doctor. If you are mulling a career in medicine, make sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons of your career and specialty of choice, and to help you with your decision, Gajizmo.com is proud to present our list of the top highest paid doctors, in order by average salary.
- Average: $535,000
- Top Pay Range: $550,000 to $575,000
- Description: Electrophysiologists research, diagnose, and treat problematic electrical signals of the heart, specifically irregular heartbeats and/or arrhythmias.
2. Orthopedic Surgeons
- Average: $519,000
- Top Pay Range: $555,000 to $700,000
- Description: Orthopedic surgeons specialize in surgeries for the musculoskeletal system, also known as bones and joints. Surgical and non-surgical procedures are used to treat sports-related injuries, infections, tumors, degenerative diseases such as arthritis, and congenital disorders (defects present at birth).
- Average: $512,000
- Top Pay Range: $440,000 to $550,000
- Description: Cardiologists diagnose and treat, by means of surgery, diseases and disorders pertaining to the heart and circulatory system. Cardiovascular surgeons perform open-heart surgeries with bypasses being the most common.
- Average: $461,000
- Top Pay Range: $460,000 to $500,000
- Description: Urologists specialize in disease and disorders pertaining to the urinary organs, including urinary tract infections, stones, erectile dysfunction or male infertility, and incontinence (the inability to control your bowels).
- Average: $433,000
- Top Pay Range: $500,000 to $850,000
- Description: Gastroenterologists are a sub-specialty of internal medicine, and specialize in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal and digestive disorders, including colon cancer.
- Average: $425,000
- Top Pay Range: $465,000 to $530,000
- Description: Oncologists focus on the treatment of cancer and tumors. Radiation oncologists utilize radiation to treat and remove solid tumors, while hematology-oncologists use chemotherapy, infusions, and bone marrow transplants.
- Average: $412,000
- Top Pay Range: $440,000 to $500,000
- Description: Otolaryngologists diagnose and treat disorders and diseases of the head and neck, specifically known as ear, nose and throat doctors. Research has shown that nearly 50% of all visits to a doctor’s office relates to this region of the body.
- Average: $390,000
- Top Pay Range: $400,000 to $500,000
- Description: Anesthesiologists administer anesthesia to patients undergoing surgery or other procedures. Anesthesiology is a part of perioperative medicine, or the care and co-management of patients undergoing surgery.
- Average: $364,000
- Top Pay Range: $370,000 to $410,000
- Description: Dermatologists focus on the medical and surgical aspects of diagnosing and treating patients with cosmetic problems of the skin, scalp, hair, and nails.
- Average: $360,000
- Top Pay Range: $350,000 to $370,000
- Description: Hematologists study, diagnose, and treat patients with diseases and disorders pertaining to blood and its components, such as cells, proteins, and hemoglobin, and blood-forming organs.
- Average: $358,000
- Top Pay Range: $475,000 to $560,000
- Description: Radiologists perform and analyze diagnostic imaging examinations, such as X-Rays, CAT/CT Scans, MRIs, Ultrasounds, PET scans, and nuclear medicine, to recognize various conditions.
12. General Surgeons
- Average: $343,000
- Top Pay Range: $500,000 to $570,000
- Description: Surgeons specialize in carrying out procedures in the operating room (OR) to cure, mend injuries, remove disease or bacteria, etc.
- Average: $321,000
- Top Pay Range: $305,000 to $335,000
- Description: Pulmonologists specialize in studying, diagnosing, and treating diseases, disorders, and infections of the chest, specifically asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis, emphysema, etc.
- Average: $315,000
- Top Pay Range: $
- Description: Neurology is a medical specialty focused on diseases and disorders of nervous system and brain. Neurologists diagnose and treat conditions pertaining to the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems.
- Average: $295,000
- Top Pay Range: $270,000 to $305,000
- Description: Ophthalmologists focus on the anatomy, physiology, diseases and disorders of the eye by specializing in surgical and medical aspects of all eye conditions.