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Disparities in pay

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  • #16
    I think it's unfortunate that thinking or talking about money is stigmatized in medical school and residency. Money matters.

    Ultimately, we choose our specialty based on a whole bunch of factors: would we enjoy a career in it, does it fit our personality, do we have the scores and credentials to match in it, etc... Potential pay should be on this list, too, and it's not difficult to find information on average pay for different specialties if you want to know. I used the Medscape survey data in a post on Specialty choice, and broke the specialties down into categories:

    Dr. A makes $200,000 a year. What specialties make about $200,000 a year? According to the 2016 Medscape compensation survey, doctors in the following specialties have average salaries of $204,000 to $241,000.

    • Pediatrics

    • Endocrinology

    • Family medicine

    • Infectious disease

    • Allergies

    • Internal medicine

    • Psychiatry

    • Rheumatology

    • Neurology


    Dr. B earns a better check, equal to $300,000 for our analysis, by working in one of the following specialties, with a range from $266,000 to $329,000.

    • Pathology

    • Nephrology

    • Ob/Gyn

    • Pulmonary

    • Critical Care

    • Ophthalmology

    • Emergency Medicine

    • General Surgery

    • Oncology

    Dr. C went into a high-paying specialty, earning $400,000 a year. The following physicians are pulling in from $355,000 to $443,000.

    • Anesthesiology

    • Urology

    • Radiology

    • Gastroenterology

    • Dermatology

    • Cardiology

    • Orthopedics


    Of course, some docs make a lot more, there are major discrepancies within specialties based on private v. academic, location, payor mix, work intensity / efficiency, etc... This data comes from Medscape, and it's a good start.

    Pay was one of many factors that I considered when I chose anesthesia. In the end, I went with a higher paying specialty.

    Pay was one of many factors that I considered when choosing not to pursue a one-year pain medicine fellowship. I chose not to find a job that could have paid at least double with a better lifestyle because pain management wasn't a job I wanted. I prefer bread and butter anesthesia.




    • #17
      No sense in being upset about it.  You knew the pay going into it.  All MDs are well paid, just some are a lot more well paid than others.  If you chose your specialty because you enjoy it, then that sounds fantastic, you're living the dream.  If your specialty chose you because you cruised through medschool, well that's just how the cookie crumbles.