Medicine Still a Lucrative Profession

By John Henry Dreyfuss, staff.
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 Specialists Are Still Highly Paid

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as an article on, the following 15 medical specialties earn as much as 8 times the median income for a family of 4 in the U.S. That number in 2013 was just over $51,000. Average annual compensation for 15 of the top specialties is listed in Table 1.

Hospital or Private Practice?According to an article in Managed Care Magazine (, you can earn slightly more if you go to work for a hospital. Obviously, this is going to depend on numerous other factors beyond whether you are in or out of hospital. Nonetheless, as you can see in Figure 1, specialists can earn about 5% more to about 1% less if they work in a hospital. The average increase for working in a hospital was 4.7%.

Figure 1.
Compensation for various specialties in and out of hospital.

 Source: Managed Care Magazine.

Women Earn Significantly Less for the Same Work

As has been observed since the beginning of record keeping, women earn less than men, even when they do the same work. The same phenomenon is easily observed within medical specialties. (See Figure 2.)

A recent report on is rich with statistics on physician incomes. This report reveals than a male plastic surgeon can earn as much as 37% more than a female plastic surgeon doing the same work in the same work context.

Source: Medscape.

European Physicians

According to Medlines ( “In some cases (Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovenia) the minimum doctors’ salaries is equivalent to the average national salary; in Belgium, Denmark, Italy, the Netherland and Slovakia the minimum doctors’ salary is higher than the average salary ; in Austria, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and UK, the average salary is placed between the maximum and minimum doctors’ salary ; in some case the maximum doctors’ salary is equal (Greece and Malta) or even lower (Czech Republic and Hungary) than the average national salary.”

Figure 3.
Average physician salaries in European countries.*

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