Are You Making As Much As Your Fellow Physicians?


By Naveed Saleh, MD, MS

An online social network for physicians, published its 2018 Physician Compensation Report earlier last year. The document provided important insights on trends in physician compensation, and touched on issues with great social import, such as the gender pay gap.

Pay by specialty

No surprise here: The specialties that require more training typically pay more, too. One glaring exception: Pediatric specialists continue to be paid less than their adult specialist counterparts despite their similar years of training.

The 10 highest paid medical specialties by mean pay:

10. Urology - $427,000

9. Radiology and Otolaryngology (tied) - $431,000

8. Dermatology - $434,000

7. Gastroenterology - $456,000

6. Radiation oncology - $468,000

5. Plastic surgery and Cardiology (tied) - $473,000

4. Vascular surgery - $476,000

3. Orthopedic surgery - $538,000

2. Thoracic surgery - $603,000

1. Neurosurgery - $663,000

The 10 lowest paid medical specialties by mean pay:

10. Internal medicine - $260,000

9. Pediatric gastroenterology - $255,000

8. Medical genetics - $247,000

7. Geriatrics - $245,000

6. Family medicine - $241,000

5. Preventive medicine and Medicine/Pediatrics (tied) - $232,000

4. Pediatrics - $222,000

3. Pediatric endocrinology - $215,000

2. Pediatric hematology-oncology - $209,000

1. Pediatric infectious disease - $192,000

Gender pay gap alive and well

In 2017, for the first time, the number of women matriculating into medical school surpassed the number of men. Yet, female physicians are still paid less, on average, than male physicians. And there isn’t even one specialty in which women are paid more. Unfortunately, as with many other fields, the disheartening and insidious gender pay gap is alive and well in medicine.

In 2017, according to Doximity, the gender pay gap ranged from $29,662 for pediatric infectious disease to $118,014 for neurosurgery. In general, the higher the specialty pay, the higher the wage gap.

In 2017, the medical professions with the largest pay gaps were hematology, occupational medicine, and urology, with gaps of 20%. In orthopedic surgery and gastroenterology, the gap was 19%. In geriatrics, pediatric infectious disease, plastic surgery, and pediatric cardiology, the gap was 15%. The specialty with the smallest gender wage gap: colon and rectal surgery at 14%.

Finally, between 2016 and 2017, the gender wage gap increased in more than 25 of the top metropolitan areas.


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