How Much Money Does A Doctor Make?

cash exchanging

Doctors are considered as highly educated professionals who are well-compensated for their work. They also receive substantial compensation for their training and experience. There is no doubt that doctors are considered one of the wealthiest citizens in most countries, but is it true that being a physician is one of the most worthwhile career paths in the USA?

The question often arises: how much do doctors get paid? How much does a medical doctor earn in the USA? What is the average salary of doctors?

Your quest for the answer to that question stops here, as recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has declared that the healthcare department proudly won the statistics battle by being one of the highest-paying departments.

It leads to your center of attention that the average salary of a doctor/physician ranges between US $160,000 – $170,000, including their housing facilities, transportation, and base salary. Till now, the highest average annual wage is $208,000, and the lowest goes to $126,470.

Roles of Doctors in our Society

Doctors are known to resolve the discomfort of life to some extent, letting it save a life by effectively diagnosing the disease promptly or controlling the epidemic. They are well-known to serve gallantly in maternity, morgue, or any other health care department.

Doctors not only possess in-depth medical knowledge but also have problem-solving abilities. They are skilled enough to work with collaborations of other health care departments. Their undeniable efforts get rewarded with well-deserved respect and monetary rewards of at least U.S. $126,470.

How is the Medical Field Benefiting from AI in 2023?

Since the 1970s, healthcare has widely taken a grip over ML (machine language) and AI. According to Insider Intelligence, between 2017 and 2023, the investment in AI in the medical field has increased by up to 48%. Artificial intelligence has helped in the following ways:

  • Lowering costs
  • Enhancing patient outcomes
  • Automating tasks
  • Follow-up on unpaid bills
  • Increasing productivity
  • Help in predictive analysis of patients
  • Pull together patients’ insights
  • Quick problem solving
  • Quick methods to collect data via the Google Clouds Healthcare app
  • Through IBM’s Watson’s Genomic Product (pinpointing treatment for cancer patients), the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center identified treatments for over 1,000 patients. The products generated through AI have helped a lot in performing data analysis. It also helped in determining medications and cures for people with tumors.
  • AI is helping doctors to make well-informed clinical decisions.
  • Record Maintenance and ease the workload of healthcare.
  • Patients’ areas of improvement.
  • Preventing unnecessary hospital visits and remissions by encouraging patients to use Fitbit and smartwatches to assess their health
  • Disease prevention through early forecasting
  • Around 40% of healthcare experts prefer to use AI and ML, so having precise individualized plans for every patient is helpful.
doctor's walking on hospital side

The difference in Pay Scale based on Medical Specialty

The annual salary of doctors in the U.S. is higher than the rest of the professions. How much a doctor makes depends upon their seniority, individual benefits, location of the job, and medical specialty. The top-notch paying positions in medicine are:

  • Urology
  • Orthopedics (Surgery)
  • Oncology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Cardiology
  • Otolaryngology

The top-earning medical specialties with an average salary range of $300,000 to $450,000 in the U.S. are:

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Dermatology
  • Anesthesiology
  • General Surgery

According to the Indeed report, the highest pay gap occurred due to medical specialties. Physicians in the orthopedics specialty department are currently earning approximately $51,100 per year. Stated below are the statistics for 2023:

Medical SpecialtiesAverage Annual Compensation
Plastic Surgery$576,000
Orthopedics (Surgery)$557,000

How has Medical Experience Impacted the Income Gap?

The pay difference between the less experienced and more experienced medical doctors is visible. This difference in salaries can also be determined by the opportunities taken by them through better connections early on, through brilliantly generating the ability to diagnose and getting more recognition for it at the workplace. Different factors cause the following pay scale differences among doctors in various fields.

Year of ExperienceSalary per year
Less than 1 year$240,356
1 to 2 years$148,348
6 to 9 years$238,673
More than 10 years$290,063

There are just a handful of reasons for a gap between their income since factors such as workplace, location, and state matter a lot, too. Other factors such as demographic differences, gender, years of experience, and seniority also generate differences among various medical fields.

Doctors vs. Annual Wage of Other Professions in the U.S.A

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, The median annual wage in May 2021 for healthcare practitioners, physicians, surgeons, dental hygienists, and registered nurses was $75,040. The median annual salary was $45,760, which is lower than that of healthcare practitioners.

Some doctors managed to tip the scale of their wages by earning more than the national median. They achieve that by upgrading their qualification and aiming to stay dedicated to achieving seniority in their field. In light of the facts given by the Social Security Administration, the national U.S. average salary is $60,575, and the average salary of a medical doctor is $ 1 65,347 per year. This difference occurred due to the impact of the last two years of the pandemic. After that, the compensation of the healthcare department increased significantly.

Top 8 Highest Paying States for Doctors

It is not surprising to find that some states of the U.S. have even more extremely high-level paying scales for doctors. Without any doubt, the healthcare career path is one of the highest paying careers currently in the U.S. Have a look at a few of the states that are known to be the highest paying states when it comes to healthcare career path.

SatesAverage Physician Salary
North Carolina$348,000

Becoming a Doctor: A Roadmap to Success

  • The highest annual average wage of doctors in the U.S. is $165,347.
  • The lowest average annual wage of doctors is in the U.S.: $126,470.

One way of understanding why doctors are on the top of the ladder when it comes to paying scale is through a deep understanding of what it takes to be a doctor. The multi-faceted role of a doctor involves being responsible for leading and supervising the diagnosis plans of the patients. Their responsibilities also include advocating and educating the patient’s family.

They also deal with burnout and extreme workloads at the start of their practice period. Before you decide to take medical studies as your career, thoroughly review all its aspects. Don’t make a decision about your career path solely based on the salary scope.

Why Do Doctors Make So Much Money?

Before jumping onto this job, consult an expert, a senior, or an agency to show you the clear road map. This strategy can be of great help from the very start. Having a solid foundation for building your career can make a huge difference. Make it prominent in your to-do list to check on your financial resources, as banking and non-banking institutes provide student loans. Here is an estimated view of how much medical school costs:

Types of Medical SchoolsAverage per Year Cost
Medical School$60,497
Public School$53,420
Private School$65,575
In-state Resident$54,195

Only a deep understanding of what it takes to become a physician can genuinely reveal why physicians are paid handsomely. Medical students face tiring high admission standards and low acceptance rates from the most reputable medical schools. Following are some of the best medical institutes in the USA and their application acceptance rates.

Name of the Medical InstitutesAcceptance Rate
Harvard Medical School3.3 %
Perelman School Of Medician4%
Grossman School Of Medicine(NYU)1%
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine7%
Stanford University School of Medicine2.3%
Columbia University1.9%
Mayo Clinic School of Medicine2%

How Long Does It Take to Become a Doctor in the US?

The timeline of your medical journey can be unpredictable, as more than 11 years or a maximum of 16 years of theoretical and practical study is mandatory. It includes four years for medical school, at least three years for residency, and further required years for your preferred specialty.

Here is a roadmap for your studies and your career path in medicine.

  • Must have an impressive academic background throughout your high school
  • Four years of college, undergraduate program
  • Complete your bachelor’s degree before your prerequisite courses from medical school
  • Apply for MCAT ( Medical College Admission Test)
  • Do a thorough search on medical schools, their semester/ annual fees, credit hours, requirements, and admission months
  • 3-7 years of residency training, including fellowship training programs in your selected medical field
  • at least get an experience of 1-4 years in your subspecialty area
happy doctor with cash

Whatever medical domain you choose, the goal is the same. To serve humanity, to take care of high-responsibility work, and to achieve your ambition. Avoid making your decision based on how much money doctors can make; go through some reality checks, too. The financial aid for your study path, the required dedicated hard work, and a passion to pursue that most do not.

Final Thoughts

Doctors and healthcare service providers are considered the most respectable and well-reputable of all professions. Their lifetime journey from theoretical studies to practical work experience leads them to earn up to $208,000 to $ 126,470, and their working hours are at least 40 to 60 hours per week. So far, the healthcare department has proven to be the highest-paying career in the USA. New students eager to pursue this career path in health care must do their research properly before they expect to undertake a medical study.


What are the residency/fellowship training programs?

You obtain a general and comprehensive experience to become a physician in your medical school. The residency program is essential to become board-certified in the medical field. Later on, you choose your specialties and subspecialties.

During this interval, along with your study, you get paid experience and residency through your related institute. You avail residency according to the duration of your specialty; this may last for three years or a maximum of 7 years. Additional 1-3 years for your sub-specialty.

What is the shortest way to become a doctor in the USA?

If you are focusing on cutting your medical journey short, residency time ara can create some pace for that. Most residency programs, such as Pediatrics (three years), Physical Medicine (four years), and Internal Medicine (three years), are shorter and less competitive residency programs.

However, choosing a less time-consuming and least competitive residency can make you stuck in the long career ride. A wise choice would be to choose a competitive, longer, and best-suited residency, which is also related to your previous medical path.

What Are the Costs of Common Lab Tests Without Insurance?

Any initial diagnosis can involve any common lab test such as an MRI scan($500-$7,850), blood test($40-$3,000), Cholesterol test($50-$130), and x-ray($200-$3,000).

How much is a Doctor’s Visit in the United States?

The Consultation fee of a specialist is $250, a bit more than an initial consultation fee, which is between $100- $200.

What Does It Cost to Have Surgery Without Insurance in the USA?

The expenditure depends upon your needed procedure, as the coronary artery bypass is the most expensive surgery, costing from $ 21,5oo to $ 254,000. The other surgical procedures, such as tonsillectomy, cost about $790- $12,000. The appendectomy range is from $ 1,800-$82,000, and Cataract surgery can cost you $330-$12,000.

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