Healthgrades for Professionals

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Physician Salaries Ranked by Hourly Rate

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The same specialties typically get ranked at the top of annual compensation surveys year after year. But how do the numbers look when factoring in hours on the job?

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Annual compensation surveys across physician specialties get a lot of attention every year. And it’s understandable. Physicians are competitive by nature. It’s natural to be curious about what your colleagues are potentially earning.

But burnout and work-life balance are important considerations too. That is why we calculated an average hourly rate by specialty, using the latest annual numbers from the Medscape 2022 Compensation Report, and average hours worked as reported by the American Association of Medical Colleges.

Keep in mind, the average hours worked per week were reported prior to COVID. And it’s important to note that there can be significant variation both in hours worked and in the salary figures based on practice type, location and more.

Our estimates assume 50 weeks of work per year. We are displaying all the data so you can estimate your own hourly rate.

SpecialtyHourly RateAverage Annual SalaryAverage Hours Worked per Week
Neurosurgery$267$773,20158
Plastic Surgery$222$576,00052
Orthopedic Surgery$195$557,00057
Dermatology$195$438,00045
Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)$177$469,00053
Cardiology$169$490,00058
Emergency Medicine$162$373,00046
Radiology$151$437,00058
Physical Medicine & Rehab$143$322,00045
Pathology$136$334,00049
General Surgery$136$402,00059
Anesthesiology$133$405,00061
Psychiatry$122$287,00047
Allergy & Immunology$122$298,00049
Neurology$118$301,00051
ObGyn$116$336,00058
Preventive Medicine$108$243,00045
Rheumatology$107$289,00054
Endocrinology$105$257,00049
Pediatrics$104$244,00047
Infectious Disease$98$260,00053
Family Medicine$96$255,00053
Internal Medicine$96$264,00055

Observations and takeaways

  • It’s not surprising to see specialists at the top of the list and primary care specialties towards the bottom. 
  • Anesthesiologists are logging long hours and ranking in the middle tier of hourly rate. 
  • Dermatologists are in the sweet spot with good work-life balance and strong income. Not surprisingly, it’s one of the most competitive fields to get into.
  • PCPs are working hard for less monetary reward: a surprise to no one.

But it’s not about the money

Despite the variations in income, most physicians still say they did not choose medicine for the monetary rewards. In recent surveys, when asked whether they would still choose their same specialty if they had to do it again, the answers range.

More than 95% of dermatologists, orthopedists, plastic surgeons and GIs would repeat their choice of specialty. That number drops to roughly two-thirds of PCPs.

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  • Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2022: Incomes Gain, Pay Gaps Remain. Medscape. https://www.medscape.com/slideshow/2022-compensation-overview-6015043#3
  • Doximity Compensation Report 2021. Doximity. https://c8y.doxcdn.com/image/upload/v1/Press%20Blog/Research%20Reports/Doximity-Compensation-Report-2021.pdf
  • Average Physician Pay and Hours by Specialty in the USA. Match a Resident. https://blog.matcharesident.com/average-physician-pay-and-hours/
  • 6 Doctor Specialties With the Highest Hourly Rate. Med School Insiders. https://medschoolinsiders.com/video/top-6-specialties-with-the-highest-hourly-rate/
  • 10 Specialties With the Lowest Hourly Rate. Med School Insiders. https://medschoolinsiders.com/medical-student/specialties-with-the-lowest-hourly-rate/
  • Specialty Profiles. American Association of Medical Colleges. https://www.aamc.org/cim/explore-options/specialty-profiles