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Home » Understanding the Average Doctor Salary in the USA: Breaking Down the Numbers

Understanding the Average Doctor Salary in the USA: Breaking Down the Numbers

doctor salary in usa

The medical field is undoubtedly one of the most respected and admired professions worldwide. However, the path to becoming a doctor is not an easy one. It requires a considerable amount of hard work, dedication, and an immense financial investment. But the question is, does the payback make it worth it? In this blog, we will explore the topic of doctor salaries in the USA and provide insights into the factors that impact medical professionals’ pay.

Doctors are educated professionals who are well-paid for their work. However, there are many salary variations in the medical field depending on the specialty you choose and several other factors such as location and experience. The covid pandemic has affected healthcare workers around the world.

Do you know?

The average annual salary for a doctor in the USA is around $299,000. (Medscape Physician Compensation Report)

Excited? Want to know more? But here’s one more thing you should know – the salary of doctors in the USA has also stagnated, along with issues such as understaffing, overwork, and high levels of burnout. However, according to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report, the median salary for U.S. physicians is on the rise again. While salaries have seen a general upward trend, increases vary depending on factors such as specialization, gender, geography, etc.

But before everything, check out this section… 

Steps to Become a Doctor in the US

Studying in the USA and especially MBBS is a challenging and rewarding journey that requires hard work, dedication, and a significant investment of time and resources. Here are the steps to become a doctor in the USA:

  1. Complete a Bachelor’s Degree: The first step towards becoming a doctor is to obtain a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. While there is no specific major requirement, most pre-med students choose to major in subjects such as biology, chemistry, or physics.
  2. Take the MCAT: The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized test that assesses a student’s knowledge and skills in areas such as biology, chemistry, and physics. It’s a crucial step in the medical school admission process.
  3. Attend Medical School: After completing a Bachelor’s degree and the MCAT, the next step is to attend medical school. Medical school typically takes four years to complete, and students study subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and medical ethics.
  4. Complete Residency Training: After graduating from medical school, doctors must complete residency training in their chosen specialty. Residency typically takes three to seven years, depending on the specialty.
  5. Obtain Medical Licensure: To practice medicine in the USA, doctors must obtain a medical license. Requirements for medical licensure vary by state but typically involve passing a licensing exam and meeting other requirements such as background checks and continuing education.
  6. Optional – Pursue Fellowship Training: Doctors who want to specialize further in their field can pursue fellowship training, which involves additional training and education beyond residency.

Salary of MBBS doctor in the USA

In the USA, the term “MBBS” is not used to refer to a medical degree. Instead, doctors in the USA typically obtain a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.

The average salary of a doctor in the USA with an MD or DO degree can vary based on factors such as geographic location, specialty, and experience. According to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2021, the average annual salary for primary care physicians (including family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics) in the USA is around $242,000, while specialists earn an average of $420,000 per year.

However, it’s important to note that these are just averages, and salaries can vary widely based on various factors. Factors such as location, specialty, and experience can significantly impact a doctor’s salary. For example, doctors in metropolitan areas tend to earn higher salaries than those in rural areas, and specialties such as cardiology and neurosurgery tend to offer higher pay compared to fields like family medicine and pediatrics.

It’s also important to consider that the cost of medical education in the USA can be quite high, with many doctors graduating with significant student loan debt. However, with hard work, dedication, and a focus on providing quality patient care, doctors in the USA can enjoy a fulfilling and financially rewarding career.

To know about the MBBS course, refer to our MBBS in the USA for Indian Students blog post!

Comparison of Doctor Salary in the USA vs Globally

Here is the table showing a comparison of the salary of doctors in the USA vs other countries-

CountryAverage Annual Doctor Salary
United States$299,000
United Kingdom$125,000

Salary of US Doctors: Self-Employed vs Full-time Doctors

The salary of US doctors can vary based on whether they are self-employed or work as full-time employees. Here’s a breakdown of the average salaries for each category:

  1. Self-employed doctors: According to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2021, self-employed doctors earn an average annual income of around $352,000. This category includes doctors who work in private practice, as well as those who work as independent contractors or consultants.
  2. Full-time employed doctors: The average annual income for full-time employed doctors varies by specialty. According to the Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) 2021 Provider Compensation and Production Report, the average annual income for full-time employed primary care physicians was around $253,000, while specialists earned an average of $503,000 per year.

Salary of US Doctors for Specific Job Types

The salary of US doctors can vary based on their specialty, experience, and location. Here are some specific job types and their corresponding average salaries as of 2022, based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  1. Anesthesiologists: $398,060 per year
  2. Surgeons: $409,665 per year
  3. Obstetricians and Gynecologists: $297,300 per year
  4. Pediatricians: $184,650 per year
  5. Psychiatrists: $220,380 per year
  6. Family and General Practitioners: $218,850 per year
  7. Cardiologists: $421,080 per year
  8. Dermatologists: $420,080 per year
  9. Oncologists: $423,850 per year
  10. Neurologists: $281,890 per year
  11. Emergency Medicine Physicians: $346,840 per year
  12. Ophthalmologists: $361,132 per year
  13. Urologists: $402,462 per year
  14. Endocrinologists: $257,678 per year
  15. Infectious Disease Physicians: $239,924 per year
  16. Pulmonologists: $326,187 per year
  17. Rheumatologists: $236,981 per year
  18. Gastroenterologists: $392,298 per year
  19. Hematologists: $323,200 per year
  20. Nephrologists: $278,893 per year

Note: These are just averages, and doctors’ salaries can vary significantly based on factors such as geographic location, experience, and type of employer. Additionally, some doctors may earn significantly more or less than the averages listed here based on their circumstances.

It’s a Wrap!

Although medical school is expensive, you should still pursue your ambitions to become a doctor in the US. If you are planning to study medicine in the US, you may be looking for ways to raise funding for your study abroad term.

Now that you know that the job profile and salary of a doctor in the USA is quite a lucrative business, it is necessary to understand that the path to this for an Indian is not the easiest. Given the intricacies of the H1-B and other related issues, we recommend that you speak with an expert to understand your chances before taking the plunge.

Nevertheless, do you need some handholding to get you through this? How about a discussion with our expert career counsellors to study abroad with decades of experience concerning education in this field?

Talk to our study abroad experts who have 20+ years of experience to know yourself in and out! We have helped several brilliant but confused minds intending to select their most-suited career choices. Hear the success story of Aayush who got an offer from the top 3 universities and is now studying at a University in Ottawa in Canada after getting career guidance from our industry experts!



Which doctors have the highest salary in the USA?

In the United States, doctors who specialize in certain fields tend to earn higher salaries than those in other areas of medicine. Among the highest-paying specialties are anesthesiology, surgery, and cardiology. In 2022, the average annual salary for anesthesiologists was $398,060, while surgeons and cardiologists earned average salaries of $409,665 and $421,080, respectively.

What medical degree do I need to get to become a doctor in the US?

To be licensed to practice medicine in the country, doctors must obtain a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree or equivalent degree from a recognized university and complete at least seven years of training.

What is the starting salary for doctors in the US?

The salary for an entry-level doctor in the US as of November 23, 2022, is approximately $209,190. But the average salary range is between $181,121 and $233,989.

How many hours do doctors work in the US?

According to profiles of the work and life of today’s physicians published last year by AMA Insurance, physicians in the United States work between 40 and 60 hours per week.

How many years does it take to get an MD in the US?

The duration of an MD in the USA is three years.

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