In a recent International Compensation Report, earnings for physicians in the US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, and Italy were compared. The report focused on salary, job satisfaction, daily work challenges, and the impact of COVID-19 on income. All currencies were standardized on US dollars, with an exchange rate set on December 22, 2020.

The average physician earnings were ranked as follows:

  1. United States – $316,000
  2. Germany – $183,000
  3. United Kingdom – $138,000
  4. France – $98,000
  5. Italy – $70,000
  6. Spain – $57,000
  7. Brazil – $47,000
  8. Mexico – $12,000

Average purchasing power was related to a country’s cost of living, the money needed to sustain a certain comfort level within a location and covering basics like housing, groceries, taxes, and healthcare. Of the countries listed, France (74.6) and the United States (70.1) have the highest cost of living index, while Mexico (34.3) and Spain (54.7) have both lower salaries and a lower cost of living index. Male physicians earned more than female physicians in all included countries. Income disparity percentages between the sexes was lowest in the United States and Spain and highest in Mexico.

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Roughly one-quarter (26%) of physicians saw their income drop in 2020 compared with the prior year. COVID-19 was cited as the main contributing factor by 77% of those who reported declines in income. US physicians were the highest by percentage to see a decline, at 41%, with only 22% reporting an increase. The United Kingdom had the highest increase, at 34%, with respondents citing career progression, pay increases through bands based on years of service, and a national pay raise as the contributing factors.

The average physician net worth (sum of all assets minus debts) was ranked as follows:

  1. United States – $1,742,000
  2. United Kingdom – $657,000
  3. Germany – $441,000
  4. France – $425,000
  5. Italy – $269,000
  6. Spain – $228,000
  7. Brazil – $95,000
  8. Mexico – $67,000

US physicians are well ahead on net worth for similar specialists in other countries, as well as the average US net worth. The average net worth for all families in the United States was $746,820, with the median net worth at $121,760.