According to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report: 2012 Results,  physician income declined in general compared to last year’s report, although the top-earning specialties remained the same as in the previous year.

Following are the report’s results for the best- and worst-paying specialties:


Top 5 highest-earning medical specialties:

Radiologists – $315,000
Orthopedic Surgeons – $315,000
Cardiologists – $314,000
Anesthesiologists – $309,000
Urologists – $309,000

Bottom 5 lowest-earning medical specialties:

Pediatrics – $156,000
Family Medicine – $158,000
Internal Medicine – $165,000
Diabetes/Endocrinology – $168,000
Psychiatry and HIV/ID – $170,000

The biggest income increases were in ophthalmology (+9%), pediatrics (+5%), nephrology (+4%), rheumatology (+4%), and oncology (+4%). The largest declines were seen in general surgery (-12%) orthopedic surgery (-10%), radiology (-10%), and emergency medicine (-8%).

Survey results also revealed a significant pay gap lingering between male and female physicians as male physicians across all specialties earned about 40% more than their female counterparts. Notably, physicians who were board-certified earned about 89% more than non-certified doctors.

Additionally, physician frustration appears to be growing:  Only 54% said they would choose medicine again as a career, compared with 69% in the 2011 report.  And 47% of physicians felt that elements of healthcare reform would have a negative effect on patient care.

Full report here: Medscape Physician Compensation Report: 2012 Results

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