Salary of Medical Doctors in USA 2024: See How Much They Earn

Salary Of Medical Doctors in USA: The Medical profession is a well respected profession and one of the most lucrative professions in the world, particularly in developed countries like the United States of America. The Medical profession involves the practice of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases. It further includes variety of health care practices and prevention of illness.

The Medical profession is spearheaded by Medical professionals who are qualified doctors licensed to practice medicine, and who abides and is fully committed to the ethical principles and values of the Medical profession. According to Statista, there are over 1 million medical professionals in USA.

Medical doctors are very important to the society as they are responsible for the increased life expectancy and improved well being of members of the society. As a result, the society cannot operate without Medical doctors. This indispensable nature of Medical doctors is a reason for the lucrative nature of the Medical profession.

This Article examines this lucrative nature of the Medical profession highlighting how one can become a Medical professional and the salary of such Medical professional.

salary of Medical doctors in USA
salary of Medical doctors in USA

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How To Become A Medical Doctor In USA

Medical training usually last between 7- 15 years, as what Doctors learn is constantly updated to align with the latest medical knowledge, groundbreaking research, emerging and ongoing public health threats and community needs. To therefore become a Medical doctor in US, you must:

a. Complete undergraduate studies and earn a bachelor degree from an accredited college and university in the United States of America.

b. After completing undergraduate studies, you must register for and take the Medical College Admission Test otherwise known as (MCAT). MCAT is a standardized, multiple-choice examination used by medical school to assess a candidate’s likelihood of succeeding in their program.

c. Apply to Medical school: Each Medical School develops its own curriculum to meet the health needs of the society. Most of the Medical schools in the United States use the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), a centralized application processing service from the association of American medical colleges.

d. A student intending to become a doctor should therefore select their target medical school and submit an application to AMCAS which distributes the application to each institution.

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e. After applying and getting admission into the Medical school, you must complete training at the Medical school. The training in Medical school is divided between classroom-based instructions and clinical rotations where students develop applied skills in various areas of medicine.

f. After completion of training at the Medical school, in order to practice Medicine in the United States of America, you must take and receive a passing score in the United states Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) a three part examination taken during and after Medical school.

You must thereafter apply for residency programs in the country and complete part 3 of USMLE which covers clinical management and assesses the ability of Doctor’s to practice medicine safely and effectively.

g. After passing all these examinations, you will earn a board certificate and can now proceed to apply for state Medical license to practice Medicine.

Upon your acquisition of the state Medical license to practice as a Medical doctor in the United States of America, you can apply for a job and upon getting a job you will be paid salary as a Medical doctor. Let’s therefore consider the various salaries of Medical doctors in United States of America.

Before we continue, you might want to check out this awesome YouTube video explaining the salary of US doctors as at 2024. Trust me, you will enjoy it. 

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Salary of Medical Doctors in the United States of America (USA) 2024

Annual and monthly salary of medical doctors in USA
Annual and monthly salary of medical doctors in USA

The salary of Medical doctors in the United States of America varies based on multiplicity of factors which includes: Specialty, Place of work, and level of experience. 

Specialty: Specialty is the area of specialization of a Medical doctor. There are various medical fields with doctors practicing and specializing in each field. The field or area of specialization of a Medical doctor is a major determinant of the salary of such Medical doctor in USA, as some areas of specialization are more lucrative than the other. 

For example, in USA orthopedics is the most lucrative medical field with Doctors specializing in this area earning an average salary of $616,800.  Doctors specializing in Cardiology earn an average national salary of $580,000. US Doctors in the field of neurosurgery earn an average salary of $600,000, while Doctors specializing in Radiology earn an average salary of $412,000, Gastroenterology ($432,000), plastic surgery ($410,000), General surgery ($324,000), Vascular surgery ($400,000), Dermatology ($455,000), Radiation enology ($486,099), neurology ($300,000), Pediatrics ($221,000), Endocrinology ($210,000), Pediatric Endocrinology ($200,000), and the list goes on.

According to Medscape physician compensation report, 2019 Orthopedics, cardiology and neurosurgery have been amongst the top five earning specialties over the past 5 years in USA. While areas of specialization such as Pediatrics, Diabetes and Endocrinology have been amongst the bottom five of least earners. Therefore, a medical doctor specializing in Cardiology will earn a higher salary than Medical doctors specializing in some other fields.

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Place of work: The geographical location of work plays a part in determining the salary of Medical doctors in the United States of America. Research has shown that the average salaries for Doctors in metropolitan areas are higher. Some of these metropolitan areas and the average salary for doctors in these areas include: Milwaukee ($395, 363), Charlotte ($368,205), Dallas ($365,475), Atlanta ($362,267), New Orleans ($384,650), Minneapolis ($369,800), Salt Lake City ($351,000), Cincinnati ($354,000), San Diego ($347,000), San Francisco ($338,400), Miami ($336,000).

Hence, a doctor working in these aforementioned areas is bound to earn more than Doctors in areas such as Boston, San Antonia, Durham, Providence, Rhode Island, Virginia, New Haven, Washington D.C, and Austin Texas.

Level of experience: Importantly, level of experience is a huge factor in determining the salary of a Medical Doctor in USA. While the list of salaries of doctors stated above is the average salary of Doctors in the aforementioned medical field and area of work, that’s not the exact amount all medical doctors earn, as Doctors with years of experience in their specialty will earn way more than Doctors with little or no level of experience. Hence, the higher the level of experience, the higher the salary of a Medical doctor in the United States of America.

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Other Facts About Doctors in The United States (US)

1. Many years of Medical Education: This involves a four-year bachelor’s degree, four years of medical school, and three to nine years of internship and residency training. In addition, doctors who choose a specialisation frequently undergo one to three years of fellowship training. The average age to graduate from medical school is 28.

Surprising Facts About Doctors
Surprising Facts About Doctors

The steps to become a doctor in the US often include the following:

High school: Take appropriate AP classes and succeed in high school.

College: Get a bachelor’s degree. Takes about four years.

Medical School: To become a licenced doctor in the US, students must complete four years of medical school and pass the boards.

Residency: Complete a residency program, which can take three to seven or more years.

Fellowship: Begin a fellowship program if you choose a subspecialty.
In total, it can take around 10 to 12 years to become a doctor in the US.

2. Frayed Family Relations: Thinking about starting a family? Do not become a doctor. According to a new study, the medical profession does not encourage physicians and medical students to form and build families, and in some cases actively discourages them.

Average Doctor Salary in USA 2024
Average Doctor Salary in USA 2024

The study’s authors polled over 2,000 medical students, residents, fellows, and practicing physicians over a two-month period in 2021. Participants in the survey were recruited using social media and represented various gender identities and sexual orientations. The authors state that the findings “depict a harsh reality in which the medical profession creates and sustains barriers to family building.”

Respondents identified cultural and organisational barriers to family building. The huge pressure placed by medicine’s long and difficult training requirements, as well as its highly competitive environment, causes many physicians to put off starting a family until they finish their training.
The authors emphasise that the replies revealed that pregnant people, people with children, and LGBGTQIA+ people encounter additional barriers in the form of prejudice, a finding similar to that of a poll of over a thousand female oncologists.

3. Doctors Make Bank: Contrary to popular assumption, doctors in the US are not nearly as wealthy or financially well-off as society would have you believe.

This false impression stems from the considerable compensation that physicians earn. Primary care physicians make an average of $220,000 per year, while specialists make an average of $320,000. Doesn’t money seem like a nice thing?
Although it’s a good income, remember that doctors in the US only begin to earn this much money after finishing four years of medical school, three to seven years of residency, and four years of college. Add a year or two longer in case they decide to apply for a fellowship. Furthermore, the typical debt of recent medical graduates approaches $200,000. Given the possible expense and significant debt, it still requires time for doctors in the US to catch up with their counter parts.

Numerous explanations have been offered for these figures, but the pay disparity between physicians and other professions is another important factor that is sometimes disregarded. It is highly probable that a physician working full-time will earn in the low to mid six figures. Not too many people go above and beyond that, nor do they go below. This is referred to as a low variance in statistics. But the distribution is far wider among other professions. Earning seven figures is not unusual for a higher level programmer or business professional in a major organisation. Are there doctors in the US who make seven figures? Yes, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

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In conclusion, while there is no fixed salary structure for Medical doctors anywhere, USA inclusive. This article has highlighted the average salary of Medical Doctors in USA based on their area of specialization, geographical location and level of experience. It is instructive to note that the level of experience of a Medical doctor in USA  is what determines the exact salary such Doctor will earn, as a doctor with a juicy level of experience will earn more than the figures stated above, and those with low or zero level of experience will earn slightly below the figures stated in this article.

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