One of the most common questions medical students ask is, ?Which are the highest paid physicians?? After all, compensation is an important thing to consider after years spent studying in medical school and the hours put in during clinical rotations, not to mention the student loans that need to be paid off afterwards. Physicians? compensation is influenced by a number of factors, and the amount they earn is subject to change every year. The Medical Group Management Association surveys physicians across the United States and comes up with an annual guide on physicians? compensations. The following is a list of the highest paid physicians in the country based on their 2007 report.
Due to the number of unhealthy foods in the American diet, a large number of people suffer from at least one cardiovascular disease. Perhaps this is what makes cardiologists one of the highest paid physicians. Cardiologists earn about $418,000 to $537,000 every year treating and diagnosing cardiovascular disorders. Take note that cardiologists are different from cardiac surgeons; the former treats disorders by writing prescriptions whereas the latter operates on cardiac patients.
Next to cardiologists, radiologists are among the highest paid physicians in the United States. Radiologists use imaging technology like X-rays and radiation to diagnose a number of illnesses and disorders. Generally, a radiologist can earn as much as $470,000 a year. A radiologist with the training to perform a few surgical procedures on patients, such as an interventional radiologist, can earn up to $507,000 a year.
An oncologist diagnoses and treats cancer, and there is always a constant demand for a physician specializing in oncology. A hematology oncologist, who uses chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants, and blood infusions to treat cancer, earns about $449,000 annually. A radiation oncologist, who uses radiation technology to treat cancer, earns a little bit more at $528,000.
Like cardiologists, there is a demand for gastroenterologists due to the unhealthy eating habits of Americans. A gastroenterologist specializes in treating gastrointestinal and digestive disorders, as well as cancer in the digestive system. They earn as much as $457,000 a year.
Certain types of surgeons earn more than others and are considered to be among the highest paid physicians in the country. A cardiac surgeon ? those who perform difficult procedures like open-heart surgery ? earns about $479,000 annually. Next in line are orthopedic surgeons, who can earn over $600,000 for complex spinal surgery or a decent $450,000 for pediatric surgery. Pediatric surgeons and transplant surgeons are also among the highest paid physicians.
The amount physicians earn every year depends on a number of factors like their geographic location, supply and demand, insurance reimbursement rates, and their overhead costs. If money is an important factor in determining your specialty, do some research in your community and try to found out what kinds of physicians are needed, and which get paid more than others. A few months before you graduate, you should also look into the trends in healthcare and see which physician jobs might be the most lucrative once you're done with your training.
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