This Physicians News story can be republished for free. (See details)
The average salary for doctors-in-training is $55,000, according to Medscape’s annual Residents Salary & Debt Report.
Similar to the revenue structure found in practice, residents in specialties earned the highest salaries. Critical care residents took the stop spot with a salary of $65,000, followed by radiology ($63,000), pulmonary medicine and gastroenterology ($60,000). Bringing up the rear: family medicine ($52,000), internal medicine and rheumatology ($53,000).
Of the 1,279 U.S. residents surveyed, 28 percent were family medicine residents. The call of shortages of family docs, and incentives for primary care physicians built in to the Affordable Care Act, seem to resonate with medical students. However, of the 28 percent of family medicine residents surveyed, only half of them plan to actually practice family medicine. The other half cite salary differences, debt, and less respect found within the residency programs as reasons for their plans to specialize.
The report also surveyed residents on the amount of debt incurred during their medical education and training. Over one third of residents reported owing more than $200,000 after five years in residency.
“The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reports that the median four-year cost to attend medical school for the class of 2013 is $278,455 at private schools and $207,868 at public ones,” according to the report. “Medical school debt has increased by 6.3 percent since 1992 compared with the Consumer Price Index increase of 2.5 percent.”
Other findings in the report:
- The highest resident salaries are in the Northwest U.S. ($71,000) followed by the Northeast ($61,000)
- Lowest salaries are found in the Southeast ($50,000)
- Half of all residents spend over 60 hours per week in the hospital
- 77 percent of residents feel their hours are sufficient; 19 percent say hours are excessive
- Most rewarding parts of the job were identified as “relationship with patients” and “finding diagnoses”
(Photo by Army Medicine via Flickr)