The average salary for a doctor depends on several factors, including the location, the level of expertise, and the chosen specialty. A doctor’s income can vary hugely, with scope to earn a very healthy salary. In this guide, we’ll examine how much doctors get paid and how medical professionals can increase their income.
How much do doctors get paid?
Many aspiring physicians will ask “how much do doctors make” but often the answer that will come back is… “It depends.” Figures from Medscape suggest that the average wage for a primary care doctor in the US in 2018 was $223,000, with specialty doctors earning an average salary of $329,000. The earnings of a doctor depend on a number of contributing factors, including where they work, who they work for, how much experience they have, their level of training, and the area in which they specialize. Here are some recent statistics related to different medical specialties:
- Plastic surgery
Cosmetic surgery is one of the fastest-growing industries within the medical sector, and demand for aesthetic treatments is increasing year on year. Plastic surgeons specialize in procedures and surgeries that are designed to enhance the look of the face and body. The most popular examples include breast augmentation, rhinoplasty (nose job), tummy tucks, facelifts, and eyelid surgery. The average wage for a plastic surgeon in the US in 2018 was $501,000.
Cardiologists are experts in diagnosing, treating, and managing conditions that affect the heart. They are often required to carry out complex procedures that save lives. The average cardiologist earned $423,000 in 2018.
Urologists deal with diseases and conditions that affect the urinary tract, bladder, kidneys, adrenal glands and parts of the male reproductive system. These medical professionals treat a range of symptoms, from those linked to kidney stones to those caused by cancer. In 2018, the average salary for a urologist was $373,000.
- Family doctor
Family doctors are primary care providers who see patients of all ages. Often, family physicians are involved in diagnosing and treating minor symptoms and ailments and identifying signs that warrant further investigation or specialist treatment. The latest statistics suggest that the average family doctor earns around $182,000 per year.
Orthopedic surgeons provide treatments that target conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic surgeons often work in tandem with other specialists, for example, trauma and critical care doctors and neurologists when patients have been involved in accidents, and they also provide care for those who have fallen or sustained injuries playing sports. The average salary for an orthopedic specialist was $497,000 in 2018.
Nephrologists are doctors that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the kidneys. Examples of conditions that are treated by a nephrologist include chronic kidney disease, acute renal failure, and kidney stones. Nephrologists are also involved in the transplantation of donor kidneys. In 2018, nephrologists earned an average wage of $294,000.
Ways to maximize your income as a doctor
There are several ways to maximize your earnings as a doctor, and not all of them require further study or additional, advanced training. While pursuing specialty training will boost your earnings, it’s also beneficial to consider the impact of investing in effective marketing techniques. If you run a practice, your profits will be largely dependent on how many patients you treat. Without marketing, it may be difficult for patients who are looking for the services you provide to find you. You may be the best doctor in your area, but if people aren’t aware of your practice or what you do, you may struggle to increase your earning potential. Marketing is designed to promote your practice and ensure that people who are looking for the kinds of services and procedures you provide can find you easily.
Marketing is an umbrella term that covers a diverse range of techniques and methods. Today, it’s increasingly important for doctors to be able to connect with potential clients and to have a presence online. Google alone processes more than 40,000 search queries every single second, and more and more people use search engines to locate local businesses, services, and medical care providers. If your practice isn’t visible online, you could be missing out. To attract more web users and raise brand awareness, you can use your website and marketing ploys like search engine optimization. Your website should serve as a useful, informative resource, which gives patients information about you, your team, and the treatments, procedures, and services you provide. Include contact details and patient testimonials, and optimize the content you produce to improve your search ranking. If you’re not an expert in the latest marketing methods, it’s well worth considering teaming up with an agency that specializes in healthcare marketing.
A doctor’s income is often heavily reliant on their specialty field and their level of expertise, but investing in effective, targeted marketing methods can also help to boost earnings