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How Much Can I Earn as a Doctor?

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Orthopedists are the highest-paid doctors, according to new research from Medscape which lists the average annual salaries for over 25 medical specialties.

If you’re studying medicine and yet to decide about which field you’d like to specialize in, the $489,000 orthopedic physicians earn every year might be enough to tempt you. Orthopedists – doctors who treat bone and muscle problems – make over twice as much money per year as pediatricians, the lowest-paid group of doctors included in Medscape’s Physician Compensation Report.

Want to know how much your chosen specialism earns? Check the table below for a complete rundown.

How Much Money Can I Earn as a Doctor?

Orthopedics (bones/muscles)


Plastic surgery




Urology (urinary system)


Otolaryngology (ear/nose/throat)




Gastroenterology (stomach)






General surgery


Ophthalmology (eyes)


Emergency medicine


Oncology (tumors)


Critical care


Pulmonary medicine (respiratory)


Pathology (bodily fluids)




Nephrology (kidneys)


Allergy & immunology




Rheumatology (joints)




Infectious disease


Internal medicine


Endocrinology (hormones)


Family medicine




Medicine students will be delighted to learn these figures are likely to rise even higher by the time they graduate. Annual income for doctors has increased steadily over recent years, with the biggest increases occurring in the fields of plastic surgery and allergies. Other specialties, such as pediatrics and oncology, have seen little wage growth, although medicine students interested in these fields can at least take comfort from the fact they’ll be out-earning most graduates on other degree courses.

Now just to decide what you'll spend all that money on.

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Written by Craig OCallaghan
As editor of, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

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