Highest Paid Physician Specialties
Highest Paid Physician Specialties
October 18, 2020 by eMedEvents

This article looks at the physician compensation report of 2019 and examines the compensation differences between the top paid specialties. This article also gives a brief overview of the top two paid specialties, for future medical students who are looking to find more information on Neurosurgery and Thoracic surgery.  

This report displays the data from surveys completed by 90,000 licensed, full-time U.S. physicians.
Below are the top 20 highest paying physician specialties:
1. Neurosurgery: $617,000
2. Thoracic surgery: $584,000
3. Orthopedic surgery: $526,000
4. Radiation oncology: $486,000
5. Vascular surgery: $485,000
6. Dermatology: $455,000
7. Cardiology: $454,000
8. Plastic surgery: $433,000
9. Gastroenterology: $432,000
10. Radiology: $429,000
11. Urology: $427,000
12. Anesthesiology: $405,000
13. General surgery: $403,000
14. Otolaryngology: $398,000
15. Oncology: $383,000
16. Colon and rectal surgery: $373,000
17. Ophthalmology: $371,000
18. Pulmonology: $344,000
19. Emergency medicine: $336,000
20. OB-GYN: $335,000

According to information provided by The Center (orthopedic and neurological care and Research) The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), “surgeons typically spend a lot most of their time on spine conditions and procedures. Common conditions neurosurgeons treat are back pain, neck pain, sciatica, herniated disks, degenerative diseases of the spine, cerebrovascular disorders, brain and spinal tumors, and stroke. In addition, they treat conditions that present symptoms in one part of your body that are actually related to a problem in the central nervous system. For example, carpal tunnel symptoms are sometimes related to a problem in your cervical spine (neck area). Although they can perform very complex surgeries, neurosurgeons typically use non-operative treatment plans before performing surgery”. 
Neurologists undergo four years of pre-medical education at a college or university, four years of medical school resulting in an MD or DO degree, one year of internship, and at least three years of specialty training in a neurology residence program. A neurosurgeon’s training is the longest training period of any medical specialty. 

According to the American Medical Association, thoracic surgeons “specialize in the surgical management of disorders of the heart, lungs, esophagus and major blood vessels of the chest, they treat the top two causes of death in the United States: heart disease and lung cancer. As the US population ages, the need for thoracic surgical procedures will continue to increase. With more than 50 percent of currently active thoracic surgeons expected to retire within the next decade, a shortage within the field is predicted by late 2020”.
Because thoracic surgeons deal with high-risk surgeries, they have often intense interaction with patients and their families. The ability to interact and provide comfort for patients and their families is extremely important in this field. It is fairly common for patients to feel a special bond with the surgeon who performed their lung surgery or their heart-bypass surgery, which proves that thoracic surgery while extremely intense, is also one of the most rewarding specialties a physician can practice. 
Specialty training required prior to certification: Six to eight years
Thoracic surgery is divided into three subspecialties:
(1) adult cardiac surgery, (2) congenital or pediatric heart surgery, and (3) general thoracic surgery. Residency training options vary and include a six-year integrated medical school/residency program, traditional general surgery residency followed by two or three years of thoracic surgery residency, and four years of general surgery coordinated with three years of thoracic surgery residency. (information provided by the American Medical Association)

Trending Speakers