29 physician specialties ranked by annual compensation

Physician income rebounded toward the end of last year as routine patient care returned, with primary care physicians earning an average annual compensation of $260,000 and specialists earning an average of $368,000, according to Medscape's "Physician Compensation Report 2022." 

That compares to $242,000 for primary care physicians and $344,000 for specialists in the 2021 report.

"Compensation for most physicians is trending back up as demand for physicians accelerates," James Taylor, COO of AMN Healthcare's leadership solutions division, said in Medscape's 2022 report. "At the height of the pandemic in 2020, Merritt Hawkins saw a 30 percent decrease in client physician recruiting engagements year over year. But in the fourth quarter of 2021, physician recruitment engagements hit an all-time high. The market for physicians has done a complete 180 over just seven or eight months."

For its latest report, Medscape collected responses from more than13,000 physicians in more than 29 specialties from Oct. 5, 2021-Jan. 19, 2022.

The following is annual physician compensation by specialty with the percent changes from the 2021 edition of the Medscape report, which is based on data collected from Oct. 6, 2020-Feb. 11, 2021. This report reflects salary, bonus and profit-sharing contributions for employed physicians, and earnings after taxes and pre-income tax deductible business expenses for self-employed physicians. Only full-time salaries are used in calculations. Note: Percentages are rounded.

1. Plastic surgery: $576,000 (10 percent increase)

2. Orthopedics: $557,000 (9 percent increase) 

3. Cardiology: $490,000 (7 percent increase) 

4. Otolaryngology: $469,000 (12 percent increase)

5. Urology: $461,000 (8 percent increase) 

6. Gastroenterology: $453,000 (12 percent increase) 

7. Dermatology: $438,000 (11 percent increase) 

8. Radiology: $437,000 (6 percent increase) 

9. Ophthalmology: $417,000 (10 percent increase) 

10. Oncology: $411,000 (2 percent increase) 

11. Anesthesiology: $405,000 (7 percent increase) 

12. Surgery, general: $402,000 (8 percent increase)

13. Emergency medicine: $373,000 (5 percent increase) 

14. Critical care: $369,000 (1 percent increase) 

15. Pulmonary medicine: $353,000 (6 percent increase) 

16. OB-GYN: $336,000 (8 percent increase) 

17. Pathology: $334,000 (6 percent increase) 

18. Nephrology: $329,000 (6 percent increase) 

19. Physical medicine and rehabilitation: $322,000 (7 percent increase)

20. Neurology: $301,000 (4 percent increase)

21. Allergy and immunology: $298,000 (9 percent increase) 

22. Rheumatology: $289,000 (5 percent increase)

23. Psychiatry: $287,000 (4 percent increase)

24. Internal medicine: $264,000 (6 percent increase)

25. Infectious diseases: $260,000 (6 percent increase)

26. Diabetes and endocrinology: $257,000 (5 percent increase)

27. Family medicine: $255,000 (8 percent increase)

28. Pediatrics: $244,000 (10 percent increase)

29. Public health and preventive medicine: $243,000 (3 percent increase)

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