Map: The highest-paid doctors (and the lowest)

Physicians in Charlotte, North Carolina, earned the highest average salary in 2017—while physicians a short drive away in Durham, North Carolina, earned the least, according to a new report from Doximity, a social network for physicians.

The report, which was based on responses from more than 65,000 licensed doctors in the United States, details how compensation changed from 2016 to 2017 across 50 metropolitan areas, 40 medical specialties, and gender.

Highest- and lowest-paying metropolitan areas

Below is a map of the 50 metro areas where physicians earned the highest and lowest average annual salaries:

Highest- and lowest-paying medical specialties

Doximity also gathered data on the average compensation for more than 40 medical specialties. The five specialties with the highest average compensation were:

  • Neurosurgery, at $662,755;
  • Thoracic surgery, at $602,745;
  • Orthopedic surgery, at $537,568;
  • Vascular surgery, at $476,300; and
  • Plastic surgery, at $473,212.

The five specialties with the lowest average compensation were:

  • Pediatric infectious disease, at $191,735;
  • Pediatric hematology & oncology, at $208,524;
  • Pediatric endocrinology, at $214,911;
  • Pediatrics, at $221,900; and
  • Preventive medicine, at $231,838.

Gender wage gap

The report also found a significant gender wage gap in 2017, with female doctors making about 28% less than their male peers—an increase from an about 27% gap in 2016. According to the report, male doctors made an average of $380,866 in 2017, while female doctors made an average of $275,311. Men outearned women in every medical specialty.

According to the report, men own 85% of private practices, and privately owned practices often pay better than working at a hospital or university. Even so, female owners of private practices earned significantly less than male private practice owners: $306,039 versus $420,629, on average.

Amit Phull, the medical director for Doximity and co-author of the study, said that the gender wage gap is "still a persistent issue, and it's pervasive" (Bloomberg/Crain's Cleveland Business, 3/14; Lagasse, Healthcare Finance News, 3/14; Commins, HealthLeaders Media, 3/14; Levingston, Bloomberg, 3/14; Sealover, Denver Business Journal, 3/14).

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