U.S. Physician Salaries Snapshot

As mentioned in a previous post, the demand for U.S. physicians is escalating.  Consequently, the salaries are increasing for many physicians and healthcare professionals.  A recent study by Health eCareers confirms this trend.  The study garnered responses from nearly 20,000 healthcare workers — including 1,710 physicians — across the United States.  The survey notes that the average annual salary for physicians is $255,648, with physicians in southern states making much less than those in other parts of the country.  Cardiologists topped the survey with salaries averaging $355,628 a year.  Surgeons came in second with an average annual salary of $288,588 and OBGYNs ranked third at $241,197 per year.  Family medicine brought up the rear with an average annual salary of $197,522.  Comparing 2016 to 2015, salaries for physician assistants increased 4.3% and salaries for nurse practitioners increased 5.3%.

The survey also queried satisfaction among the respondents and found that 34% of physicians were dissatisfied with their salary, compared to 32% of physician assistants and 30% of nurse practitioners.

Regarding physicians’ primary career concerns for 2017, the top three responses were:

  1. Low or no salary increase.
  2. Increased workload/patient load.
  3. Staff morale.

However, 80% of physicians reported feeling confident that they could find a favorable position should they decide to leave their current situation.

This last sentiment is undoubtedly the reflection of the physician shortage and thus the high demand for physicians throughout the United States.  The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects a shortage of 90,000 physicians by 2025; that’s less than a decade out.  Of the 90,000 shortage, one-third are primary care physicians and two-thirds are specialists.  To see the physician shortage by state, check out the Workforce Data and Reports published by the AAMC.


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