family doctor at desk

How Much Do Family Doctors Make? A Guide for Aspiring Physicians

Spread the love

Making plans to go to med school soon? Or just curious about what a family doctor’s salary is like?

Not all medical professions are created equal. At least, that’s the case when it comes to wages. Whether you’re a primary care physician, surgeon or orthopedist, you’re not going to earn the same amount.

If you’re a medical student or soon-to-be student, it’s natural to wonder: how much do family doctors make?

Keep reading and you’ll find out!

How Much Do Family Doctors Make?

Medscape, in their 2019 yearly account, asked almost 20,000 doctors what their earnings were. The reported results are that doctors’ wages had an increase from about $300,000 in 2018 to $313,000 last year.

On average, general practitioners make an annual $237K. This figure represents a 21.5 percent gain compared to five years ago.  

Specialists, however, make an average of $341K per year, meaning they get paid 20 percent more than in 2015.

But despite this reported rise, Doximity made its own salary report and reached the conclusion that medical professionals’ wages are starting to stagnate.

What Doctors Make the Most?

As we’ve seen, specialists tend to make more than their general practitioner counterparts. Now, let’s see who earns the most.

According to the same Medscape report, the top-earning specialty in 2019 was orthopedics.  Indeed, orthopedic surgeons got compensated $482k on average.

Plastic surgery and otolaryngology complete the top three, earning $471k and $461k respectively. In case you don’t know what otolaryngology is, it is the specialty treating diseases in your nose, ear, and throat.

At the bottom of the list are family medicine, pediatrics, and public health and preventive medicine. Those specialists respectively earned $231K, $225K, and $209K on average.

But specialty is not the only factor accounting for income difference in doctors. Where you are could also be important.

Last year, physicians in Oklahoma made the most with an average of $337K, while Indiana completes the top 10 at $322K.

How to Earn More as a Doctor?

If you’re dissatisfied with how much family doctors make, thankfully there are ways to bolster your income. You could also find ideas on how to make extra money during residency.

First, it’s important to know how to manage your finances.  

Tools like this software can help you bill your clients and keep track of your finances more easily.

In addition, you could take on more administrative work. Your hospital network will pay you for it.

You could also work on the side using your medical knowledge. Do consulting work or testify as an expert, for instance.

Don’t forget you could specialize in a niche. Indeed, there are always some fields lacking practitioners. You can be rewarded handsomely if you do something few people know how to do.

Lastly, you could consider developing your practice by working in a team. Recruiting physician assistants and nurses could allow you to see more patients.

Ready to Become a Doctor?

Now you know the answer to the question: how much do family doctors make?

Being a family doctor means you might not earn as much as other specialties, but you could still make upwards of $200K a year.

Not to mention that you could increase your income by relocating or using your medical knowledge in more ways.

Spread the love