Orthopedic surgeons love what they do and are paid handsomely for it, according to a newly released survey of what nearly 20,000 U.S. physicians earned in 26 specialties between November 2015 and February 2016.
Orthopods pulled in an average of $443,000 to beat out cardiologists ($410,000) and dermatologists ($381,000) for the top spot on the earnings list. Gastroenterologists took home $380,000 as the fourth highest earners, anesthesiologists made $360,000 to finish seventh and general surgeons earned $322,000 to round out the top 10. The earning of orthopedic surgeons and ophthalmologists ($309,000) increased by 5% over their previous year’s salaries.
Physicians in the north central ($296,000) and southeast ($287,000) U.S. earned the most, while the lowest earners worked in the northeast ($266,000) and mid-Atlantic ($268,000). North Dakota ($348,000), New Hampshire ($322,000) and Nebraska ($317,000) physicians earned the most, perhaps due to government programs aimed at attracting more physicians to poor, rural areas. Physicians earned the least in Rhode Island ($224,000), Washington, D.C. ($226,000) and Maryland ($231,000).
Overall, female physicians made 25% less than their male counterparts, and male specialists earned more than women did: $324,000 versus $242,000 respectively. The survey says 55% of ob-gyn physicians are women, which tops the list of specialties with the most female practitioners. In comparison, just 9% of orthopedic surgeons are women, placing the specialty ahead of only urology.
Two-thirds of the respondents would pursue a career in medicine if they had a chance to do it all over again. Of those respondents, 65% of orthopods say they’d even enter the same specialty, putting them second only to dermatologists in apparent job satisfaction.