Highest Paying Physician Jobs and Why Consider a Career in Medicine

Doctors are some of the most respected professions in any community worldwide because they’re the ones that people turn to when they’re unwell. Doctors are also known to be some of the highest-paid professionals in the world as well. Maybe you’ve been debating whether or not this is the right career path for you. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of being a physician, plus a list of the highest-paid physicians.

Highest Paying Physician Jobs 2022

As of May 2022, these are the average annual salaries of some of America’s highest-paying physician’s jobs.

Cardiologists: $346,000

Cardiologists diagnose and treat conditions related to the heart and blood vessels (the cardiovascular system).

Anesthesiologists: $329,000

Anesthesiologists are the physicians who administer anesthesiology to patients before they undergo major and minor surgeries.

Neurologists: $237,000

Neurologists diagnose and treat conditions related to the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord.

Surgeons: $217,000

Surgeons are physicians who perform surgery. They can specialize in a specific form of surgery, such as neurosurgery.

Oncologists: $189,000

Oncologists are physicians who treat cancer patients. They can be radiologists, surgeons, or other specific types of medical doctors.

Gynecologists: $181,000

Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) physicians specialize in women’s reproductive health, which includes labor and delivery for pregnant women.

Pediatricians: $180,00

Pediatricians are physicians who specialize in the medical care of children under 18. Some may even only see children under the age of 13.

Primary Care Physicians: $164,000

Primary care physicians (PCP) are the first doctors contacted by patients to address non-emergency medical needs. Depending on their specifications, they’re also known as internal medicine doctors and family medicine doctors.

Optometrists: $119,000

Optometrists are physicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the eyes.

Podiatrists: $111,000

Podiatrists are physicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the feet.

Pharmacists: $104,000

Pharmacists are responsible for filling and refilling prescription medications to patients as directed by the patient’s primary care physicians.

Why Choose a Career in Medicine?

The most obvious reason to pursue a career in medicine is that it’s your passion. Being a doctor is one of the most rewarding careers in the world because you get to help people. No two patients are the same, so the difference you make in each person’s life is always unique. Medicine is also very challenging, so if you like challenges that involve making a positive difference, this is the career for you.

Pros of Being a Physician

As noted above, physicians make a very good living as most of the average salaries are above $100,000 per year. It is a good trade-off for a challenging job that also requires many years of schooling— which can be expensive. However, you should want to become a physician because it’s your passion, not just because it pays well.

Being a physician also allows you to travel the world. You can start your own “traveling practice” to travel to other countries to help those who may not have sufficient medical care. Another option is to be a locum tenens physician, meaning you get to fill in temporarily for another doctor.

One last benefit is that you’ll never have to worry about not being able to find a job as a physician. Job security is guaranteed in the medical field, especially for doctors. Even with technology constantly making its way into virtually every field, the healthcare industry still largely relies on human interaction and knowledge.

Cons of Being a Physician

Some downsides come with being a physician. As mentioned above, medical school can be expensive, and it’s another four years of schooling plus three to seven years of residency, depending on your specialization.

Medical school is long, and so are the hours you work. Physicians may have to work nights, weekends, and holidays— unless they’re private practice physicians with traditional hours. However, good physicians are always available (on-call) for their patients.

If becoming a physician is your passion, then the time (and money) it takes to complete medical school and the long hours you’ll have to put in will be worth it to you— and the salary is just the icing on the cake. If this is a career path you can see yourself in, you should look into it.

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