Here's how much money doctors actually make

Not all doctors take home the same amount of money. Orthopedists — doctors who treat bone and muscle problems — make the most on average. Pediatricians, those who take care of children, earn the least. And white doctors take home significantly more than their equally-qualified peers of colour, regardless of specialty.

This data comes from the WebMD-owned medical resource Medscape, which crunches the numbers on self-reported annual income from more than 19,200 doctors across 27 specialties for its annual Physician Compensation Report. Here’s the breakdown:

Doctors are making more overall

Over the past seven years, the average physician’s income has steadily risen. The reason? “Intense competition for doctors,” says Travis Singleton, senior vice president of national physician search firm Merritt Hawkins.

Competition for patients across hospitals, healthcare systems, and direct care groups has been steadily increasing over the past decade. The result is that doctors’ salaries have increased on average, Singleton says.

The biggest earnings increases went to plastic surgeons and allergists, who earned about 24% more and 16% more this year than they did last year, respectively. Other incomes have flat-lined — salaries of pediatricians, oncologists, and cardiologists have remained basically unchanged over the last year.

Physicians of colour earn less than their white colleagues

This year’s survey was the first time Medscape asked respondents to identify their race. Physicians who identified as white received the most money each year. Despite having the same training and experience as their white peers, physicians identifying as Asian, Latino, or black received significantly less. Black doctors made the least.

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