Top Highest Paid Doctor Specialties | Why Are Only Some Physicians Wealthy?

Doctors are so rich. Right? Well, it depends on the specialty. A plastic surgeon and general practitioner
are both doctors, but one makes much more than the other. In this video, we’ll go over the best paid
specialties. What’s going on guys, Dr. Jubbal, While the money should absolutely not be a
primary reason for you to go into medicine, let’s be real, it is an important factor. After all, we wouldn’t pursue being a career as a doctor
if it only paid $50,000 per year and came with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. That’s just not a smart move.. That being said, I would argue that the salary
of each specialty should not sway your decision in which specialty to pursue. It’s simply not nearly as important as finding
a good fit in doing something that you love. It doesn’t matter if you are making half a million dollars per year as a plastic surgeon if you can’t stand the operating room. I have additional thoughts on choosing a specialty
in another video. First, let’s set a frame of reference with the average physician salaries overall. If you took all the doctors in the United
States and averaged their salaries, it would come out close to $299,000. That’s not bad. Subdividing that group further, you’ll notice
that primary care physicians average a much lower $223,000 per year, and specialists average
$329,000 per year. Here’s the good news for doctors: physician
income overall has been steadily rising over the past 7 years. One reason is the fundamental economic principle
of supply and demand. However, it should be noted that their rate
of salary growth slow and steady, very much unlike hospital administrator salaries, but
that’s a topic for another video. It’s important to note that the average
salary of each specialty changes year to year. In this last year, psychiatrists’ average
salary increased by a whopping 16%, in large part owed to the increased demand for psychiatrists
in recent years. Other specialties that have seen significant
increases in compensation include plastic surgery at 14%, PM&R at 13%, and oncology
at 10%. So Which Doctors Make the Most? This year, plastic surgery topped the list
at an average of $501,000 per year. Orthopedic surgery trailed closely in second
with $497,000 and cardiology in third with $423,000. None of these surveys are perfect. The data I’m using comes from the Medscape
2018 survey of physicians. There are other surveys out there, with similar
but slightly different results. In recent years, you’ll notice that a handful
of specialties consistently perform at the top in terms of compensation. Those top 5 specialties include neurosurgery,
orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, cardiology, and gastroenterology. So what do neurosurgery, plastics, orthopedics, cardiology, and gastroenterology have in common
that results in such high salaries? It comes down to one key thing: procedures. The way the current healthcare system works
in the U.S., procedures are compensated quite handsomely. On the flip side, you’ll notice that the
5 lowest compensated specialties are not procedurally focused. Does that mean you should pursue a specialty
that is procedure heavy? Not based on salary alone. I personally love working with my hands and I love
precise, meticulous attention to detail, which is why I matched into plastic surgery. But if you don’t love working with your
hands, you’d be miserable doing any form of surgery. Now, there are several other factors beyond specialty choice that can significantly sway the average
compensation of a doctor. A huge one is location. In this year’s survey, Indiana, Oklahoma,
Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Nevada topped the list as the top-earning states for doctors. States like New York and California are much
lower on the list, even though both California and New York have much higher average costs
of living. So what gives? Again, it’s a matter of supply and demand. Lots of doctors want to live in California,
since it’s obviously the best state in the U.S., in my totally unbiased opinion, and therefore there’s relatively more
supply of doctors than demand. As a result, hospitals can pay doctors less
than if they were in, say, Wisconsin. Because fewer doctors are eager to work in
less populated areas like Wisconsin or Oklahoma, hospitals need to pay a higher salary to attract
talent there. Simple economics at play. The second factor is practice type. Self-employed physicians, meaning private
practice docs, on average make substantially more than employed physicians. This has held true for decades, although private
practice is less appealing than it was 10 years ago. Again, your decision shouldn’t be based
on just the money. Private practice usually comes with the significant
added headache of handling the business side of things, and you can expect to be working
harder hours than if you were employed. Unfortunately, there are factors outside of your control, including race, gender, and
age that factor into your compensation. However, this is a topic for another video. Do you think that the top earners would be
the most likely to choose their specialty again? The correlation is there, but it is not
as strong as you think. Orthopedic surgery and plastic surgery topped
the list, just as they do with average salaries, but radiologists and oncologists also seem
quite happy with their decision, despite having significantly lower salaries. Again, money isn’t everything, and it’s
important you find a specialty you love. Getting into one of these top paying specialties
is insanely competitive, and you need to have the strongest of applications to make it. That’s where Med School Insides comes in. We do much more than just make insanely helpful
YouTube videos. We have an entire team of top doctors who
have excelled in plastic surgery, dermatology, orthopedic surgery, and several more specialties. They understand what it takes, because not
only did they do it, but they even served on admissions committees at top medical schools
and residencies. If you’re serious about maximizing your
chances of acceptance and becoming the best doctor that you can be, visit So what sets us apart from other companies? Our team spent months creating a proprietary
systematic approach that guarantees the best results every time. That means that, with us, you never have to worry about getting unlucky
or getting a bad advisor. And we don’t do cookie cutter approaches
– just as we advocate here on YouTube, each individual is unique, and to be the best doctor that
you can be requires much more than just checking all the boxes. For you, ultimately, that means less variability and
uncertainty with our services, and much more of what you actually want: awesome service with awesome
results. From MCAT or Step 1 tutoring to personal statement
editing and advising, we’ve got you covered. For a limited time, use the coupon code YOUTUBEJAN
for $30 off your purchase. That is it for this video, thank you all so
much for watching. If you liked the video, please press that like
button, and if you weren’t a fan, let me know with a thumbs down. New videos every Saturday morning that you won’t want
to miss! Make sure you’re subscribed and have that
notification bell enabled. And I will see you guys in that next one.


  1. if you want to become a rich doctor become a family doctor, just start your own practice and learn how home care etc. business work.

  2. The salaries are worse on the west and east coast.

    The lower third of my med school went into primary. The top students were matched in a specialty. I shouldn’t imagine it’s different at other schools.

  3. For all of their training, the quality of medical care is very INCONSISTENT. Speaking as a patient, we need more nurse practitioners. Doctors are rushed and you cannot convince me that compensation does not affect care. Doctors are obviously not getting their money's worth of training – putting your life in a doctor's hands is real hit or miss.

  4. Dr. Kevin Jubbal, I have to say your content is very informative. You will make me switch my major from engineering to medicine if I kept watching your videos!

  5. I would appreciate that if u make a video on Psychiatrist like; about the study methods, ups and downs ,salaries etc . And thanks for all ur videos it really helps us the students like me those who wants to aspire this profession

  6. Great video!

    But I noticed that you didn’t go into specialities within specialities.

    For example: A heart surgeon could specialize in pediatrics, or they specialize in transplant.

    This would greatly affect the salary as pediatric surgeons generally earn substantially higher amounts than their adult counterparts, I know, I was told so by a congenital heart surgeon.

  7. I am so glad that I live in the Netherlands!!:

    – Educational costs= around 2000 euros (=2200 USD) per year in the Netherlands
    – Medical specialists earn similar salaries in hospitals, regardless of the speciality
    – It's often elected to one of the countries where medical doctors earn the most!
    – There is no such stupid thing as having to make a single test, that will determine your medical career. Everyone can make it to their prefered speciality by just showing dedication and by working hard.


  8. I really hate when you say "that's another topic for another video" 😡😡 I really wanted more info, especially cuz i am a female

  9. The world's greatest charlatans and fanatics are AMA specialists, certified to have closed narcissist minds, and are proud to be the third leading cause of death in the United States.

  10. i dont think race has any thing to do with your salary…im african american and i desire to do psychiatry

  11. I thought cardiac surgery or transplant surgery would be high up there too but maybe it counts as cardiology?

  12. Well, I am thinking about studying medicines. At first, I just was thinking about the money, but now I am kind of interested in becoming a doctor. I am not sure though if I really want to study medicines.

  13. Going into my third year of music but I realized I want to become a psychiatrist, despite all the support for music I have received. I definitely feel like I have a lot to contribute to this field, and I know I would enjoy doing this for my lifetime. I've never considered money a huge factor, I just find this interesting! I'm so excited to start this new journey.

  14. Doctors aren’t rich. Doctors are a poor person’s idea of a rich person. Wall Street market speculators like me are the ones accumulating all of the wealth in this country.

  15. A lot of people commenting here seem to be outside the USA (like I am). They should be aware that the US is the most atypical place in the world when it comes to medical practice. Almost all fully-trained doctors there seem to be in private practice, or working for private companies: which is not the case elsewhere. The economics are very different for salaried doctors, and for those who just do a little private work on the side. The point about making a lot of money if you can get paid per procedure applies mainly to private practice.

    I suspect that plastic surgery is different in the USA too. There seems to be a lot more cosmetic surgery there: as opposed to repairing injuries, deformities and burns. The big money seems to be in operating on people who aren't sick – which isn't the reason why most kids want to become surgeons.

    In a private or insurance-based system there is more money in one-off surgical or quasi-surgical procedures on people with good jobs. People with chronic illnesses, with medical or psychiatric conditions or disabilities, may need ongoing care but generally don't have a lot of money to hand over.

    In most countries a doctor can make a good living and be respected in his or her community. The big money in medicine is mainly at the top of the profession, which takes a long time and a lot of hard work to reach. But that's not how to get rich: if you're not lucky enough to win a lottery, you have to get others to work for you and profit from their work, as an "entrepreneur."

  16. I always wanted to be a surgeon but med school made me think about it because it was wayy to much pressure for me so i just became a pediatrician its way much easy the pay is really good and i have enough time to do what i want.

  17. I know you guys are a USA based company but I would love for some videos like this to include stats for Canada. I have a feeling stats would be different because healthcare here is payed for through taxes

  18. 4:08 lol no, you're just super smart and your step scores were crazy good and you got a top specialty 🙂

  19. I’m glad I watch your videos because I share them with a UIC group called Medicina Scholars. Thanks for this

  20. When you’re coming from being raised on an a 45k income in a family of 4, even the last place physician salary is amazing

    I’ll never understand how docs can complain about the amount of money they make. Thankful I’m coming into the game with the background that I have

  21. I personally want to become a orthopedic surgeon because i love the concept of fixing stuff that was previously broken.

  22. How about I want to be a cardiologist partly because of money to help my fam and also because its interesting and I want to learn it? Should I still go for it?

  23. I have talked to doctor who is in my family,he told me even though he makes 300 k per year,he never has the time to spend it but he just knows his family is financially stable. If your in for the money don’t do it

  24. “California is the Best state in the us-totally unbiased opinion…” Dr. J
    That’s the biggest lie I have heard on this channel 😂

  25. Sorry but if I go into 200k-300k in debt I want to get paid at least 300k a year so that I can recover from said debt within like six years so yes compensation will be a secondary factor

  26. Lets be honest, only an idiot pursues a career if they don't get paid good. I was gonna try to be a GP but pretty iffy. Obviously imma go to Area 51 now.

  27. This is a very valid reason not to go into medicine, another reason not to go into medicine for the wrong reasons is EGO, ive heard WAY too many of my fellow pre-med male peers say they are only chasing the DR title to fulfill their ego to a certain degree and I equate that reason to just going into medicine for the money. If you’re in medicine only to chase the title of DR in front of your name you’re most likely going to abuse your authority and be a miserable doctor to work with ESPECIALLY in a team setting which is is how every hospital works and every private practice works to a certain degree. Holding titles of authority comes with the responsibility NOT to abuse that power. I despise people who go into medicine either only for the money OR to fulfill a broken ego


  29. I wanna be a sports medicine physician, they make on average $200,000, you get to work with athletes, and it seems fun af!

  30. Here in Poland,
    – Endocrine is luxury af
    – Orthopedics is not that good, in fact year after year there are many free slots for this. Est 250h+/month you Will earn 120-140k $
    – Derm, Optho as always. Also Uro
    – GenSurg, again, hard and shitty paid per hour. Hospitals Will take you even without one hand, because nobody wants to do it.
    – Vascular surgery – waaay better paid than ortho and general.

  31. I would like to pursue a career in the medical field however I’m reconsidering because of the location I’m living in which is not a desirable country to work in.

  32. IR does a lot of procedures. Why are they not on this list? they should be higher than GI and Cards. All IR is procedures all day everyday

  33. Work as a certified medical assistant in Indiana and I don't do bad at all. Made 42k a year with only 4 months of training. Cost of living is so low here.

  34. I love the process of cardiology . The life style seems somewhat demanding but when i devote myself to something i usually like it to take up much of my time . Do you have a retirement plan video ? I want to have that solid foundation of being secure when i retire from doing something i love. I also would like to see a medical insurance video i saw some insurance for doctors is 30k … what is the average for each specialty . Does your website have a specialist in cardiology ?

  35. I am going into cardiothoracic because I'm in love with everything that involves the heart! I'm the best resident in my class, thanks to you guys!

  36. I've seen like 5 videos of doctors who have their own practice and have full control of their hours. Yes you learn the business side, but you'll have a lot more control of schedule day to day and week to week basis.

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