The 2015 Physician Compensation Report by Medscape surveyed 19,500 doctors in 26 specialties and found that the average primary care doctor made $195,000 while the average specialist made $284,000. Orthopedists were the highest earners and only 9% of them are women. Infectious disease doctors earned 22% more than they did last year while family physicians earned 10% more.
Average physician income ranges from $253,000 in the Northeast to $281,000 in the Northwest. Salaries were highest in rural areas including North Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming and lowest in the D.C., Rhode Island, and Maryland. About 70% of physicians in internal medicine and family medicine would choose their specialty again if they had the chance to do it all over again. Overall, most doctors said the most rewarding part of the job included "finding answers and diagnoses,” or "gratitude/relationships with patients,” while only 9% surveyed “making good money” was most rewarding.
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