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Radiologists Tie For Top Incomes At $350,000

May 13, 2011
Written by: , Filed in: Practice Management
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Radiologists and orthopedic surgeons made the most money—median compensation of $350,000—among all medical specialties in 2010, according to Medscape’s Physician Compensation Report: 2011.

Medscape sent surveys to 455,000 U.S. physicians starting February 2 and ending March 30. Of those surveyed, 15,794 responded, representing 22 specialties.

Even though most radiologists suffered sharp drops in Medicare and Medicaid pay rates in 2010, 39 percent said they still managed to earn $400,000 annually.

Pediatricians had the lowest median compensation, $148,000. Oddly, the highest overall median compensation across all specialties, $225,000, was reported in the “North Central” region: Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. The lowest, $190,000, was in the Northeast and Southwest.

Other tidbits from the report:

  • Male radiologists outearned females, $360,000 to $320,000.
  • Half of the physicians reported that their income was unchanged from 2009 to 2010. Of the rest, 23 percent reported a decline, and 27 percent reported an increase.
  • Radiologists, anesthesiologists, and neurologists said they spent the most time caring for each patient: a median of 25 minutes or more.
  • The few radiologists who worked in outpatient clinics earned the highest compensation, $505,000. Those in group practices were next, at $400,000-$415,000.
  • About 80 percent of the radiologists who responded to the survey were men, and 88 percent were board certified.

In terms of overall career satisfaction, radiologists ranked second (72 percent) behind dermatologists (80 percent). They also ranked second in feeling that they were fairly compensated, again behind dermatologists, 71 percent to 69 percent. Only 66 percent—tied for fourth lowest—said they’d choose medicine as a career if given a second chance. But of those who did, 82 percent (tied for third) would choose the same specialty.

Among all the specialists, 69 percent said that, if they could relive their lives, they would still choose a career in medicine, and 61% said they’d choose the same specialty. Of those who said they would not choose a career in medicine again, one said he’d instead like to be “an assassin—of insurance company executives.”

Related seminar: The Business of Radiology

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