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Recently I did an article for SteadyHealth on doctor salaries in the USA. Although most doctors will tell you they are not paid very much, the truth is that the lowest paid American doctors, pediatricians, earn on average $189 thousand per year, and the highest paid American doctors, orthropedists, earn on average over $400 thousand per year.
However, physician salaries and profit participation don't tell the whole story. Maybe the reason a slim majority of American doctors feel they are underpaid is that they are unable to accumulate wealth like most other people. The Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2015 also addressed this telling issue.
Here are some highlights of the data from the survey:
- Fewer than one in ten medical students, by the age of 28, has a net worth (total assets, such as house, car, and investments, minus total liabilities, such as student loans, personal loans, and business liabilities) of $500,000 or more. Apparently it is very hard to earn that first million dollars during medical school.
- Only three percent of even the best paid of all physician specialists in the USA, the previously mentioned orthopedists, manage to accumulate more than $5,000,000 while they are still in practice.
Many American Doctors Cannot Make Ends Meet
- 40 percent of male physicians in the United States have a net worth of less than zero, that is, their debts and liabilities exceed the value of their assets, including real estate, cars, investments, and the value of their practices.
- 59 percent of female physicians in the United States have a net worth of less than zero. In other words, if you are seeing a doctor who is a woman in the USA, chances are that she has a lower net worth, in financial terms, than you do.