While no one recommends selecting a specialty based on salary (see Job Satisfaction), it is one piece of data that medical students typically ask about. As seen below, physicians are paid quite well no matter what their field. However, specialists tend to make more than primary care physicians on average (specialists generally also require many more years of residency training than primary care physicians). It is important to note, though, that there are many cases of primary care physicians in ideal locations with excellent business practices earning significantly more than many specialists.
Bottom line: Specialize in a field that you find interesting and enjoyable. Don't worry about how much you'll be making; you'll be fine no matter what you choose.
Collected Physician Compensation Surveys
2006 AMGA Physician Salary Survey
2006 Allied Physicians Salary Survey
2006 Jackson & Coker Physician Compensation Survey
2005 Merrit, Hawkins & Associates Modern Healthcare Physician Compensation Review
2004 Merrit, Hawkins & Associates Modern Healthcare Physician Compensation Review
Other Compensation, Salary and Pay Surveys
Ever wonder what the "suits" (administrators) at your hospital make?
2006 AMGA Hospital Administrator Salary Survey
Ever wonder what nurses, CRNA's, dentists, podiatrists, etc. make?
2006 AMGA Mid-Level Compensation
From: Dorsey. JAMA, Vol 290(9).Sept 3, 2003.1174.
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