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No one ever said becoming a doctor was easy. Medical school is competitive and expensive. If you’re going to invest the considerable time, effort and money necessary to earn your medical degree. Then you want your medical career to be rewarding enough – financially and otherwise – to make your work worthwhile.

Medicine is known as a lucrative field, but even within the industry, earnings can vary substantially from one specialty to the next.

 Our list of the top 10 highest paying medical specialties show you which specialties truly pay the most money – and what to expect working in them

  • Cardiologist
  • Orthopedist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Urologist
  • Dermatologist
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Plastic Surgeon
  • Radiologist
  • Emergency Physicians
  • General Surgeon

Cardiologist

Cardiologist
  • A cardiologist is a physician who specializes in finding, treating, and preventing diseases that affect the heart, arteries, and veins. Cardiology is a subspecialty in the field of internal medicine.
  • Cardiologists research, diagnose and treat conditions such as blockages, heart injuries and diseases, as well as keeping their eyes on other factors such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
  • As a cardiologist, you may find employment in private practice or in a hospital, clinic or similar medical setting.
  • According to “Forbes,” cardiologists earn about $380,000 per year, though actual income varies with location and experience.

Orthopedist

Orthopedist
  • An orthopedist is a doctor who specializes in healing the parts of the body allowing a patient to move.
  • Orthopedists specialize in muscular and skeletal conditions of the entire body but can focus on a particular part, such as the foot or shoulder.
  • They also treat other issues and diseases that may affect a patient’s muscles and bones.
  • Orthopedic surgeons earn a base salary of $497,000 per year, according to Forbes

Gastroenterologist

gastroenterologist
  • A Gastroenterologist is a physician with dedicated training and unique experience in the management of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. It is a subspecialty in internal medicine.
  • Digestive disorders include disorders of an esophagus, a stomach, small and large intestines, pancreas, gallbladder, and liver.
  • So, the study of gastroenterology and hepatology are often related to each other. Nevertheless, some doctors opt for hepatology as an even narrower field of work.
  • Reporting a base salary of $455,000 per year, Forbes ranked gastroenterology the third highest paying specialty in medicine

Urologist

urologist
  • A radiologist is a medical doctor who is trained in executing and interpreting medical images such as X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, and MRIs and using them to treat health problems in patients. They use the tools and the devices to make a diagnosis for a patient, then present the results to the patient’s physician.
  • Radiologists obtain a Doctor of Medicine degree, complete an internship and residency, and then pass a board review and examination.
  • According to Forbes Urologists make an annual base salary of $412,000

Dermatologist

Dermatologist
  • Dermatologists diagnose and treat skin disorders of all kinds, from acne to cancer.
  • They may perform routine skin examinations to screen for signs of melanoma or other forms of skin cancer, tracking any changes in the appearance or location of moles.
  • Dermatologists treat skin allergies, infections, eczema, and other conditions. Many dermatologists also perform cosmetic procedures, ranging from laser surgery and excisions of unwanted skin conditions and markings to liposuction, chemical peels and injections of dermal fillers like Botox.
  • According to “Forbes,” dermatologists earn about $412,000 per year

Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologist
  • Anesthesiologists also closely monitor a patient’s vital signs and critical life functions before, during and after the surgery – making rapid decisions on limited data when required. So, being an anesthesiologist is very stressful.
  • They work in hospital operating rooms, but also in other places, including invasive radiology, gastrointestinal endoscopy, electrophysiology and more.
  • According to “Forbes,” Anesthesiologist earn about $358,000 per year

Plastic Surgeon

Plastic-Surgery
  • Plastic surgeons may work on virtually any visual body part, from the appearance of the skin to the shape of the torso, breasts, and limbs and even external reproductive structures.
  • Plastic surgeons typically use skin grafts, implants, liposuction techniques, tissue transfers, and other methods to achieve the appearance improvements desired by their patients.
  • As with other specialties, plastic surgery includes subspecialties like surgery on the head and face (craniofacial surgery), the hand and serious burns.
  • According to Medscape reports annual earnings of $354,000 for plastic surgeons.

Radiologist

radiologist
  • A radiologist is a medical doctor who is trained in executing and interpreting medical images such as X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, and MRIs and using them to treat health problems in patients.
  • They use the tools and the devices to make a diagnosis for a patient, then present the results to the patient’s physician.
  • Radiologists obtain a Doctor of Medicine degree, complete an internship and residency, and then pass a board review and examination.
  • According to Medscape reports annual earnings of $351,000 for the radiologist

Emergency Physicians

emergency-physician
  • Emergency medicine is what it sounds like – the specialty that focuses on caring for and stabilizing patients during medical emergencies.
  • Specialists in emergency medicine work in both the emergency department and pre-hospital settings to recognize and treat acute diseases and severe injuries
  • Quick and accurate decision-making is essential to saving the lives of emergency patients, so these physicians need a strong background in clinical and technical skills and a breadth of medical knowledge to draw from when evaluating patients and planning patient care.
  • Forbes lists the annual base salary for specialists in the field of emergency medicine as $345,000.
  • Medscape puts the salary somewhat lower, at $306,000 per year, but within its ranking of the top 10 highest paying specialties.

General Surgeon

general-surgeon
  • General surgeons perform operations to treat or prevent diseases, repair damage caused by injuries, correct deformities, and improve the functions of a human body.
  • They will gain experience by assisting with surgical procedures, and helping patients before and after operations. This is an extremely demanding profession that requires long, irregular hours.
  • This is a physically demanding profession since surgeons are required to stand for hours. They have to be mentally focused and fully alert at all times. So, they are among the best-paying positions in health care.
  • General surgery rounds out the top 10 highest paying medical specialties, with Forbes reporting a yearly base salary of $339,000.
  • Medscape also ranks the specialty among the most lucrative, listing the salary for general surgeons as $317,000.

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