Gastroenterologists are medical practitioners who specialize in the study, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders that affect the digestive tract, particularly the stomach and intestines. Gastroenterologists tend to be high earners, although the annual salary of a gastroenterologist varies by type of practice, geographical area and type of community.
According to a survey conducted by Medscape in 2011, gastroenterologists reported a median salary of $300,000 in 2010. The lowest-paid 10 percent of gastroenterologists reported salaries of $100,000 or less, whereas the highest-paid 18 percent reported annual incomes of $500,000 or more. Across the nation, male gastroenterologists earned an average of more than $100,000 than their female counterparts.
Salary by Region:
Gastroenterologists in the North Central region of the United States -- comprised of North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri -- reported the highest median salary, at $542,500 a year. Those employed in the Northwestern states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana reported a median salary of $500,000. Gastroenterologists in the Great Lakes states earned a median salary of $320,000, and those in the Southwest reported median earnings of $370,000 per year. Gastroenterologists in the eastern third of the United States tend to earn slightly less, with those in the Northeast reporting the lowest median salary of $248,000.
Compensation by Community Size:
Gastroenterologists working in small cities reported median earnings of between $350,000 and $400,000 a year in 2010. Those in midsized cities reported annual compensation of just more than $350,000, and those in small towns and rural areas earned slightly less. Those working in suburban areas reported a median salary of $300,000. Gastroenterologists practicing in major metropolitan areas reported the lowest median earnings of $275,000 per year.
Salary by Employment Sector:
Gastroenterologists who were partners in a private practice reported the highest earnings for 2010, with a median annual salary of more than $400,000. Those operating a solo practice earned a median salary of just less than $300,000. Gastroenterologists employed by hospitals reported median earnings of $300,000 to $400,000 a year. Gastroenterologists working in academia reported median salaries of $200,000 a year, while those employed by a private practice reported median earnings of $100,000 per year. Independent contractors reported the lowest median salary, at less than $100,000 a year.