It's no secret that there are quite a few digits in a physician salary, but it's also important to remember that there are a varied array of physician salaries due to a few factors. The setting in which the physician is employed plays a role in determining the salary for that position. Additionally, the specialty, or area of practice, will also determine the physician pay. Physicians working in more densely populated, urban areas will typically earn a larger average physician salary than those working in the same position in rural areas.
Physician salaries are more generous than most average salaries because of the time invested in education, as well as time invested in daily work. The average physician devotes 60 hours a week to office visits, hospital rounds and call duty. Physician pay is designed to compensate the physician for time spent committed to the employing institution, as well as to the patients.
Certain areas of medicine, or specialties, often pay considerably more than other areas. A physician who chooses to work in a family practice setting may earn an average salary of $147,000 a year. This is an excellent wage, and a position that typically has routine hours and few high stress circumstances. A cardiovascular surgeon, however, may earn an average salary of $558,000 yearly. The salary is much greater for the cardiovascular surgeon because of the additional time required for this position, the additional education invested and the higher stress environment to which the physician is subjected. It is clear from this comparison that the amount of time and energy invested into career advancement is directly related to the physician salary.
It is estimated that the demand for physicians in rural areas will increase over the next few years. Physician reimbursement in rural areas are typically lower than in urban areas, because the urban physician often has a higher patient load. With a shift in demand to rural areas, there may be an increase in what can be expected of a rural physician salary. Although it is not expected to exceed the urban physician pay, rural doctors may see an increase in pay as the population continues to shift from the city to the country.
If your objective is to obtain a high paying physician job, it is advised to seek board certification in a specialty that is in high demand. It is also important to remember that physician reimbursements are based on the amount of time, effort and commitment you're able to make to your profession. Don't expect to make the big bucks and still enjoy every holiday with your family or make every dinner on time. It's a price that many physicians are willing to pay. However, if your quality of life is such that you don't need to chase the big dollar signs, then perhaps a conventional family practice position could be for you. To each his own, and due to the varied salary options for physicians, you're likely to find the perfect fit for you.