Money matters

What residents are getting paid in 2017

New Medscape report reveals which specialties get paid the most and least, and how residents feel about how much they’re earning.

The average medical resident is earning $57,200 annually, according to Medscape’s 2017 Residents Salary and Debt Report, an increase from $56,500 in 2016.

Hematology, allergy and immunology, nephrology and cardiology residents are paid the most, with salaries in the $60-$70,000 range, while family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine and ophthalmology residents earn the least, receiving annual pay of $54,000-$55,000.

Medscape surveyed more than 1,500 residents to create the report.

Here are a few more highlights:

    • Eighty-three percent of residents feel their compensation doesn’t adequately address the number of hours that they work.
    • One-third of residents feel they should be paid 26-50% more.
    • Nearly 40% of the residents surveyed say future compensation will be extremely or very influential on their ultimate choice of specialty.
    • That being said, 44% of respondents in primary care specialties said they planned to pursue primary care, while 44% intend to subspecialize and 12% will specialize but haven’t chosen a specialty yet.
    • Nearly 40% of respondents spend more than 60 hours per week seeing patients.
    • Nearly 80% of respondents say they’re satisfied with their residency learning experience.

Interested in learning more about managing your finances as a resident or new physician? Read the following articles in The DO:

Budgeting after your first doctor paycheck

Is a physician mortgage right for you?

Controlling the urge to splurge: Car-buying strategies for new DOs

Why your FICO credit score matters so much


  1. Too bad they didn’t address the fact that the highest-paid “residents” are actually fellows, and that resident pay actually increases with each subsequent year. That definitely skews the numbers when you’re talking about a cardiology fellow’s pay vs an IM intern’s pay. Maybe I’ll read through the actual survey results to see if they mentioned those points.

    1. Hi Patricia, thank you for this comment. This is a very good point–thank you for sharing. The original survey didn’t differentiate between residents and fellows, but it did note on slide 4 that a resident’s salary typically goes up with each year of experience.

  2. Cardiology, Neurology, allergy and hematology trainees are fellows, not residents. All graduate medical education trainees are paid on a scale based on years of training completed, so of course fellows who have already completed 3 years of internal medicine training will be paid more. This is either a disingenuous or very uninformed article.

    1. Hi Santos, thank you for your comment. You make a great point, and we appreciate you pointing this out! The original survey did not differentiate between residents and fellows, but did provide salary by specialty on the third slide, which is where the info came from. The fourth slide does mention the pay increase residents typically receive with each additional year of training.

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