2018 trends in medical specialty choice

Residency Program Insider, December 7, 2018

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Residency Program Insider!

Choosing a medical specialty to enter is perhaps the most important choice a medical student will make in his or her career as a physician. Many factors ultimately influence this decision, from level of compensation to the desired level of interaction with patients. With 2018 coming to a close, it’s a good time to examine trends among medical specialties for the year.

The highest-paying specialties and their average annual compensation are as follows:

  • Plastic surgery: $501,000
  • Orthopedics: $497,000
  • Cardiology: $408,000
  • Radiology: $401,000
  • Dermatology: $392,000

Primary care fields were among the lowest-paying specialties. Included in the bottom five are the following:

  • Internal medicine: $230,000
  • Family medicine: $219,000
  • Pediatrics: $212,000

According to more than 15,000 respondents in a survey regarding burnout and depression, burnout is down 9% compared to results from last year, although 15% of respondents reported experiencing depression. Physicians reported the lowest rates of burnout practice in the following specialties:

  • Plastic surgery
  • Dermatology
  • Pathology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedics

Additionally, women made up the majority of residents in the specialties of obstetrics and gynecology (83% women) and pediatrics (73%) . Men made up a larger percent of the residents in orthopedic surgery (85% men) and neurological surgery (83%).  

Source: American Medical Association


Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Residency Program Insider!

    Residency Program Alert
  • Residency Program Alert

    Residency program managers in all specialties are challenged to effectively manage their programs as accrediting agencies...

  • Residency Program Insider

    Residency Program Connection is devoted to bringing residency directors and coordinators expert advice, best practice...

Most Popular