4 reasons some doctors earn higher salaries

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Being a superstar can mean a higher income for doctors.

Ever wonder why a colleague in the same specialty earns more money?

There are wide variations in physician incomes and various reasons why that occurs, according to Medscape. Some of the reasons why some doctors are financially better off include:

Rockstar status: Top-notch clinicians are valued by hospitals and healthcare systems for their ability to attract new patients and increase the organization’s prestige. 

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"The rainmakers are going to be treated differently from the average employed physician,”Travis Singleton, a senior vice president at physician recruitment firm Merritt Hawkins, told the publication.

Leadership positions: Moving up the ladder can result in higher incomes, much of it from bonuses. However, those high salaries may only come with the highest administrative positions.

RELATED: The top 10 most in-demand physician specialties and their salaries

Location: Physicians in larger practices tend to earn more than those in small practices and also earn more than employed physicians. The size of a practice is a strong indicator of income, along with patient volume and practicing at one’s full scope. 

Demand: For the 11th year in a row, the most in-demand doctors were family physicians, according to a new survey released this week. That drove the average salary for family physicians to $231,000, a 17% increase since 2015, but still far less than the more than $1 million the heads of cardiothoracic surgery and ophthalmology at the University of California at San Diego made, according to Medscape.

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