Medical residents’ salaries continue to climb in 2018

Medicine Money
Residents' salaries continued to increase in 2018. (Getty/utah778)

The average salary for medical residents continued to climb this year and, overall, is up about 7% over the last three years.

The average resident’s salary was $59,300 in 2018, up about 3.7% from $57,200 the previous year, according to a Medscape report.

The report included data from more than 1,900 residents in more than 29 specialties, all enrolled in U.S. residency programs. In 2015, the average salary was $55,400.

The report, however, showed continued discrepancy among specialists.

The highest paid residents were in allergy and immunology specialties, where doctors earned an average $68,000. Among the lowest paid were public health and preventive medicine doctors, as well as those in family medicine, who both earned an average of $55,900.

In contrast to post-residency doctors, male and female residents earned similar salaries. The average for male residents was $59,600 and the average for female residents was $58,700.

Close to half the responding medical residents (45%) said they feel they are fairly compensated. Of the residents dissatisfied with their compensation, 82% said it was because their pay did not reflect the number of hours they worked. Over one-third of residents (37%) said they work over 60 hours per week seeing patients.

And it’s a mixed bag when it comes to medical school debt for residents. Almost one-quarter said they have no medical school debt, but the same percentage (23%) said they have debt that exceeds $300,000. Another 24% said they have debt from medical school in the $200,001-$300,000 range.

The survey asked residents about their future plans and whether they saw themselves as a partner/owner of a practice or as employed. Twenty-nine percent said they anticipate employment, but the same percentage said they were not sure about their future. Twenty-one percent of residents said they anticipate being a partner or practice owner.

Many job openings are for employed physicians, a survey released earlier this month by The Medicus Firm, a national physician search firm, concluded.

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