Investing in a career as a doctor requires years of rigorous and specialized education, which can be incredibly expensive. From application fees and medical school tuition to travel expenses and living on a resident’s salary for several years, future doctors have a lot to think about when it comes to their financial potential. We’d caution premeds against making a life choice based on money alone, but it’s fair to start planning for future finances early on.
In general, doctor salaries tend to increase with experience. Newly graduated doctors typically start on lower salaries than their experienced counterparts, but as they build up a patient base and establish themselves in the field, they can quickly increase their earning potential. The location in which a doctor works can also impact their income. For instance, major metropolitan areas tend to pay higher salaries due to a greater demand for healthcare services and a higher cost of living. Meanwhile, rural regions may offer lower wages as a result of low demand and a less expensive cost of living.
The type of medical specialization a physician practices can also impact their earnings. Surgeons, for example, typically earn more than family practitioners and pediatricians. The reason for this is likely due to the greater degree of specialized knowledge and skill required in their fields. In addition, certain medical specializations are in high demand and often come with more lucrative perks such as sign-on bonuses.