Plastic Surgeons are Highest-Paid Physicians in U.S.

by Surgical Times

With a median salary of $526,000, plastic surgeons are, on average, the highest-paid physicians in America. Orthopedic surgeons place second at $511,000, while the remainder of 27 specialties net a median salary somewhere between $459,000 (cardiologists) and $221,000 (pediatricians).

Plastic surgeons also saw, on average, a salary increase of 10% year-over-year, again leading the specialties as the profession to receive the largest salary increase for 2021.

Sixty-eight percent of plastic surgeons feel their compensation is fair. (Topping the list, 79% of oncologists feel likewise, and closing it out, 61% of cardiologists feel they are being fairly compensated.) 

This information and more comes courtesy of a report issued Wednesday, January 26, by Physicians Thrive, a full-service financial company that helps doctors manage their money and negotiate their contracts. For its annual report, Physicians Thrive drew current information from about a dozen sources.

According to the report, female physicians earn an average of 25% less than male physicians in the same specialty.

The average salary of a primary care physician in 2021 was $242,000, down $1,000 from 2020.

The average salary of a specialist physician in 2021 was $344,000, down $2,000 from 2020.

Surgical Times provides objective public interest reporting on the practice of plastic surgery and is not affiliated with or funded by any surgeon or practice.