When you plan your career as a physician, you need to take into consideration that, at a particular point, you will have to choose the best specialty for you. It should reflect your interests and provide you work satisfaction, but the financial aspect can also be a crucial factor while making the decision. Medicine is a demanding field that requires a lot of effort and time to major in, so, understandably, you would like to get a high salary as compensation to your commitment.
To make this choice a bit easier for you, we have prepared a list of 4 highest paying medical specialties to familiarize yourself with. So, without any further ado, let’s just jump right into it!
If you become a doctor of optometry, you will be responsible for diagnosing and treating the disorders and illnesses associated with the eyes and the whole visual system. Formerly, optometrists were referred to as ophthalmic opticians and did everything that ophthalmologists were taking care of, with the exception of surgery.
Nowadays, with that medical specialty, you can work not only in a clinic or a hospital but also in the ophthalmic industry and educational institutions, or focus on research projects. If you choose to concentrate on helping patients directly, you will be examining their eyes with advanced equipment and analyzing their medical history in this matter to prescribe the right contact lenses or spectacles.
Average annual income: $122,980
2. Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic surgeons deal with the bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and joints, and they focus on preventing, diagnosing, and treating various disorders associated with these elements of the human body. Choosing this medical specialty, you will be helping patients with:
- congenital conditions
- trauma injuries
- degenerative illnesses
It is worth knowing that there are many subspecialties in orthopedic surgery. For instance, some physicians focus on working on the hand or foot and ankle. Furthermore, others choose to concentrate on a specific kind of condition, like sports injuries (sports medicine) or cancer (oncology). It is one of the highest paying medical specialties that will demand you to learn how to fix damaged tendons, replace harmed joints, set broken bones, surgically eliminate tumors, and more.
Average annual income: $526,385
3. Vascular Surgery
One of the highest paying medical specialties is also vascular surgery, dealing with, as the name clearly suggests, the vascular system. Healthy vessels are crucial because they are the roadways of the circulatory system, providing oxygen to the heart and allowing it to function properly in this way. If there are any problems with your blood flow, due to, for instance, the hardening of the arteries, you will experience tough health issues. However, not every vascular disease requires surgery.
Physicians with this medical specialty need to thoroughly analyze a particular condition and determine whether it can be treated with just exercise and medication or if it really needs surgical intervention. They can perform a wide range of procedures, starting from very complex surgery and finishing with minimally invasive, endovascular treatments.
Average annual income: $484,740
4. Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery
Plastic surgery is also definitely one of the highest-paid medical specialties. A physician with in-depth knowledge in this field can help a patient to modify almost every visible part of their body. Not every purpose of such a procedure is just improving the esthetic qualities – sometimes, it aims at reconstruction. Some patients who had an accident or are dealing with congenital disabilities or some illnesses that affect physical appearance may need it to come back to normal functioning.
Usually, plastic surgery physicians apply implants, skin grafts, tissue transfers, liposuction techniques, and other means to enhance their patients’ appearance. It is worth knowing that you can select a particular subspecialty and take care of only, for example, serious burns or facial surgeries.
Average annual income: $393,073
The Bottom Line
Since you now know some examples of the highest paying medical specialties, it may be easier for you to select your dream career path. Apart from the ones mentioned before, many other fields are also highly profitable, such as thoracic surgery, cardiology, urology, or dermatology.
However, while choosing your specialty, a student should not only take into account the salary’s attractiveness but also the satisfaction that it will bring them. Even the highest-paid job will not make you happy if you hate doing it. The best approach is to identify what interests you the most and search for the best career opportunities associated with this particular specialty. We hope you will make the right decision!