Radiology’s average salary ranks 10th among specialties, with overall physician compensation holding steady

Radiology continues to sit among the top earning medical specialties, even in a pandemic-stricken year that’s seen imaging volumes plummet, according to new data.

Physician member network Doximity surveyed nearly 44,000 U.S. doctors between 2019 and 2020 for its fourth annual Physician Compensation Report released Thursday.

Overall, radiology recorded an average annual compensation of $485,460, positioning the field as the 10th highest earning medical specialty. The group’s 2019 annual survey—which analyzed data from 2018-2019—pegged rads’ annual compensation at $429,000.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed healthcare on center stage and the average doctor’s pay has remained relatively flat, increasing by 1.5% according to this year’s figures, compared to up to 4% in years past.

“This is striking given that healthcare prices continue to be one of the fastest rising components of the consumer price index,” the report authors noted. “So while healthcare prices are rising faster for patients, these price changes do not translate into increased compensation for medical professionals.”

Radiology’s annual compensation fell just behind gastroenterology ($485,817) and came in slightly ahead of urology ($472,941). Radiation oncology took the eighth overall spot at $516,016 per year.

In the 2018 iteration of the report, radiology was pinned with the fourth-highest wage gap between men and women. Male radiologists earned an average of $442,000, while women earned $349,000, a difference of 21%. Imaging wasn’t listed in the top or bottom five in the data published on Oct. 29.

Here are the top five medical specialties with the highest annual compensation in 2020:

  1. Neurosurgery—$746,544
  2. Thoracic surgery—$668,350
  3. Orthopedic surgery—$605,330
  4. Plastic surgery—$539,208
  5. Oral & maxillofacial—$538,590

The five specialties with the lowest annual compensation are as follows:

  1. Preventative medicine—$234,587
  2. Pediatrics—$243,253
  3. Medical genetics—$252,930
  4. Endocrinology—$259,748
  5. Family medicine—$261,536

Read the entire report from Doximity here.