By Brian Casey, AuntMinnie.com staff writer

July 24, 2018 -- While experienced, board-certified radiologists are among the highest-paid medical specialists, that status apparently doesn't extend to radiology trainees. A new survey found that radiology residents land in the middle of the pack when it comes to annual compensation.

With an average annual salary of $60,700, radiology residents were right in the middle of a group of about 35 medical specialties in a new report by Medscape, and they were slightly higher than the average salary for all residents of $59,300. The report included 1,916 U.S. medical residents who filled out an online survey in April 2018.

There wasn't much difference, however, between the salaries of medical residents at the top and those at the bottom. The best-paid residents were in allergy and immunology, at $68,000, while those at the bottom, in public health and preventive medicine, made $55,500 per year. Resident salaries for selected specialties are listed below; for the full list, click here.

Salaries for U.S. residents in select medical specialties
Medical specialty Average salary
Allergy and immunology $68,000
Surgery, specialized $66,100
Plastic surgery $63,100
Cardiology $62,100
Psychiatry $60,800
Radiology $60,700
Neurology $60,500
Pathology $60,100
All residents $59,300
Dermatology $58,600
Emergency medicine $56,800
Public health and preventive medicine $55,500

While there wasn't much of a difference in resident salaries, the respondents said that future earnings made a big difference in their decision to pick a medical specialty. In all, 41% said that future earnings were extremely or very influential in their decision of a specialty, up slightly from 38% in the Medscape survey last year. Another 52% said that earning potential was somewhat or slightly influential in their decision.

Medscape also tracked resident salaries by year and found that first-year residents made $55,200, on average; year 5 residents made $62,600; and those in years 6 to 8 made $64,300.

The report also showed that there was near-parity in resident wages on a gender basis, with male residents making $59,600, 1.5% more than female residents at $58,700. Interestingly, slightly higher percentages of female residents reported being satisfied with their salaries than male residents.

What rubs residents the wrong way? A strong majority (82%) said they felt their compensation didn't reflect the number of hours they worked, and 69% felt their compensation was not comparable to that of other medical staff, such as physician assistants and nurses. In the comments section of the survey, one resident pointed out that he was only making $8,000 more than his father did when he was a medical resident 30 years before.


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