If you really want to make the bucks, primary care isn't the way to go. That fact was underscored this week by a study from staffing firm Merritt Hawkins & Associates, which noted that while internist pay topped out at $176,000 annually, and family practice doctors at $172,000, nurse anesthetists recruited by the firm were making average salaries of $185,000. (Anesthesiologists averaged $336,000 per year.) Other Merritt Hawkins high earners included cardiologists, averaging $392,000 per year, radiologists, at $401,000 and gastroenterologists, at $379,000. Pediatricians, in contrast, were pulling down a relatively modest $159,000.
I suspect that if you were to find the median salary for pediatricians, it would be even lower. Queue deep sigh, now.