By TJ Porter, WCI Contributor

It isn’t all about the money, but the reality is that doctors are among the best-compensated professionals in the United States. Though a long period of education, costly malpractice insurance, and potentially massive student debt offsets that high income somewhat, becoming a doctor is a good way to put yourself on the path toward earning a healthy living.

Though doctors, as a whole, have high earnings, not every physician makes the same amount. Factors such as where you live and the specialty you select play a big role. Medscape’s annual compensation report uses data gathered from more than 10,000 medical professionals across 29-plus specialties to break down the difference in income. If you’re considering a career as a family medicine doctor or just want to see how your earnings compare to your peers, we’ll break things down.


Family Medicine Doctor Average Salary

family medicine average salary


Family medicine doctors were among the lowest-earning physicians in 2022, taking in an average of $255,000 that year. That was an increase of about 8% from the previous year, but the average has remained flat from 2022 to 2023. Remember that income can vary with many factors, such as geographic location. Within the family medicine specialty, men earned an average of 23% more than women, according to the Medscape survey. In 2022, that average was 26%.


Is Family Medicine Doctor Income Rising?


family medicine salary rising falling

Though family medicine was near the bottom in terms of average compensation, it's more toward the middle of pay increases in 2023 at a 0% increase (along with OB-GYN). In the previous year, the average compensation for family medicine rose by 8%, so the fact it's remained flat for the past year is disappointing. Inflation has been higher than normal for the past two years, so the 0% increase is even more biting, and Medscape, in part, blames Medicare cuts as one contributing factor. Some good news, though. Since 2015, the average for family medicine salaries has increased by 31%.

More information here:

The Moderate-Income Physician


Do Family Medicine Doctors Have Incentive Bonuses?

Many physicians receive performance or incentive-based bonuses as part of their compensation. Like overall compensation, the typical bonus for family medicine doctors was near the bottom of the pack at $34,000, up from $30,000 in 2022. That means that bonuses make up about 13% of a family medicine doctor’s overall pay. Not every physician gets incentive-based bonuses. Only about 34% of family medicine docs reported taking on extra work to supplement their income.


Do Family Medicine Doctors Feel Fairly Compensated?


family medicine fairly paid

Doctors of all types tend to earn a high income, but it’s still important to feel like you’re compensated properly based on the work that you do. Overall, family medicine doctors were below average when it came to feeling fairly compensated. Fifty percent felt like their pay was fair. Medscape has reported in the past that actual pay was just one piece of the puzzle when it came to feeling fairly compensated. Pay that relies on tracking irrelevant quality measures or other frustrating methods of determining compensation can reduce satisfaction even if for the same level of pay.

Perhaps due to their fairly low compensation, a large number of family medicine doctors said that they would not choose their specialty if given another chance. Thirty-four percent indicated they would select a different specialty, and that's an increase from 32% in 2022. Only internal medicine specialists, at 39%, were less satisfied with their specialty.

More information here:

16 Ways to Earn More Money as a Doctor


Other Sources

family medicine doctor salary

Medscape’s report is just one source of information regarding doctor salaries and job satisfaction. To get the best information, it’s a good idea to compare many sources. There are plenty of other places to look for data regarding physician income, and our recommended contract review firms use them all to help make sure you’re getting paid what you’re worth. The average income for family medicine doctors according to other sources is:

    • AAMC: $232,000 (this only includes academics)
    • Doximity: $273,865
    • AMGA: $273,291
    • MGMA: $270,334
    • Merritt Hawkins: $243,000


Increasing Your Physician Income

Regardless of your specialty or the stage of your career, it’s a good idea to work to boost your income. If you’re about to negotiate a new deal with your employer, we recommend working with someone on our list of vetted attorneys and law firms. They have experience when it comes to working with physicians and negotiating strong contracts that can increase your earnings.

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