By Dan Miller, WCI Contributor
Doctors in the US have a reputation for having a higher-than-average salary, but there is a wide range of physician incomes. Though it is worth pointing out that even a lower-paid doctor generally has an income above the national average, you'll also want to consider that being a doctor also comes with higher-than-average costs, including paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans as well as malpractice insurance.
Medscape gathered data from more than 13,000 physicians in more than 29 different specialties and created a 2022 Compensation Report for Physiatrists along with many other medical specialties. In this 2022 report, physiatrists shared some of the specifics about their compensation, bonuses, and incentives, and they decided whether they felt adequately compensated. If you are considering physiatry as a career, you'll want to be aware of this information so you can make an informed decision.
Physiatrist Average Salary
According to the Medscape report, the average salary for physiatrists in 2021 was $322,000. This is slightly below the median salary for all physicians, but it was fairly close to the middle of all of the medical specialties in terms of average salary.
Is Physiatrist Income Rising?
Although physiatrists had an income below many other medical specialties, physiatrists' income is increasing at an average amount compared to other physicians. According to the Medscape survey, physiatrists had a 7% average increase in their income in 2021. That's the same as anesthesiology, cardiology, and internal medicine.
The annual inflation rate during 2021 was 4.7%—which means that the purchasing power for the average physiatrist increased when compared to the previous year. Although physiatrists' income did not increase as much as some other specialties (such as gastroenterology at 12% or dermatology at 11%), it was higher than many other medical specialties.
For what it's worth, some of the lowest increases occurred with public health and preventative medicine doctors at 3%, oncology at 2%, and critical care physicians at 1%.
Do Physiatrists Feel Fairly Compensated?
Despite an income around the middle of the average physician, that doesn't translate to feelings of being adequately compensated. Only 49% of physiatrists reported feeling fairly compensated, according to the Medscape survey.
That is one of the lowest levels of income satisfaction of all of the different medical specialties. However, physiatrists, like the vast majority of physicians, do have an income that is significantly above the median US income. A physiatrist should have plenty of money to live comfortably and retire at a traditional age, as long as they follow basic financial principles.
There are other different sources of physician income data besides the Medscape survey. Our recommended contract review firms use these sources to make sure you are getting paid what you're worth. Here is a look at the average physiatrist salary income from a few other sources:
- MGMA: $318,828
- Doximity: $310,934
Increasing Your Physician Income
There is a wide range of salaries, even within physiatry, so it's important that you negotiate your pay and the terms of your contract before you sign. Physiatrists who don't sufficiently negotiate may be improperly compensated, and they may face high costs and non-compete agreements that restrict their future opportunities. If you’re negotiating a new contract, The White Coat Investor has a list of vetted attorneys and law firms to work with to make sure you get a good deal.
The White Coat Investor is filled with posts like this, whether it’s increasing your financial literacy, showing you the best strategies on your path to financial success, or discussing the topic of mental wellness. To discover just how much The White Coat Investor can help you in your financial journey, start here to read some of our most popular posts and to see everything else WCI has to offer. And if you're inspired to build a sturdy financial foundation, make sure to sign up for our WCI 101 email series.