U.S. physicians earn on average $294,000 a year, a new survey shows, with men earning 31 percent more than women and white men earning 15 percent more than black men.
The survey of 19,000 doctors by Medscape shows most wish they earned even more, even as most specialties, with the exception of pediatricians, got raises in 2016.
The biggest earners? Orthopedists, who rake in $489,000 a year.
Plastic surgeons got the biggest raises in 2016 — a pretty grand 24 percent, bringing their annual take to $354,000 a year, the survey found.
Specialists earn more than family practice doctors. Family practice and pediatricians earn just over $200,000 a year, the survey found.
Male specialist physicians make on average 31 percent more than their female counterparts, although that gap narrows among the younger generation. The survey found an 18 percent difference for doctors under the age of 34.
Even at that, a third of specialists said they felt they should be earning even more money.
Only half of African-American physicians feel they are paid fairly and they do earn less than whites — $262,000 compared to $303,000 for white men.
Those who want to earn more should try moving to a less populated state. Doctors in North Dakota earned the most on average: $361,000 a year, compared to $235,000 in Washington, D.C. In general, doctors in rural, cold states — Alaska, New Hampshire and the Dakotas — earned more than doctors working in the eastern seaboard states of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.
A study published Monday showed doctors are spending more time on paperwork than they are treating patients.
“Our results suggest that the physicians logged an average of 3.08 hours on office visits and 3.17 hours on desktop medicine each day,” Ming Tai-Seale of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute and colleagues wrote in the journal Health Affairs.
They surveyed the electronic health records of 471 primary care doctors in California, and found each physician saw an average of 12 patients a day — for an average of about 18 minutes per visit.
The rest of the days were spent on the phone, reviewing charts, refilling prescriptions and other activities.
But most physicians say they love their work, even if they do feel they are burdened with too much paperwork. Close to 80 percent said they’d choose medicine again if they had to all to do over again.