Physician income declined in general, although the top-earning specialties remained the same as in Medscape's 2011 survey. In 2012, radiologists and orthopedic surgeons topped the list at $315,000, followed by cardiologists ($314,000), anesthesiologists ($309,000), and urologists ($309,000). Previously, radiologists and orthopedic surgeons led the pack, at a mean income of $350,000 each, followed by anesthesiologists and cardiologists (both at $325,000). The bottom-earning specialties in 2012's survey were pediatrics, family medicine, and internal medicine.
For employed physicians, compensation includes salary, bonus, and profit-sharing contributions. For partners, compensation includes earnings after tax-deductible business expenses but before income tax. Compensation excludes non-patient-related activities (eg, expert witness fees, speaking engagements, and product sales).