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Rheumatology Salaries and Career Choices

Oct 06, 2022 3:16 pm

A recent doximity report shows how rheumatology salaries increase by years in practice.  Their salary estimates are based on Doximity acquired data from over 200,000 physicians, along with publicly-available career and salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census. Rheumatologists tend to earn their highest salaries after gaining 30-39 years of experience. 












The highest paying Rheumatologist salaries were from these 3 counties:

  1. Morgan County, CO ($590,000/year)
  2. Eagle County, CO ($537,000/year)
  3. Rice County, MN ($514,000/year)

Another recent report from Healthgrades listed physician salaries per hourly rates, with rheumatologists being paid better than many other "cognitive" specialties.  They calculated an average hourly rate by specialty, using the latest annual numbers from the Medscape 2022 Compensation Report, and average hours worked as reported by the American Association of Medical Colleges.  These estimates assume 50 weeks of work per year. 

SpecialtyHourly Rate per Specialty

  • Neurosurgery $267 
  • Plastic Surgery $222 
  • Orthopedic Surgery $195 
  • Dermatology $195
  • Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) $177 
  • Cardiology $169 
  • Emergency Medicine $162 
  • Radiology $151
  • Physical Medicine & Rehab $143 
  • Pathology $136 
  • General Surgery $136 
  • Anesthesiology $133 
  • Psychiatry $122 
  • Allergy & Immunology $122 
  • Neurology $118  
  • ObGyn $116 
  • Preventive Medicine $108 
  • Rheumatology $107 ($289,000/yr)
  • Endocrinology $105 
  • Pediatrics $104 
  • Infectious Disease $98 
  • Family Medicine $96 
  • Internal Medicine $96 

Finally a recent review of Rheumatology Salaries by AMN Healthcare (a division of Merritt Hawkins) shows the 2021/22 median salary for rheumatology is $258,000 (ranging from low median of  $200,000 and high median of $325,000) per annum. 

Job satisfaction may be measured by career change and specialty switching. A July 2022 Doximity poll shows that a fifth of physicians have changed their medical specialty at least once, while another 6% are considering changing specialties and the majority (73%) being satisfied where they are.

Among the nearly 4,200 physicians who participated, the trend is to seek out specialized fields, with dermatology, emergency medicine, interventional radiology, and anesthesiology all in the top five. As an example, 35% of dermatologists practiced in a different specialty before transitioning into dermatology, compared with 21% for family medicine and internal medicine, and 16% for general surgery. Other top 10 choices also included geriatrics and plastic surgery.  RHeumatology was mid-pack with 21% of current rheumatologists having started in another specialty.














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The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject