It’s not easy to be a medical student and then become an experienced doctor who earns the highest possible income after graduation. But it is definitely achievable if you know how to go about it! Here are some tips on how to earn higher than your peers while working as a physician.
First of all, let me tell you that there isn’t any one-size-fits-all solution for this problem. It depends entirely upon what country you want to practice medicine in, where you intend practicing, and other factors which I’ll discuss later. Let’s start with analyzing why these countries have the best physicians’ salaries around the world.
I’ve prepared a list of top ten countries with the highest doctors salaries based on data from Glassdoor reviews. These countries offer great opportunities for young professionals looking forward to starting their careers as doctors.
- Average annual pay: $272,000
- Salary range: From $184K-$372K
- Job satisfaction rating: 4.5/5 (based on 30 reviews)
- Working hours: 40+ hour weeks
According to PayScale.com, Luxembourg has among the highest average yearly earnings for a general practitioner or internist ($372K per year). This is mostly due to low healthcare costs and high taxes. In addition, Luxembourg offers many incentives to lure new hires away from competing countries.
The downside? You will need at least five years’ experience before becoming eligible for full licensure as a primary care provider. Also, the cost of living can be considered expensive compared to other European nations like Norway.
- Average Annual Salary: $186K
- Salary Range: $120K -$341K
- Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.5 / 5
Among the most competitively priced health insurance plans available today, according to Healthline. If you’re planning to work in the US, make sure you get accepted by a prestigious hospital that pays well. Most hospitals employ only highly skilled specialists and use cutting edge technology to provide services. As such, they generally charge more fees.
In terms of location, Boston ranks first in terms of paying physicians. However, Los Angeles and New York City also rank very close behind Boston.
On the flipside, cities with big universities tend to attract less talented professionals since students prefer studying over doing actual clinical rotations during college. For example, San Francisco falls into this category.
- Average Annual Salary: €183,800
- Job Satisfaction Rate: 3.6/5
Belgium was ranked #3 for highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in 2017. According to Payscale.com, the average annual salary for a Belgian family doctor is approximately EUR181k per year.
Aside from being a wealthy nation, Belgium also boasts excellent education systems and research facilities. Consequently, its job market remains strong even when times get tough.
One major drawback: the number of residency programs offered by Belgian hospitals is slightly lower than other European countries. Although, there are still plenty of residencies available.
- Average Annual Salary: €171,900
- Salary Range: €119K -€309K
- Job Satisfaction rate: 3.9/5
Germany is another popular destination for international physicians because of its superior infrastructure, advanced public transportation system, and modern lifestyle. According to Payscale.com, German doctors enjoy the third-best overall quality life score out of 190 surveyed countries.
Although Berlin is known for having extremely long working days, residents often find themselves enjoying the city’s nightlife once the sun goes down.
If you’d rather live closer to nature, consider moving somewhere else within Europe. Some people would argue that London provides better career opportunities for those interested in medicine.
However, keep in mind that you won’t receive nearly half of what German doctors do each year. On the bright side, it’s relatively cheaper to live in England than in Germany.
As mentioned earlier, depending on your specialty area, the price of healthcare varies greatly across regions. For example, dentists usually don’t require specialized training and thus, earn significantly less money per year compared to psychiatrists.
- Average Annual Salary: C$185,000 CAD
- Salary Range: C$125K -C$317K
- Job Satisfaction Rate: 4.2/5
Canada is arguably the easiest place to obtain residency positions in North America. Even though residency spots aren’t abundant, Canadian physicians typically enjoy high levels of respect and admiration.
Healthcare is much more affordable in Canada compared to other developed nations and patients tend to trust physicians here far more than in American states.
Another perk worth mentioning is the fact that every resident receives free access to government-run universal health coverage called “Medicare.” Furthermore, seniors aged 65+ can visit almost any specialist without worrying about co-payments.
- Average Annual Salary: CHF179,500
- Job Satisfaction Rate: 4.2/5
Switzerland has become increasingly popular among medical tourists seeking private clinics offering cosmetic procedures. According to Swissmedic, the demand for plastic surgeons increased by 50% between 2000 and 2015. Moreover, the country now hosts thousands of cosmetic surgery centers annually.
Medical tourism is especially popular among women who seek ways to look younger and healthier. A recent study found that Swiss citizens spend roughly three million dollars on breast implants alone.
While Switzerland does boast excellent health care benefits, you should note that prices may vary substantially depending on the type of treatment you choose.
- Average Annual Income: €169,000
- Salary Range: €110K -€290K
- Job Satisfaction Rate: 3.8/5
Ireland became a global hotspot for foreign investors several decades ago. Nowadays, it is home to numerous multinational companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Eimskip, etc.
Because of this, Irish medical graduates end up making decent incomes right after graduation. Average annual wages hover around €170k, but this figure increases dramatically when considering Dublin, the capital of Ireland. According to Payscale.com, Dublin’s average annual income reaches upwards of €200k.
If you plan to settle permanently in Ireland, you must speak fluent English. Otherwise, expect to shell out extra cash for translation services.
- Average Annual Salary: €161,100
- Salary Range: €103K -€304K
- Job Satisfaction Rate: 4.0/5
Austria is renowned for producing exceptional chefs, architects, painters, musicians, authors, designers, engineers, scientists, environmentalists, etc. Unfortunately, it doesn’t translate into equally competent doctors. Compared to neighboring countries, Austrian physicians struggle to achieve positive patient outcomes.
Even so, Austria enjoys unparalleled beauty along with friendly locals eager to help newcomers feel comfortable. Take advantage of this opportunity to discover everything this land has to offer!
- Average Annual Salary: €160,600
- Salary Range: €96K -€299K
- Job Satisfaction Rate: 3.5/5
Most Dutch doctors specialize either in internal medicine or pediatrics. While both fields are challenging enough, pediatricians face additional difficulties managing children’s illnesses.
Since Amsterdam attracts millions of visitors each year, competition for residency slots becomes fierce. At the same time, Dutch residents enjoy socialized health care benefits provided through the national health service.
Nevertheless, if you decide to pursue a specialization outside your field, you shouldn’t expect to receive anything above the median wage unless you become an attending surgeon.
- Average Annual Salary: AUD167,000
- Salary Range: AUD109K -AUD281K
- Job Satisfication Rate: 2.8/5
Australia offers a wide variety of options regarding where to set up shop. One of them includes Sydney, which is consistently rated as the safest city worldwide. Another option involves smaller towns located near oceanside beaches.
For instance, Port Macquarie is famous for attracting artists and creatives searching for inexpensive housing. Aside from earning potential, Australian doctors enjoy generous vacation leave policies, flexible schedules, and good retirement packages.
Unfortunately, unlike most other European countries, Australians seem unwilling to hire foreigners. Therefore, you might have trouble finding employment immediately following completion of your internship unless you relocate to Melbourne or Perth.
Those are the top ten places where you can earn more money as a medical professional. You probably already know that there’s no magic formula that allows anyone to instantly boost his or her salary. Still, knowing where to begin can save you lots of wasted time and energy. And hopefully, this article helped shed light on some interesting locations you could potentially explore next.
Remember that none of these places are necessarily worse than others. Instead, it’s important to select the location that suits your needs best. Once again, my advice is to focus primarily on learning everything you can about the local culture, customs, language, economy, weather conditions, and climate. Then try applying different scenarios until you eventually strike gold.