Top-paying physician specialties in last 5 years, per Medscape

Medscape's annual Physician Compensation Report details the top-earning physician specialties. In the last five years, orthopedics and plastic surgery have remained at the top of the list, while general surgery has not made the top 10 list since 2017.

Here are the top paying physician specialties over the past five years, followed by their average annual salaries:

2021
Plastic surgery: $526,000
Orthopedics and orthopedic surgery: $511,000
Cardiology: $459,000
Urology: $427,000
Otolaryngology: $417,000
Radiology: $413,000
Gastroenterology: $406,000
Oncology: $403,000
Dermatology: $394,000
Ophthalmology: $379,000

2020
Orthopedics: $511,000
Plastic surgery: $479,000
Otolaryngology: $455,000
Cardiology: $438,000
Radiology: $427,000
Gastroenterology: $419,000
Urology: $417,000
Dermatology: $411,000
Anesthesiology: $398,000
Ophthalmology: $378,000

2019
Orthopedics: $482,000
Plastic surgery: $471,000
Otolaryngology: $461,000
Cardiology: $430,000
Dermatology: $419,000
Radiology: $419,000
Gastroenterology: $417,000
Urology: $408,000
Anesthesiology: $392,000
Ophthalmology: $366,000

2018
Plastic surgery: $501,000
Orthopedics: $497,000
Cardiology: $423,000
Gastroenterology: $408,000
Radiology: $401,000
Dermatology: $392,000
Anesthesiology: $386,000
Otolaryngology: $383,000
Urology: $373,000
Oncology: $363,000

2017
Orthopedics: $489,000
Plastic surgery: $440,000
Cardiology: $410,000
Urology: $400,000
Otolaryngology: $398,000
Radiology: $396,000
Gastroenterology: $391,000
Dermatology: $386,000
Anesthesiology: $364,000
General surgery: $352,000

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