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Pediatricians Move Up, but Still Near Bottom in Average Pay

The average pay of pediatricians rose by $7000 between 2021 and 2022 to $251,000, according to the Medscape 2023 Compensation Report. Overall, these specialists have experienced a 33% increase in pay since 2015.

However, the low rate in comparison to other physicians still placed pediatricians second to the bottom in average pay out of 29 specialties included, ahead of only public health and preventive medicine specialists ($249,000).

The wage gap between men and women in pediatrics decreased by 50%, with male physicians making on average 13% more than female physicians in 2022, down from 26% in 2021. Overall, male physicians earned 19% more than female physicians, the lowest gap in 5 years.

For employed physicians, earnings included salary, bonuses, and profit-sharing contributions. Self-employed physicians reported figures based on earnings after taxes and taking into account business expenses that were deducted before income tax. Only full-time salaries were included in the results.

The biggest threat to income among pediatric specialists, as reported in the survey, was from nonphysician practitioners, such as physician assistants and naturopaths.

Bonuses for pediatricians averaged $31,000 annually, a fraction of the bonuses to the top paid specialty, orthopedics, which raked in $134,000 annually.

Roughly one third of pediatricians said they took on additional work, like medical moonlighting or more hours, to supplement their income. Only 45% of these specialists reported feeling “fairly paid,” similar to physicians in diabetes and endocrinology (45%) and ob/gyn (45%), and more than physicians working in infectious disease (35%) and internal medicine (43%).  

But despite any feelings of being underpaid, almost 80% of pediatricians reported that they would choose their specialty again. The 2022 satisfaction rate was slightly down from 2021, when 84% of pediatricians reported that they’d make the same choice.

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  • Posted on June 1, 2023