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Salary for RadOnc

Discussion in 'Radiation Oncology' started by RunDMCMD, Apr 23, 2008.

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  1. RunDMCMD

    RunDMCMD

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    Can anyone please provide some detailed salary information for the RadOnc field. I would lbe grateful to hear about academic and private practice salaries both starting salaries and salaries after several years of experience.

    Thank you.
  2. xraydude

    xraydude Newbie but experienced

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    Let's just say the salaries are good....but...if you haven't even started training, I wouldn't worry about the salaries...because they will continue to decline as medicare cuts continue, and depending on who is in the white house in '08.

    But if you are making a decision on a career on a salary, that is probably not a smart idea. You should make a decision based on what you enjoy, because in the future if the salary stinks, and you don't like the field, you're going to be miserable.
  3. jb2

    jb2 Member

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  4. Bioengineer

    Bioengineer The Usurpator

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    you know, it's funny. Whenever I start a new rotation during my third year or talk to a resident, they always ask what I want to do for a career. I ALWAYS get the same response, regardless of the resident: 1. Wow, that's interesting...so do you like physics? (I say yes) Well that's good, because you really need to love physics. 2. Rad onc, eh, well that's a nice lifestyle (smirking). 3. Rad onc, that's good money! ( I smile on the outside and scowl on the inside...just have never been interested in it for that aspect)

    do you med students (and former) get similar responses?
  5. radonc

    radonc Senior Member

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    ive gotten those...plus once you get in, you always hear "you must be so smart", or "you are so lucky", or "can i give you my number?" (from the opposite sex).
  6. Pewl

    Pewl The Dude Abides

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    BAHA! yeah right! Few people within our profession truly understand what a "Radiation Oncologist" is, let alone some chick at a bar! It just doesn't have the same layperson ring as "neurosurgeon" or "cardiologist."

    Of course, the chick at the bar probably just hears the word "doctor" and that's enough for her. :laugh:
  7. Palex80

    Palex80 RAD ON

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    Then just say: "I heal treat children with cancer for a living." That always works...
  8. radonc

    radonc Senior Member

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    true
  9. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    as enlightening as this tangent is, kindly lets stick on topic.
  10. PimpMyRad

    PimpMyRad

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    Take that, you rude boys. Stay on topic. If you want to talk about how to impress the ladies, start you own thread.

    As far as the responses you get from residents about rad onc, get used to it. I've been in practice nearly 20 years, and I get the same response from most of the docs I talk to, even my friends, and especially the medical oncologists, who are SO jealous of us. Their impression of our field is that the hours are cush, and the money is great. Let's face it: they're right, at least compared to the income and hours of most other specialties. It used to bother me, but you can't have it both ways. I'm willing to take the heat, and perhaps the jealousy of other docs, but I still prefer what I do to what they do, even if the money goes away. So if you go into rad onc, you better have a thick skin and not worry too much about what others think of our field. It's still the best kept secret in medicine, at least for now.
  11. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member

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    Agreed- the job, lifestyle, and income are all great. As long as the first two stay the same, even if the income takes a hit, we are still in a great position.

    -S
  12. Pewl

    Pewl The Dude Abides

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    Since no one has yet thrown out an actual number, I guess I'll throw out the question:

    So is that allied-physician's site pretty accurate? Is $385-400 the general range you look at?
  13. ABCXRT

    ABCXRT

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    PimpMyRad actually gave a pretty detailed description of private practive rad onc salaries in a different salary thread. Granted it probably doesn't describe every situation, but it sounds like a good estimate to me.

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=5821667#post5821667


    As for academics, I'm sure it varies by geography/program and seniority, but maybe an attending or knowledgeable resident would be willing to give us an idea of how it's decided, i.e. RVUs, patients, papers, etc?
  14. keforce

    keforce New Member

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    Ped Rad Onc is such a small field. People (the general public) squeemish at the thought of using radiation on children.
  15. radonc

    radonc Senior Member

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    avg starting academics/private: 250k (asst professor)
    range: 200-300k

    assoc prof - 300-350k
    chairman - 400+

    academics:
    could get 2-5% raise each year, sometimes it is in the form of a bonus. some academic places have a 'private' setup, where they get a good portion of the professional fees. very few academics keep their technical revenue (emory is one)...this is usually meant to purchase technology, fund travel, and hire staff, not pay physician salaries (although it might).

    private:
    avg time to partnership 2-3 years

    average partner salary:350-400k
    range:300-500k

    private practice salaries are more variable and are highly dependent on the location (metropolitan vs urban vs suburban vs rural), the structure of the practice, patient #, referral patterns, ownership of machines/buy-ins, etc.
  16. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    the thing is means are very poor measures. medians are more informative as they take out the effect of skew. but even so you need to look at region etc.
  17. OTN

    OTN Member

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    I'm starting to interview for private practice jobs right now and come from a "Top tier" institution, whatever that means. Broad, general numbers, full-time position in a good group (not a national corporation i.e. 21st century or USOnc):

    Starting salary: $200-$300k (not including signing bonuses, which can be around $50k or so)

    2-3 years out, making partner and obtaining full "professional fees": $350-$500k, depending on volume and billing. (Professional fees are the fees that you collect as the physician providing the care to the patients.)

    If your group owns the machines, real estate, etc, and lets you buy into this component, the "technical" compnent: $750k-$1.2M+. (This is where the money gets, frankly, a little embarassing.) Keep in mind, though, that the size of a buy-in (money you give the group) for the technical component can vary widely, from $250k to $2M (!).

    If you do sign with a larger, national group, your starting salary will likely be higher (i.e. $350-$450k), but your ability to see the huge #s is zero.

    Never, ever let anyone tell you that you have no right to ask or know these numbers, and never feel "bad" if reimbursement is part of the reason you wanted to go into radiation oncology. It is a very long, painful haul to become a physician of any kind, and wanting to know what the financial "light at the end of the tunnel" will be is perfectly normal.
  18. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member

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    How much does that $200 - $350k starting salary vary regionally? Do you get killed in big cities (Chicago, NYC, DC)? -S
  19. ArielStar

    ArielStar New Member

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    OTN - thanks for the info - from your experience with the interview process, what makes graduating rad onc docs more competitive in the job market? (rep of residency program? pubs?) I don't know what type of position I will look for in the future but I want to know what it means to train at a lower tier program in terms of job potential.
    thank you
  20. digimon

    digimon Member

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    I only looked in big cities and can say that in my experience starting salaries weren't all that different than what was quoted at ASTRO. If anything, I'd say 5% to 10% (max) lower. IMHO, the details of partnership and long term potential are what's really important, and this varies widely in PP regardless of location.

    As for inquiring about salary, etc during the interview process-- I agree that you have every right to know the details of the financial arrangements, but its not something you want to bring up too early in your conversation.
  21. digimon

    digimon Member

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  22. G'ville Nole

    G'ville Nole Member

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    OTN, we're in the same boat, and the numbers I've gotten are right in line with yours. Can't believe I haven't run into you the last couple of ASTROs, BTW. This year I'm hunting you down and dragging you to an Irish pub!

    With regards to regional variation, I'll qualify it by saying I'm looking exclusively in the Southeast, and seeing the general scale described by OTN. As a trainee in the Midwest, I think the salary scale here is pretty similar, including some of the more metropolitan areas (Chicago, Minneapolis etc). My general sense is that salaries in the more populous Northeastern corridor and on the West Coast tends to be a little lower. This is combined, of course, with a higher cost of living, which means you've really got to want to live in Boston, NY, San Fran or LA to sign on there.

    Digimon's point about potential for partnership is spot on. Not all practices will offer this, and fewer still will offer a buy in to the technical component. These are things that should be clearly laid out during the interview process.

    The practice entry seminar at ASTRO is a very good thing for PGY 3/4 residents to attend.
  23. OTN

    OTN Member

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    Well, it's just my opinion, so it should be taken with a grain o' salt, but I think graduating from a program in which you are exposed to all the latest and greatest techniques (ESRT, IMRT, IGRT, HDR brachy, etc) will make you rather attractive to any potential employers. Generally, these tend to be the "upper tier" programs.

    G'Ville: I'll take you up on that pint for sure!
  24. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    actually "top tier" programs often dont have the latest and greatest.And frankly if youre not trained in those techniques? Its generally not big deal to learn them. Technology may be fun but that's not what makes a well trained doc. And in academics folks tend not to care too much about what machines you were trained on. They may be interested in a skill such as brachy or srs.
  25. medgator

    medgator Senior Member

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    Steph, what's your take on the smaller academic programs? It seems that one strength might be the more "generalist" nature of these programs in preparing you for private practice.
  26. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    all residencies prepare you for private practice. Pick your top place and they'll do just as well. The only qualification is major academic centers might do a lot of trials and thus you might need to remind yourself that avastin isnt part of the standard of care for gliomas etc.
  27. G'ville Nole

    G'ville Nole Member

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    But it makes the follow-up scans look so much better!
  28. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member

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    It's like a really expensive steroid, as on of our neuro-oncologists said...

    That is so true, though, the fact that you don't just Cyber+Erbi recurrent head and neck cancers in the community. I wonder how you get used to that.

    S
  29. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    well if you know for sure, you know more than the experts. It is truly an unresolved issue re: avastin. however even if its merely a blood brain barrier effect, its worthwhile in that it gets people off steroids.
  30. G'ville Nole

    G'ville Nole Member

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    No argument there. We've got a CRF trial open here that some of the docs are quite fond of for the same reason.

    There's some early feedback regarding patterns of failure from some of the avastin trials that apparently report a leptomeningeal pattern of recurrence (i.e. angiogenesis independent). I think one of the Dana-Farber reports reflects that also.

    Wait, was this a rad-onc salary thread? My bad.

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